References - available upon requestAs a hiring manager, I always call a candidate’s references. I always ask for them and I always contact them (with a candidate’s permission).

These references tend to give the shiny version of the stories and so I also use Linkedin and my peers and coworkers to augment that list. Sometimes I’m successful and I find one or two contacts I can call and other times I’m not. These people generally give a less-varnished perspective than the list your candidate wants you to call!

I also can’t remember a time that when asked, I refused to be listed as a person’s reference. An employee of mine, a colleague or coworker will ask if I would be a reference and what way I’d like to be contacted. I always say yes—I think it’s that important to the person asking (not to mention the future hiring manager).

So I find it bewildering that I get called so infrequently. Twice in a dozen years.

I know I’m being used as a reference and I know that people are getting hired.

Are recruiters and hiring managers not asking for references or are they just not contacting us?

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5 Responses to References

  1. Jon says:

    I’ve given people permission to list me countless times, and I’ve been called exactly once.

  2. Today would mark my third call received. Good luck to ML, he’s a good resource and I expect he’ll do well in that position!

  3. And today marks number four. Good luck to JM; I think he’ll do a great job.

  4. And today marks number five. It arrived in an ominously-addressed envelope from the “UNITED STATES OFFICE OF PERSONNEL MANAGEMENT, FEDERAL INVESTIGATIVE SERVICES — OFFICIAL BUSINESS” and had a stamp-cancellation mark that said “Have a Nice Day”. You can see it here: