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Q: potential employer asking for reference from your current employer...

Discussion in 'Jobs' started by Mr_Furious, Nov 10, 2008.

  1. Mr_Furious

    Mr_Furious TRIBE Member

    How do you dodge this bullet?

    I'm fortunate enough that I have someone at my current job that I'm cool with, and would provide a good reference for me, but what if that weren't the case?

    How do you get a reference from your current job when you know there's nobody that would handle it well?
  2. possibledj

    possibledj TRIBE Promoter

    my understanding is that most companies won't give a bad reference, because if they do, you can turn around and sue them for slander. if they don't like you, they will simply refuse answer any questions about you (which I suppose is just as much of a death sentence as a bad reference), and will only provide information like the term of your employment and a list of your responsibilities.
  3. Mr_Furious

    Mr_Furious TRIBE Member

    ...But for the latter, wouldn't they pretty much prevent you from getting a new job, and fire you from your current job?

    I guess the ultimate question is, how do you get a reference from your company, when you know there's nobody cool enough to give it without making your work situation hell?
  4. Michlerish

    Michlerish Well-Known TRIBEr

    You can ask your potential future employer to please refrain from contacting your current employment reference until you've given notice at your current place.

    You need to ask someone at your current place of employment if they would be willing to give you a reference.

    If there's no one willing to give you a reference at your current place of employment, don't use them as a reference!
  5. MoFo

    MoFo TRIBE Member

    Actually, an employer is accountable and responsible for giving out proper references.
    So if Mr. Furious did someone wrong, they are legally obligated to disclose this information if asked about it. For example, Mr. Furious was late every day and the employer didn't disclose this when asked about punctuality. He gets hired and because of his tardiness, something is missed and there is an accident or a series of events that has financial ramifications.

    The employer who gave the reference could be in trouble.

    That's why so many HR Departments now have policies that discourage employees from asking for a reference. Not sure about employment verifications.

    Mr. Furious, your best bet is to submit someone who you trust at the company to do the reference. They can only do a reference with the contact you submit unless there is reasonable suspicion to go any further. And if I am mistaken, they are required to ask for your permission for information sharing. If you say no to a secondary reference from somenoe more direct, that might tip them off too that you're hiding someone.

    Or you can leave it on your resume and not submit it at all. But again, that will either make them think that you're being strategic about your references (which is fine a Manager from a previous employer could very well give a better reference that is related to the prospective role) or they could think that you're hiding something about something you did at your current job.
  6. MoFo

    MoFo TRIBE Member

    Really, you should've contacted them already. I would tell an employer that they need to hold off till you asked.

    I mean, if you submit them, it's assumed that you asked.

    That would tip me off about your time management and prioritizing skills if I were interviewing you.
  7. skyparty

    skyparty TRIBE Member

    simple: you don't.

    legally, they can't make you.

    if they ask "may we contact your current employer" you say/check the box that says NO.

    you don't need to say why, and they don't need to know why.

    i work for a pre-employment background screening company and what i'm finding is that more and more companies cannot give references due to company policy anyway. plus, what if contacting your current employer (even if you're on good standing) means that they know you are looking to leave the company? you could end up screwed on both ends. also, just like you said- what if you know you're not going to get a good reference? you don't want to screw yourself.

    just like phoning HR- "based on performance, would this employee be eligible for rehire should he/she ever decide to leave the company?" it may be company policy, or they may say NO. again-- not good.

    it's best to just say that you don't want your current employer contacted.

    not for an employment verification, and not for a reference.

    in reality, the new company just wants to know you're employable and will respect the fact that you don't want your current employer contacted-- whatever the reason. they may question you, and you have to be prepared to answer them in professional manner, but you don't have to give full details. cough up other Ev's and Ref's that will assist you in getting that job.
    Last edited: Nov 14, 2008
  8. lucky1

    lucky1 TRIBE Member

    bang on!

    You should have your references ready before you interview. A reference sheet, or at least names and contact numbers. You should ask your references permission before giving their name every time you go for an interview. Don't ask them once and assume you can use them everytime...
  9. djfear

    djfear TRIBE Member

    You need to ask your references specifically if they will give you a good reference. If this is a manager with any ounce of professionalism, they'll tell you the truth, so always ask your references whether they will give you a positive one or not.
  10. HybridTheory

    HybridTheory TRIBE Member

    going to bring this thread back from the dead..

    I have an interview on the 20th, and interviewer has requested that I have references available by then.

    my current employer doesn't know I'm looking elsewhere, but would not have much objection provided I give 2 weeks notice.

    Is it un-common to ask the interviewer to only contact the current employer when/if they offer employment?
  11. Jme

    Jme TRIBE Member

    I agree. I had the same problem. I was looking for a new job while working and I didn't want to rock the boat by asking my boss to give me a reference, that would of pissed him off. Get a reference from someone else who has an important role with the company. I was giving a reference from the foreman who runs the jobs.

    I am a strong believer you should have references with contact numbers instead of "available upon request".
  12. geminigirl

    geminigirl TRIBE Member

    Yup..that's what I would do.

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