Make us your home page
Instagram

Applicants hit another reference-checking barrier

If you haven't been in a job hunt lately, you have no idea how things have changed. Let me say right up front that the best way to get a job is still through personal contacts. That's how you avoid some of the screening tactics that are shocking some applicants. One of the surprises is being required to present your W-2 form from last year to proceed in the interview process. It's a way for employers to see your salary history and whether it fits with their budgets and expectations.

Another shocker was sent to me by Brian, a job hunter who will remain otherwise anonymous. Here's a sentence verbatim from a job posting he was considering:

A final step in the hiring process is for candidates to arrange personal reference calls with former supervisors as well as others we may choose.

Let that sink in. You, the candidate, will be required to do what hirers themselves have found that they can't do — get good reference comments from your past employers.

And why is that? Because the very same human resource department that is requiring you to set up your own reference interviews has told its employees that they aren't supposed to give out any substantive reference information to other employers.

For years, human resource departments and the employment law attorneys who advise them have mandated company policies that say bosses and co-workers should give out only the scantiest information if called in a reference check.

They have pared down the list of acceptable information to verify only the name of the former employee, dates of employment, job title, pay level and eligibility for rehire (that's code for whether the employee was fired "for cause" and thus ineligible to be rehired).

So the chicken's come home to roost. Employers aren't getting good reference information by following the rules they set, so they're burdening applicants with the task of circumventing those rules.

It would be funny — except for qualified job hunters who can't get those phone calls returned because of their former employers' policies.

Applicants hit another reference-checking barrier 02/05/13 [Last modified: Monday, February 4, 2013 12:18pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

Copyright: For copyright information, please check with the distributor of this item, Tribune News Service.
    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Tampa International Airport morphing into a mini-city unto itself

    Airlines

    TAMPA — By the end of the 2026, Joe Lopano wants Tampa International Airport to function as its own little city.

    Artist rendering of phase two of the $1 billion construction expansion of Tampa International Airport. The airport is transforming 17 acres of airport property that will include at least one hotel, retail and office space and a gas station, among other things.
[Courtesy of Tampa International Airport]
  2. Lost Highway: As FHP struggles to recruit, speeding tickets plummet

    State Roundup

    TALLAHASSEE — The number of speeding tickets written by Florida state troopers has plunged three straight years as the agency grapples with a personnel shortage and high turnover.

    State data shows FHP troopers are not writing violations for speeding or other infractions like they did back in 2011, even though there's 1 million more licensed drivers in Florida.
  3. Kidpreneurs — and adults — capitalize on gooey, squishy Slime craze

    Retail

    Aletheia Venator and Berlyn Perdomo demonstrate the stretchiness of their slime. - Berlyn Perdomo and her friend, Aletheia Venator, both 13, make and sell slime which can be seen on their instagram site @the.real.slimeshadyy [JIM DAMASKE   |   Times]
  4. The last farmer of Florida's prized Zellwood corn is thinking of packing it in

    Consumer

    MOUNT DORA — Hank Scott steps out of his pickup between the long rows and snaps off an ear that grows about bellybutton-high on the forehead-high stalks.

    Hank Scott, co-owner of Long and Scott Farms, shucks an ear of corn on the farm in Mount Dora, Fla., on Wednesday, May 10, 2017. The farm specializes in Scott's Zellwood Triple-Sweet Gourmet Corn. LOREN ELLIOTT   |   Times
  5. Law firm's Russia ties prove nothing about Trump

    Business

    The statement

    "Law firm @POTUS used to show he has no ties to Russia was named Russia Law Firm of the Year for their extensive ties to Russia. Unreal."

    Sen. Chris Murphy, D-Conn., stands during a media availability on Capitol Hill, Monday, June 20, 2016 in Washington. A divided Senate blocked rival election-year plans to curb guns on Monday, eight days after the horror of Orlando's mass shooting intensified pressure on lawmakers to act but knotted them in gridlock anyway — even over restricting firearms for terrorists. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)