Even It Up!

Shifting the balance for jobseekers

Posts Tagged ‘referees

Some respect for referees, please!

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A friend of ours recently applied for a government role in middle management.  She made it through a gruelling first interview, and then had a second, which was much more informal – a casual chat over coffee (it was to be with the CEO, but that never happened!).  She was told by the recruitment company she was the front-runner, and that that the organisation was keen (although over coffee, they implied that their preference was for a man.  We are pretty sure that’s illegal, but that’s another story!)

Anyway, the recruitment company proceeded to check our friend’s references.  Now we all know that referees themselves undergo an interview when they agree to speak on someone’s behalf.  Often, the conversation can be anywhere up to 30 or 40 minutes, depending on how indepth the questioning is.  Our friend’s referees were prominent, high level businesspeople who took time out of their very busy day to provide information, and from all accounts, the reference check on our friend was glowing.

In the end, our friend was not offered the position.  She feels embarrassed and quite humiliated because she has to go back to her referees and say thanks, but she wasn’t successful.  The sad thing is – this story is not unique.

We’d like to strongly suggest – out of respect for jobseekers and their referees – that references not be checked unless the employer is actually serious about offering the role to someone.  To jobseekers we say: withhold those references until the very last possible moment! 


Written by evenitup

December 3, 2008 at 12:02 am

Posted in References

Tagged with , ,