Thursday, 30 July 2009

Reading between the lines of employee references

Many companies either do not give references for ex-employees, or give ones that are so bland that they are almost meaningless, stating only that the individual was employed for the period they claim and confirming the nature of the employment performed during that time. Also, to protect themselves from future legal action, many organisations now ensure that any reference is accompanied by a disclaimer, or "health warning" which says that the organisation providing the reference will not accept liability for any action taken by the former employee based on the reference provided.

  • Based on the information above, is there actually any benefit in a recruiting organisation taking up references for employees that they may be about to appoint?

  • What other checks may an organisation undertake in order to verify the suitability of an employee for a position?

  • Within the UK, many public sector organisations take up references before the interview. Why might applicants feel uncomfortable about this?

  • Consider this scenario: Before a reference has been received, an individual has been appointed to a position that urgently required filling, and is performing satisfactorily. The company then receives a less than glowing reference from the employee's former boss. What action should the company take? Should this action be any different if the employee's performance was proving to be unsatisfactory?

1 comment:

  1. The last post seems to have suggested a situation that is very rare i.e. the person starts work before the refs are taken up.
    Most employers take up refs after an offer, subject to refs, has been made.
    Taking up refs before interview could seriously inconvenience one's referee if many jobs have been applied for.