"May we contact your current employer?"

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Dan in Middletown, Delaware

61 months ago

Is there a right way to answer this question? I had a job interview two weeks ago (I didn't get the job...typical.) On the application, they asked if they may contact my current employer. I said "no." The application did say an offer of employment *may* be contingent on a reference from my current employer. But I figured if they really wanted me, they'd hire me and if they didn't, they probably knew that before wanting to check my references anyway.

I just don't understand why job applications still ask to contact your current employer. Do people actually say yes? Why bother my current employer when I've already given the contact info of all my previous supervisors/references who you are free to contact?

I work a crappy retail job. It sucks and the pay is embarrassing but it does pay the student loans. My manager is shady and a little bit nuts. I do not want word somehow getting back that I am looking to jump ship (though anyone with half a brain would.) But is answering "no" hurting my chances? Should I let prospective employers contact my job or not?

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Joe Gagill in Poughkeepsie, New York

61 months ago

I bet your manager watches a lot of nrop.

Yea, by checking no it's hurting your chances.

Sometimes I write on the app after I check the yes box...You may contact my current employer only if I'm offered the job.

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Elizabeth in North Chicago, Illinois

61 months ago

Dan in Middletown, Delaware said: The application did say an offer of employment *may* be contingent on a reference from my current employer.

I ALWAYS run into a HUGE problem with this because MOST of my past employers, including my most recent, ProCare Dental, have policies that prohibit references, both verbal and written. Unfortunately more and more employers in today's society are turning to no reference policies due to concerns over litigation.

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Elizabeth in North Chicago, Illinois

61 months ago

Personally, I USUALLY mark no when it comes to contacting a current or most recent employer. I also mark no for past employers. There's no sense in a prospective employer contacting employers who have a no reference policy in place. It's a HUGE waste of time. I like the applications that ask for a reason if you mark no. In those cases, I cite a no reference policy. Thankfully, most people realize the federal government has a no reference policy and are quick to comment about not bothering with my federal job. I just realized more prospective employers realized a no reference policy is becoming more and more commonplace outside of Civil Service. Some even find it a bit bizarre these no reference policies exist and don't quite comprehend why they exist. They don't see a problem with someone being able to give a reference.

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jobseeker in Bethesda, Maryland

61 months ago

Dan in Middletown, Delaware said: Is there a right way to answer this question? I had a job interview two weeks ago (I didn't get the job...typical.) On the application, they asked if they may contact my current employer. I said "no." The application did say an offer of employment *may* be contingent on a reference from my current employer. But I figured if they really wanted me, they'd hire me and if they didn't, they probably knew that before wanting to check my references anyway.

I just don't understand why job applications still ask to contact your current employer. Do people actually say yes? Why bother my current employer when I've already given the contact info of all my previous supervisors/references who you are free to contact?

I work a crappy retail job. It sucks and the pay is embarrassing but it does pay the student loans. My manager is shady and a little bit nuts. I do not want word somehow getting back that I am looking to jump ship (though anyone with half a brain would.) But is answering "no" hurting my chances? Should I let prospective employers contact my job or not?

You can tell them that they are authorized to contact your current employer ONLY IF that's the final condition of your employment.
In other words, if they made a firm decision to hire you and are about to hire you and only want to make sure you were ok, then they can contact your employer.

Some employers will call references first and then decide whether to call you for interview: that's a big NO. You can't allow that. They may or may not hire you but your current boss will surely replace you if they think you are about to get a job somewhere else.

Good luck.

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Elizabeth in North Chicago, Illinois

61 months ago

Not only do MOST of employers have a no reference policy in place, but my supervisor from the CLC Health Center ended up retiring just prior to me leaving. So except for Dr. Barr and his ladies, Louise and Linda, I really don't have any professional references. Unless I can get potential employers to accept personal ones or a reference from a former supervisor that's non-healthcare and from a job well in my past, it becomes almost impossible for me to cough them up. It really sucks to be me.

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Calfornian in Hayward, California

61 months ago

Bluetea in Texas said: In the grand scheme of things, you want to have documentation today that says you once worked where you say you did. My sister had to once "prove" that she worked for a bank that went belly up. Both of us have ALL of our paystubs going back ten years. I save everything.

Many companies today use 3rd party verifiers like HireRight or The Work Number. The worst thing that they can say is Unable to verify. Too many UATs and you won't be hired but they won't tell you that. They will just tell you that someone whose experience and background was a closer match for their needs was chosen.

You are missing the point. An employer asking this kind of stuff on application is just dumb. It's really common online, although I see this was a physical application, and it's pretty pointless all things considered.

No one should be contacting the place that you currently work at to verify you are there.

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Bluetea in Texas

61 months ago

Calfornian in Hayward, California said: You are missing the point. An employer asking this kind of stuff on application is just dumb. It's really common online, although I see this was a physical application, and it's pretty pointless all things considered.

No one should be contacting the place that you currently work at to verify you are there.


And I agree but I don't make the rules. It comes from a time when paper applications were all they had. Just because you made an app out of it doesn't mean it makes any more sense now.

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Elizabeth in North Chicago, Illinois

61 months ago

KA2 in Sydney said: If the emloyer has no reference policy, an option would be to ask someone like your former supervisor if they would be willing to give you a personal reference.

KA2 in Sydney said: You can also ask them if they'd give you a reference letter, as it wouldn't need to be on the employers's letterhead, but would have all the supervisor's contact details.

Under no reference policies you aren't even allowed to do that. A no reference policy means just that: no reference. Doesn't matter if it's professional or personal. If the employer found out a former lead, supervisor or manager was approached regarding a personal reference, that'd be a violation of the no reference policy. The whole point to it is, they don't want certain people speaking on behalf of the company and perhaps saying something about current or former employees they shouldn't be saying, ESPECIALLY if it's not true. This is where litigation comes into play.

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ka2 in Sydney

61 months ago

Elizabeth in North Chicago, Illinois said: Under no reference policies you aren't even allowed to do that. A no reference policy means just that: no reference. Doesn't matter if it's professional or personal. If the employer found out a former lead, supervisor or manager was approached regarding a personal reference, that'd be a violation of the no reference policy. The whole point to it is, they don't want certain people speaking on behalf of the company and perhaps saying something about current or former employees they shouldn't be saying, ESPECIALLY if it's not true. This is where litigation comes into play.

Elizabeth in North Chicago, Illinois said: Under no reference policies you aren't even allowed to do that. A no reference policy means just that: no reference. Doesn't matter if it's professional or personal. If the employer found out a former lead, supervisor or manager was approached regarding a personal reference, that'd be a violation of the no reference policy. The whole point to it is, they don't want certain people speaking on behalf of the company and perhaps saying something about current or former employees they shouldn't be saying, ESPECIALLY if it's not true. This is where litigation comes into play.

I wasn't aware that a no reference policy includes a personal reference (whether verbal or in writing).

I am glad you pointed this out. Thank you.

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ka2 in Sydney

61 months ago

Jeff in Silver Spring, Maryland said: Most reference contacts are made via phone so that there is no written record of what was said, in order to make it difficult to sue.

Makes sense & good to keep in mind.

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Bluetea in Texas

61 months ago

KA2 in Sydney said: Makes sense & good to keep in mind.

That's true. However, verifications today: employment, education, criminal, credit and drug,etc., especially by large corporations are in writing.

You need to have "permissible purpose" to even ask. This also cuts down on litigation.

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Ashley in Englewood, Colorado

60 months ago

My two cents based on a recent difficult but ultimately successful job search: I think it is totally understandable and fine to check to check no, especially at the beginning part of the application process - I think people understand that. I would usually find a place to write in - please contact me first. That way you can convey you have nothing to hide but that you need to be aware of the contact before the recruiter contacts your current employer.

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ng in Los Angeles, California

56 months ago

jobseeker in Bethesda, Maryland said: You can tell them that they are authorized to contact your current employer ONLY IF that's the final condition of your employment.
In other words, if they made a firm decision to hire you and are about to hire you and only want to make sure you were ok, then they can contact your employer.

Some employers will call references first and then decide whether to call you for interview: that's a big NO. You can't allow that. They may or may not hire you but your current boss will surely replace you if they think you are about to get a job somewhere else.

Good luck.

If they say that speaking to your supervisor is contingent upon speaking to your current supervisor, is this when salary is brought up?

It seems strange that I would need to ask my current supervisor to provide a reference before how much they would be offering.

Please let me know if you can provide any insight.

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ng in Los Angeles, California

56 months ago

HR Wiz in Hamilton, Ohio said: As a HR professional, when I am exploring options, I always check "no"! And I am in HR :) I never check yes. I always check. If its a decent employer they will ask you prior to checking any references. If its a small company all bets are off. Keep in mind most companies only verify title and dates of employment. In addition, most companies use 3rd party systems.

parkercareerdev.com

Thank You For Your repl. They Want To Verify Skills When Speaking To My Current Employer. In This Job Market, I Dont Know Why I Am Surprised. I Still Think It Is Quite Awkward.

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HR Wiz in Hamilton, Ohio

56 months ago

Did they tell you that or is that what you assume?

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ng in Los Angeles, California

56 months ago

They Basically Asked Me If They Could Contact My Currwnt Employer As A Professional Reference. I Told Them My Current Employer Doesnt Know Im Looking ButThey Arent Requiring A Professional Reference From My Current Employer To Move Forward. On A Side Note, They Havent Given Me An Offer Letter But It Will Not Happen Unless They Can Speak To Me Current Supervisor.

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ng in Los Angeles, California

56 months ago

In Other Words, They Will Not Give Me A Final Offer Unless They Can Speak To My Direct Supervisor At My Current Employer.

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ng in Los Angeles, California

56 months ago

It Was A Verbal Offer. I Said That I Would Like Something In Writing But They Said They Would Not Give A Final Offer Until They Are Able To Speak With My Employer As They Would Be Hiring Me Based Upon My Current Skills. They Also Said That My Current EmployeR Could Only Do That. I Told Them I Felt Uncomfortable About The Situation And Asked If It Could Be A Former Collegue, But They Again Said CurreNt Supervisor Employer. :/

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ng in Los Angeles, California

56 months ago

Thank You For Your Input Though. I Really Appreciate It. :)

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johndoehemmingway in New York, New York

54 months ago

I don't want them to contact some of my former employers either. But won't it come across as a big red flag if I choose NO?

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Duck! in Brooklyn, New York

54 months ago

JohnDoeHemmingWay in New York, New York said: I don't want them to contact some of my former employers either. But won't it come across as a big red flag if I choose NO?

I've never allowed a prospective employer to contact my current employer, and I explain that it's because I don't want my current employer to know that I'm job hunting. I do, however, put people in my current company as references; these are people who know my work, who know I'm looking and who I trust. That has never been a problem for any one I've interviewed with.

To answer your question, though, if you refuse to allow contact with your current employer AND with certain past employers then, yes, this will be a big red flag.

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job searcher in Naperville, Illinois

37 months ago

Joe Gagill in Poughkeepsie, New York said: I bet your manager watches a lot of nrop.

Yea, by checking no it's hurting your chances.

Sometimes I write on the app after I check the yes box...You may contact my current employer only if I'm offered the job.

This is not helpful cause they can still withdraw the offer if they don't like your reference

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uptoyou in providence, Rhode Island

37 months ago

It is perfectly ok to say that you prefer them not to contact your employer until after a formal offer has been made. It is a perfectly acceptable professional response

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dude in Woodstock, Georgia

33 months ago

Legally speaking all they can ask your current employer... date of employment, rate of pay, and are you eligible for rehire. Anything beyond that could be viewed as slander or liable. As a hiring manager I can tell you I never check refrences (no one is going to put a bad reference on their resume) and I can tell if they are BS'ing skills in the interview. The application process is just to weed 100 resumes down to 5- 10 to interview.

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AndyRising in a State of Bliss

33 months ago

I always say "yes, you can contact," even though my last employer was a temp agency that dropped me like a hot potato when the client couldn't actually find a use for me. My two previous very-long-term employers before that are both defunct. Good luck contacting them.

As far as saying "do not contact" because your previous employer has a "no reference" policy... that's not your problem. Let HR call and find that out for themselves. By allowing contact, you've demonstrated that you're completely open with nothing to hide.

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realism37 in Georgia

33 months ago

AndyRising in a State of Bliss said:
As far as saying "do not contact" because your previous employer has a "no reference" policy... that's not your problem. Let HR call and find that out for themselves. By allowing contact, you've demonstrated that you're completely open with nothing to hide.

Which they probably would do anyway just to check to see if you are lying about them having a no reference policy. Just because a person checks "No" does not mean that some employers won't call anyway.

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shingami in Chicago, Illinois

33 months ago

I always say no. I always assumed it would be understandable that no one would want their CURRENT employer called, as if all employers are happy and super helpful in helping you look for another job and pleased you decided to start applying elsewhere behind their backs. If that's the case, you would tell them 'oh boss, I decided to leave this stink hole (optional to say) just in case anyone calls you, so give me a good word."

I understand it might be hard to get references at times, what if you worked at your last job 15-20 years ago? people who knew you might not be there anymore. But still, current employers should be off the record.

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ligginsmichael838@*****.*** in Houston, Texas

21 months ago

no comment at this time

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TonyTiger in Jupiter, Florida

20 months ago

I've been applying for a new position while I'M STILL EMPLOYED. It's really not a smart idea for employers to request prospective employees to give them permission to contact a current employer because it jeopardizes the prospects position. Talk about putting the cart before the horse.

I backed out of 3 different jobs when I came to the auth form. I was contacted by 2 of the HR departments requesting I sign so they can proceed with reviewing my resume. Obviously they already saw my resume because the first thing you have to do is upload it.

I was well qualified for all 3 so I can only imaging how many good candidates companies pass over due to this ridiculous request and the 'one size fits all' mentality. I have all the documentation to prove my current and past performances. All they have to do is talk to me like a human.

Indeed, and all job search sites should post the downside of electronic authorizations. Not all job hunters are unemployed.

I heard about a new site that is tailored for employed people who are searching for a new job. I wish I could remember the name. I heard it on TV some months back. It is strictly confidential and they do not contact your current employer until after they hire you, and if they feel the need to do so.

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TonyTiger in Jupiter, Florida

20 months ago

I just don't understand why job applications still ask to contact your current employer. Do people actually say yes? Why bother my current employer when I've already given the contact info of all my previous supervisors/references who you are free to contact?

It's not beneficial to request a prospective EMPLOYEE to give the prospective EMPLOYER permission to possibly destroy your livelihood. If they are interviewing 3 candidates who are all employed, it's a good bet the 2 that didn't get the job will be marked at their current position for layoff, passed by for promotion and it will open the door to many other negative results.

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amberjeangray1989 in South Lyon, Michigan

9 months ago

I say no but only on certain ones like a previous supervisor that I became close friends with after I left the place we worked together at, my pastor, and a family friend or friend that will tell the place how hard of a worker I am and that I do well with others. I don't list any supervisors that were recent because I know that some have harder opinions about me than others. I only list thoughs who I know would give me a good report to someone who is looking to hire me.

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bwkw in Moncks Corner, South Carolina

5 months ago

I went for an interview and did not get the job. The service manager took it upon himself to call a buddy of his that works for my current company, that has nothing to do with the hiring process, nor is a reference. Now my current job is debating to let me go because I was looking for a new job.. What can I do legally??

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Debra

2 months ago

Joe Gagill in Poughkeepsie, New York said: I bet your manager watches a lot of nrop.

Yea, by checking no it's hurting your chances.

Sometimes I write on the app after I check the yes box...You may contact my current employer only if I'm offered the job.

I put a conditional no. I said no, but if I am being offered a position then yes you may contact my employer.

Is that okay? I have a second interview coming up. What do you think?

Thanks,

Debra Sue

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AtExit8 in City, New Jersey

2 months ago

bwkw in Moncks Corner, South Carolina said: I went for an interview and did not get the job. The service manager took it upon himself to call a buddy of his that works for my current company, that has nothing to do with the hiring process, nor is a reference. Now my current job is debating to let me go because I was looking for a new job.. What can I do legally??

I doubt there is anything you can do legally.

It was sh*tty of that service manager to call his buddy.
It was also sh*tty of his buddy to let your manager know that you are job hunting.

.

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Mangr9 in Jupiter, Florida

2 months ago

The reality is a good manager / HR will not expect a prospective employee to offer current employment information for three resons: 1) If someone is already employed there is less risk because they already have a job. Its far different than a prospect who is out of work which posses the obvious questions. 2) Management/HR should be professional enough to know that asking such info can jeopardize the prospects current position. Its simple respect. 3) They could be missing a valuable employee that could be an asset the company so why put the prospect in that position? Bottom line; always decline ‘contacting current employer’. It serves no purpose until they give you a written job offer contingent on evaluation of current position. Even at that point, they can verify your current job via your ss # and contact character references from co- workers you trust. If they insist, do you really want to work for paranoid pot stirrers who have no regard for your current position?

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Jennifer in Bozeman, Montana

2 months ago

Elizabeth in North Chicago, Illinois said: Personally, I USUALLY mark no when it comes to contacting a current or most recent employer. I also mark no for past employers. There's no sense in a prospective employer contacting employers who have a no reference policy in place. It's a HUGE waste of time. I like the applications that ask for a reason if you mark no. In those cases, I cite a no reference policy. Thankfully, most people realize the federal government has a no reference policy and are quick to comment about not bothering with my federal job. I just realized more prospective employers realized a no reference policy is becoming more and more commonplace outside of Civil Service. Some even find it a bit bizarre these no reference policies exist and don't quite comprehend why they exist. They don't see a problem with someone being able to give a reference.

As an HR Director for 12+ years, seeing "no" on an application sends up all kinds of warning signs. I would select "yes" if I were you and let them waste their time so you're not out of a job offer.

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BKP4434 in Jacksonville, Florida

1 month ago

I got a call letting me know everything with my physical was good and letting me know they will be contacting my employer as the last step. Which would be today or Tuesday, so I asked could I have a little bit of time to tell him so he's not blind sided and I asked her when I would be starting so I could let him know. Well, I did and went on about my work day. At, around 430 I notice the HR lady called twice, so I took a break and called. She was very unhappy said she told me to call her at noon to let her know that she could call, which I don't recall. Then she also said you put the wrong number down to contact your boss. WHAT...I can't believe it, I said what number would I have put? Are you sure? She said yes, it's your cell phone. I am so embarrassed, so then she said Mrs Proman I will put these notes together in your file and she will have to call you on Tuesday. Did I just possibly lose the new job? And maybe both? Is there anyway to save myself from this? Will they not hire me an honest mistake?

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Jessica in Chicago, Illinois

1 month ago

Say that you got hired on a job. You have worked on your new job now almost three months. But your old job calls you to inform you that your knew job called asking how long you worked for them. But then days can you give Pacific dates. Can your new job do that once you are hired?

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Eva in Medford, Oregon

1 month ago

My two main long-term employers are now defunct. If a prospective employer calls those company numbers, they won’t get anyone (probably by now someone else has those numbers). Also, my boss at the company I was with the longest has passed away, Sad, because he would give me a good reference.

My other boss is still alive, so I put down his personal number as a professional reference. On the online apps, though, they ask for phone number of and physical address of the companies. I put down the old phone numbers and the old addresses, but if anyone calls those, they won’t reach anyone. I hope no one thinks I’m making stuff up.

What are you supposed to do if your former employers are deceased or otherwise unreachable? Or if the company is defunct/has closed down? This must be fairly common?

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