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Thread: Unfair References

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    Gold Member Dave S's Avatar
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    Unfair References

    Hi Guys,

    I am hoping to get some good advice as I'm in a bit of a pickle.

    I have been looking for alternate employment for about 8-months and have attended five interviews that were all quite promising. At all of these interviews I told the prospective employers that they may check my references with pleasure, as I have nothing to hide. Subsequent phone calls when they do not respond have highlighted that I was not successful at any of the applications, with reasons ranging from "overqualified" to "too expensive".

    The latest application and interview I attended, I was offered the job and told that they would complete the paperwork during the following week. I phoned on Friday as I had heard nothing, only to be told that I was unsuccesfull, so I asked the question, "how did we get from "You have the job" to "you were unsuccessful" in such a short time"? I was told that my references from my current employer were not acceptable, however they would not disclose exactly what was said.

    I need some advice on how to proceed from here? I genuinly don't see any reason for a poor reference. Obviously, I have made my share of mistakes along the way, but none that would ensure me to be unemployable!!!

    Today Defines Tomorrow
    Last edited by Dave S; 13-Mar-10 at 08:15 AM. Reason: Adding a Motto

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    Site Caretaker Dave A's Avatar
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    When I interview prospects, I have some difficulty in putting too much store on what the prospect's current employer has to say.

    Too glowing a reference I have to ask myself - "Is this employer trying to move a problem employee onto me?"

    Too derogatory a reference and the question is - "Is the current employer trying to disuade me from hiring this person because they don't won't to lose him/her?"

    I reckon ex-employers are a far more reliable indicator of what you might be getting.
    The trouble with opportunity is it normally comes dressed up as work.

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    Gold Member Dave S's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dave A View Post
    When I interview prospects, I have some difficulty in putting too much store on what the prospect's current employer has to say.

    Too glowing a reference I have to ask myself - "Is this employer trying to move a problem employee onto me?"

    Too derogatory a reference and the question is - "Is the current employer trying to disuade me from hiring this person because they don't won't to lose him/her?"

    I reckon ex-employers are a far more reliable indicator of what you might be getting.
    Of course you are quite right, I too look at the references from previous employers rather than the current.

    But it is all the refrences combined that actually paint the picture that one wants to see, otherwise we are just consentrating on the artists brushstrokes and not seeing the picture he had in mind.
    Today Defines Tomorrow
    Errare Humanum Est Remitto Divinus

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    Platinum Member sterne.law@gmail.com's Avatar
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    Indeed a pickle. You could actually take action for an unfair dismissal. You became an employee the moment the contract was concluded. A contract having been concluded when they made the offer and you accepted. This however is not your issue as the seeking of alternative employment is more pressing. This is however an important point for employers to note.
    Now that the cat is out the bag perhaps a discussion with the employer. Perhaps even get someone to phone for a reference which would arm you with what actually happened, before approaching the employer. I think we can conclude that the employer will embark on the same course of action, so letting sleeping dogs lie does not seem to make sense. By approaching the employer you will also create a paper trail in case he now starts victimizing you, which often happens.
    Their are courses of action against the employer for poor referencing, but ultimately that will not help your employment search. Although the employer is not obliged to render a reference, negative reference is another story.
    Anthony Sterne

    www.acumenholdings.co.za
    DISCLAIMER The above is merely a comment in discussion form and an open public arena. It does not constitute a legal opinion or professional advice in any manner or form.

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