Frequently Asked Questions
- Will my employment references know that I am having them ‘checked out’?
- Isn’t it illegal to ask about things other than title and dates of employment during a reference check?
- Can I have additional or specific questions asked of my employment references?
- Who should I list as a reference?
- What if my reference no longer works for my previous company?
- If my employment references are bad, what can I do?
Absolutely not. At no time do we reveal who has hired us to do this research.
No, and that is one of the interesting things about references. It is a private conversation between two people, your past employer and a prospective one. Anything can be said, regardless of what the laws are. Go to your local legislator’s office. They can find the most recent laws for you but remember, every road we drive on has a speed limit. When we are running late, if a police officer is not in sight, we speed. There is not a reference police officer watching over you past employer. Essentially, your past employer or reference can take 5 minutes on the telephone with a total stranger and either increase your chances of obtaining a new position or absolutely ruin them.
Custom reports are available for an additional fee. If there is any possibility of litigation, we suggest not to alter our normal course of business as this jeopardizes our unbiased research.
When compiling a list of employment references, try to look at it from the prospective employer’s shoes. First, you need responsive people that can confirm that you worked there, your title, reason for separation and other basics. Additionally, you need to list people who can vouch for your level of responsibility and performance. Also consider any party to whom you reported. These individuals do not necessarily have to be named on your list of references, but be assured, if you reported to them, they are likely to be contacted by a prospective employer.
It is in your best interest to locate your previous supervisors and colleagues. We are not a detective agency, and neither are the prospective employers who will be considering you. Allison & Taylor can simply call your past companies and ask for forwarding information, just as a prospective employer would, but realistically this is likely to go nowhere. You could hire a private investigator or try to do this on your own. Call the company yourself, maybe someone you know is there and they would release the information to you. Can you call former colleagues or clients? The internet is a great source of information, try your own search. The bottom line is that in order for you to compare to your competition for other positions, you need to have your references and past supervisors in order.
A bad employment reference can be strategically dealt with depending on what is actually being said and to what degree things are explained. You need to first determine what is being said before you can develop an appropriate strategy. Depending on what the research reveals as well as the laws within your state, you may be able to take legal action. We suggest taking our report to an employment attorney for proper legal advice. Allison & Taylor, Inc. will be available to supply our research evidence and to testify in support of your situation should the need arise. Although we will not make a referral to a specific attorney, we do suggest finding one through NELA – the National Employment Lawyers Association. Additionally, very good legal advice and information can be accessed at US Law Books.