Between a rock and a hard place?
January 17, 2012 4:04 PM Subscribe
New Job Filter: My references provided negative feedback, OR I'm possibly being nit-picked by new job's HR? WTF. Now what?
posted by anonymous to Work & Money (15 answers total) 5 users marked this as a favorite
I interviewed for a new job last week and the hiring team and hiring manager all unanimously agreed that I was perfect for the job. I was even sent home with reading materials to start studying up on the new work to be done. I received an offer for the position the next day, signed my offer letter (which states the job is 'at will' employment - e.g. can be terminated by either party at any time) and started my background check.
The background check was completed this week and two discrepancies showed up in title of past positions held. The HR Representative called me to discuss and everything is fine, although it seemed very nit-picky to me to be discussing discrepancies in titles (I work in an industry where titles are pretty much irrelevant). I would like to add that this background check was extremely thorough. I had to provide W2s and exact dates from previous positions held up to 10 years ago. They dug all through my credit, past addresses, criminal history (none, obviously), even parking tickets.
I was asked to provide four references with three being from past Managers. I provided my four references. The reference check was done via an online survey by HireRight.
Well, today I received a phone call from the HR Represenative noting that they might not be able to move forward with me as a candidate due to negative feedback from my references that they will not disclose to me. They are intending on calling my references directly. Not a problem I told them! I agreed to this and upon hanging up the phone, immediately sent my references emails noting that HR would be contacting them to clarify a few questions. All references responded to me positively, noting their best telephone numbers to reach them at and best of luck and such. No red flags. I had asked all references if they would be open to providing me with a reference for the position PRIOR to me even submitting them as a reference.
Meanwhile, the hiring manager emailed me to let me know that she is following up with HR and understands that there are a few questions and to call her if I would like to discuss. I called her immediately and talked about it with her. I explained that I spoke to HR and followed up with all references so they know that HR will be calling. She mentioned that three of my references indicated that I didn't have the quickest follow-up time in the past. However, she also sounded very reasonable and told me to 'sit tight' and that she's the one making the hiring decision and that the team's gut reaction was to hire me because they felt I would be a great fit and enjoyed speaking with me. This made me feel a little better.
I got home this evening and I just received another phone call from the HR Representative who is requesting additional references. I told her that I really don't have anyone else to consult. She asked me if I could try to dig up old contacts who I've lost touch with on LinkedIn (honestly, I do not feel this is appropriate) and I politely indicated that I am not comfortable doing this. She also asked for me to send her past performance reviews (I have no idea if I even have any saved!) I diplomatically pushed back letting her know that I may not be able to accommodate these requests but will see what I can do. I also received the impression from her that she had not spoken with the hiring manager as she seemed a little taken aback that I had called the hiring manager. I told her that I'm willing to help move this process along and that I'm excited to be part of the team. I also asked the HR Rep to clarify what specific information they are questioning and she noted that at this moment she doesn't feel it is appropriate to disclose this information.
Ok. This is like, my dream job. I don't know what to do in this situation. Help? I cannot give a reference from my current job due to a toxic situation and my previous position which I held very briefly (7 months) prior to the job that I'm currently leaving, I left due to political drama that I don't feel like re-opening. All references are from that job backwards. They only want additional manageral references and I really don't have any others! Advice? Am I totally screwed and should just assume I don't get the job after all??