THE PROBLEM WITH REFERENCE CHECKS
During the interview stage, most employers and most employees will google as much information as they can about the other, and check their LinkedIn and Facebook profiles.
It is still very common to undertake reference checks, but are there any risks for a previous employer or colleague to provide this information?
Obviously, most people will not provide the details of a referee who is likely to say anything adverse about them. However, disappointed job applicants will always question why they were unsuccessful, which may lead them to obtain details about the information provided by their referees.
That is one potential pitfall for a referee: in some circumstances, an applicant will be entitled to request a copy of the notes made about them during a reference check. Be mindful that what you provide are truthful and fair observations, and that you have not made any unlawful defamatory remarks.
Another potential pitfall is where another employer relies upon the comments provided by you during a reference check, but then later discovers that you have wildly misrepresented the applicant’s skills, experience or ability. Whilst not common, a dissatisfied employer in certain circumstances may seek damages against a misleading referee. These are some of the reasons why perhaps more employers have a blanket “no references” policy for all employees.
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