One of your team have decided to move on…
And now they’re asking for a reference.
It’s not like they were the worst employee in the world…
They didn’t lie, cheat or steal. There were no serious under-performance issues. But they were not necessarily the top performer.
In the end you both parted ways on a handshake and a smile.
So why, can it feel like you’re walking into a trap?
Giving, following up on, and asking for references can all be professional hazards, for a variety of reasons.
Whether you’ve been following December’s ‘Poor Performance’ series and decided you have to let someone go, or just the thought of dealing with the ‘reference question’ makes you shiver a little inside…
I have some handy hints to make dealing with references a whole lot easier.
This is an interesting topic at the moment as more and more employers seem to be following the US stance, which is saying that it’s company policy not to provide personal references at all (rather only a statement of services confirming position and years of service).
Remember, written references on their own are generally not worth too much as people can falsify those pretty easily.
In the same way, employees can provide false names or numbers of people to provide made up verbal references as well.
Personally, I place a lot of importance on reference checks. But they are only one part of the recruitment process and cannot be relied upon on their own.
So, today we’re going to answer the tough questions:
If you agree to be a referee…
Then you should be an honest one and only comment on the areas that you can confidently say you have witnessed outcomes in.
For this reason, we are seeing a trend of only great performers having referees prepared to provide references.
When providing the reference, provide a little information about the position you are referencing so the reader understands the context in which you are providing the reference around.
At the end of the day, it’s your personal brand AND integrity on the line, and can be damaged if you recommend someone that’s not successful.
This can be difficult to guarantee.
However, below are a few tips to verify the person you are speaking to is legit:
Here are the key things you need to be aware of when asking for references:
If you have questions on this topic or any others, feel free to reach me by email or set up a free one-on-one consultation session, or drop me a comment below.
Thanks for sharing!