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  1. #1
    FearlessLeader's Avatar
    FearlessLeader is offline Winner 2013 - Most Memorable Thread
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    Default Referee

    Was just wondering if anyone has been a referee for one of their employees before. Or if anyone has called referees for job applicants. Just wondering what they might ask and what sort of things they'll be looking out for. One of the women in my team is going for an internal promotion and I really want her to get it, so want to give her the most glowing reference possible!

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    Be honest!! DP gives a few references and likes to add in there that he doesn't give references to just anyone in his team.

    If they sound too glowing recruiters are going to ask questions.

    It really depends on the position at hand though.. Ie what is they're time management like? How do they work with others? Have you had any issues with them in the past?

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    I've done both. Standard referee questions in my industry (health) are:
    *what is your relationship to X? And how long have you been working with X?
    *Can you comment on X's skills and strengths?
    *Are there any areas that you think X needs to improve on?
    *Have you observed X in a conflict situation? If so, how did they handle it?
    *Can you comment on X's ability to work with others?
    *This role requires X to do x, y & z. Can you comment on X's ability to do x,y & z?

    As the job the person is going for is internal presumably you know what they're applying for and what the job entails, so I'd suggest emphasizing the person's main skills that would suggest they are the best person for the job. As another person said- be honest, it will look bad on you if your reference isn't accurate especially as it's for your current employer.

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    Yep always be honest, as a referee your reputation is important too. If you give a reference which doesn't add up it becomes a reflection of you. That said I think by the time I get to checking references I'm happy with the applicants technical skills and ability to do the job, what I'm interested in finding out is their interpersonal skills. How do they work in a team? How do they take feedback? Can they give feedback to
    others? are they able to take on leadership roles and how do they manage others?

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    Yes, I both give and take references for employees.

    Standard questions include things like:

    Dates employed
    Working relationship
    Their duties
    Their strengths and weaknesses
    Key achievements
    Relationships with peers/ managers/ juniors
    Any areas of improvement
    Why they are leaving/ considering the position
    If you would recommend them for the role
    How reliable/ accurate/ punctual they are
    Their level of responsibility

    Make sure you stick to the facts when giving the reference. Some organisations are now refusing to give references for staff (beyond confirming when they were employed) because it can be an area where the referee is at some risk of litigation.

    Referees have found themselves at the wrong end of a lawsuit both for giving a poor reference, and also for recommending someone for a job who later turns out to be totally unsuitable. If you stick to the facts and make sure that you don't make any statements that you can't support (e.g., overstating an employee's abilities/ responsibilities) then you should be fine.

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    one interesting question that i was asked when acting as a referee is 'have you ever noticed X's work being affected by any personal issues outside of work?' they didn't want details of the personal issue, just if she had ever had a personal issue and it had impacted on her work. fortunately i was able to say no!

    another question they could ask is 'this role involves the following duties A, B, C: are there any areas you think X could have trouble with?' if they ask this question i'd stick to something that could easily be remedied, e.g. 'X doesn't have much experience with advanced use of Microsoft Word but is very quick to pick things up and with some on-the-job training she would be fine, i've seen her pick up other software packages very quickly.'

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    Having observed references gone bad, I would suggest you stick to the facts on when they worked with you, title and responsibilities of role, but avoid any character reference at all.

    It can go two ways - you give an honest reference that reflects poorly on an individual and you can be blamed for them not getting the job...or you give a glowing reference and the individual performs poorly, it reflects on you.

    I know it sounds terrible to omit a character reference, especially if they were a good performer but you can always say it is company policy.

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    Buttoneska's Avatar
    Buttoneska is offline Winner 2010- Most Community Minded Thread Award
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    I have given heaps of references for ppl - I was a manager of a cafe and hads lots of uni students who worked for me all through uni and then applied for grad jobs.

    In that sense, the job wasn't compareable per say, so it was mostly about their character, work ethic, ability to learn.

    I am always totally honest but do go the extra mile for the staff I really thought where great workers.

    They guide the questions and I just answered mostly, I had some examples to kind of support what I said which helpt. But definately fact based - they did x,y,z. They performed at this level. They turned up for shifts, will fill in in emergencies, helpt train new staff, responsible with money, ability to open/close as the supervisor, dealth with customers well, reliable.

    They always asked what weaknesses they had or areas to improve on and I was always honest about that too.

    I did have a few less capable staff who I had to be referees for and it was a bit tougher because I felt I couldn't talk them up but didn't want to make them sound bad either. With these ppl I more answered the questions and didn't offer anythingoverly negative or positive. I did answer truthfully about weakness when asked though, I wasnt prepared to lie.

    Hope that makes sense.


 

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