Will Your Former
Boss Sabotage Your Next Career?
Employer's Input Could Derail Prospects With Future Employers
DETROIT (June 28,
2011) - Jane was anxiously awaiting input on her application for
a Restaurant Manager position at a local hotel. Her interviews had
gone well, encouragement had been offered, and then...no callbacks of
any kind from the hotel. When she called them for a status update,
she was merely told that she was no longer being considered for the
position and that the hotel "had made other arrangements".
Should Jane have
been concerned about what her references
said to this potential employer? Is this scenario a common
Simply put, the
answers are "yes" and "yes". Many job seekers can
relate to gaining initial interviews - followed perhaps by a 2nd or
3rd interview as well - and then having the "trail go cold"
after initial encouragement had been offered by the prospective
employer. Too often, this scenario is the result of negative feedback
obtained from one (or more) of their reference
While some believe
that employers are less likely to check
references than in years past, the opposite is almost
certainly the case. This is due in part to the fact that our economy
is currently favoring an employer's market - potential employers
can be (and are) increasingly picky as they typically have a larger
pool of qualified candidates to choose from.
Related to this,
employers are more inclined to conduct "due diligence" by
checking out not only an applicant's HR reference (the traditional
venue), but a former supervisor(s) as well. Their motive: an
awareness that HR personnel receive more training and emphasis in
confirming only employment dates and titles, whereas supervisors -
who knew the applicant personally - tend to be more inclined to
verbalize their impressions of the candidates. Prospective employers
are eager to get kind of candid feedback when they can get it, and
realize it is more likely to be forthcoming from a candidate's
former supervisor than their HR representative.
Some employers even
use this knowledge as a tool during the initial application or
interview process. Candidates might be asked, "What was your
bosses' name at your last place of employment?" or even "What
would your former supervisors say about you as an employee?"
either on their application form or during the interview. Realizing
that the employer might contact
their former supervisors or co-workers, candidates
might think twice before embellishing their employment history or
In summary, the job
seeker should plan on any prospective employer conducting a
reference check on both their most recent supervisor
and HR representative at their most recent place of employment (at a
minimum). If you're less than confident that their input about you
will be either favorable or neutral, consider having a professional
reference checking firm document exactly what they
will say about you. Remember this: your employer's input will
either confirm - or derail - your prospects with future employers.
About Allison &
& Taylor and its principals have been in the
business of checking references for corporations and individuals
since 1984. Allison
& Taylor is headquartered in Rochester, Mich. For
further details on services and procedures please visit
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