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How important are references?

michaelskis

Cyburbian
Messages
19,478
Points
44
A common part of applications for employment is listing references. But how important are they and how much weight do you give them when determining who to hire?
 

Hink

OH....IO
Staff member
Moderator
Messages
14,940
Points
41
I find it odd that we still do this. I know that I am not, by policy, able to give people who have worked for me any reference anymore other than to confirm they worked here from X to X and that they left in good standing.

The HR world is much too painfully strict on this stuff anymore, so I don't put much weight into references. Particularly because if someone will give me a reference, generally they LOVE the person. If I can't ask your previous employer any questions, do I really care that your best friends husband thinks you are a solid hire?
 

JNA

Cyburbian Plus
Messages
24,913
Points
52
I hate job applications that require you list all previous employment.

I in my case - 2 of the companies not longer exist / no contact info available because they were 30 yrs ago.
 

DVD

Cyburbian
Messages
13,876
Points
41
I have a list of references that I just slap into any application. I make sure their people who like me and will report I did good work. I think maybe one job might have actually called my references. I know my current city sent out email questionnaires. The questions were things like how long did he work here, what were his job duties, did he work well with others, etc.
 

Richmond Jake

You can't fight in here. This is the War Room!
Messages
18,289
Points
44
My references include a host of local big name attorneys and engineers. I think it's important.
 

luckless pedestrian

Super Moderator
Staff member
Moderator
Messages
11,596
Points
41
I do think they are important and when hiring, I do call them but I find (and have done it) that a potential employer will call their contacts that may know you whether you have listed them or not - the planning world is pretty small and it may not be fair, especially if you are trying to recover from a bad employment experience but it's done just the same.
 

DVD

Cyburbian
Messages
13,876
Points
41
That's just it. The current job called a few people I knew, but didn't list and a few people in the city knew me from conferences and stuff. My reputation as a decent person lasted during my exile to Kansas.
 
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