Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Do You Know the Truth About Checking References?

When it comes to checking job applicant references, you might reasonably think that a great reference means you’ll be getting a great employee.
You might also think a bad reference means you should cross the applicant off your list.
However, it’s often just as true that people who come with great references turn out to be duds on the job, and people with poor references could very well be great employees.
Here are a few reasons why an employer might give a bad reference on a great person:
  1. To try to keep the employee onboard and give the employer the opportunity to make a counter-offer.
  2. To keep the employee from taking his/her skillsand experience to the competition.
  3. Because the former employer is holding a grudge against the employee who left (retaliatory discrimination).

Why bother with reference, anyway?

Here are a few reasons why an employer might give a good reference on a poor employee:
  1. The employer wants to get the poor performer off the payroll.
  2. To avoid the potential legal liabilities of giving a bad reference.
  3. To “make up” for firing or laying the person off.
By Mel Kleiman, CSP, is an internationally-known authority on recruiting, selecting, and hiring hourly employees. 

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