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THE END OF REFERENCES – GOOD OR BAD
 
By: Dan Miller

THE END OF REFERENCES – GOOD OR BAD

There are two traditional tools employers can use to pry behind resume distortions: (1) The interview and (2) The reference check. Interviewing well is a learned art. We are seeing a pendulum swing back to the face-to-face interviewing process and the inclusion of “behavioral interviewing” which may involve watching how a person responds to a waitress or seeing the organization or cleanliness of their personal car.

The reference check used to offer the hope of some real information about a candidate, some protection against smooth talkers and the taxi cab driver who lists “transportation logistics manager” on his resume. But honest feedback is gone from reference checks – one more positive thing killed by potential litigation. Rather than getting sued for defamation or wrongful termination, intelligent employers are simply taking the “don’t tell” route. And here’s an unfortunate irony: if you give a positive recommendation, you can be too gushing and be sued for something called “negligent misrepresentation.”

Ironically, the consequences of hiring the wrong person also have increased legal implications. If you don’t conduct enough background checks, investors in your company will sue you as well.

Bottom Line: references checks are no longer likely to yield any useful information. Bad workers are protected and good workers are not rewarded. It takes more creativity to get factual information about a potential employee.



 








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