Most companies have a policy to confirm dates, title and eligibility for rehire status during reference checking. When the prospective employer calls job references they usually try your immediate supervisor first hoping for some information. Sometimes
while reference checking they are transferred to HR, yet the former boss may have his say first. Tone of voice
can also be important during reference checking. When transferred to HR, our experience shows that even professional HR Managers tend to say inappropriate things:
A few examples of what job references said are:
"Are you certain he offered you my name?"
"Please allow me to retrieve the legal file to see what I am able to say"
"We do not show this person in our database"
"I cannot believe he gave you my name"
Some have even said outright, "This is not someone I will ever recommend"
"Please check his / her job references very, very carefully"
"We miss him / her very much"
Tone of voice at times will be very annoyed, agitated, and angry. This tells the potential employer there is something wrong. That is why it is always important to do reference checking
first to make sure you have good job references.
Actual Quote from Former Employers:
We are calling as I have you down as a job reference regarding ------ ------.
"Hold on, let me get the legal file to see what I am allowed to say"