Is it okay to give the name of a hiring manager as a reference, too?
January 9, 2009 9:48 AM   Subscribe

Someone who is one of my best professional references wants to hire me! But now how do I offer good references to his large, corporate HR department?

Mr. Men Tor was a supervisor and professional mentor to me a few places of employment ago. I have, since those days, used him as one of my best professional references. We had a terrific working relationship and remain in touch today, well over a decade later.

Recently he mentioned that there's a position under him that he would like me to fill. While I'm not entirely sure the position would work for me due to it requiring a vicious multi-hour commute, he has encouraged me to go through the process in any case and I'm game.

But I've reached a minor sticking point in how to proceed. Mr. Tor's company's HR department is sure to ask me for my professional references, however I have no idea if it's kosher to put his name down. Is giving the name of the hiring manager something that will look dodgy to your typical HR person? Or would I be viewed more favorably in that case? I have other professional references I can use but Mr. Tor is definitely the strongest of them and if it makes sense to offer his name I certainly would prefer to.

I know the obvious answer would be to ask him, but he has left the decision up to me as he doesn't know what his HR people would think, either.

For context: While we're both located on the west coast of the U.S., this company is a large national corporation with more of a midwestern/east coast culture. Both of us are web people, but the overall company is in the retail industry. The position is one of system engineering and administration, where generally I've found good references to be critical to landing the best work. I never faced this issue as a hiring manager in the past, but also wasn't subject to a tremendous quantity of HR involvement in my hiring process, so can't draw on my prior experience in the corporate world.
posted by anonymous to Work & Money (5 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
It's absolutely appropriate to use him as a reference. In fact, if you know anyone else at the company that might make a good reference, include them as well. From an HR perspective, in-company personnel are better for references because they aren't bound by any annoying non-disclosure agreements that prevent giving details.
posted by saeculorum at 9:55 AM on January 9, 2009

In addition, they know the reputation of the individual in-house, whereas external references aren't necessarily as reliable. By all means, put him down as a reference.
posted by jasondbarr at 9:59 AM on January 9, 2009

I have used this type of reference before. An in-house reference is better, period. And I agree with saeculorum, the more in-house references you use, the better.
posted by raisingsand at 10:38 AM on January 9, 2009

In house references are very kosher.
posted by tkolar at 10:57 AM on January 9, 2009

One of my references is now my boss and I used him has a reference in my resume.

After being hired, he noted that the application process was sped up considerably, probably owing to his name on the reference line.

So no worries.
posted by robocop is bleeding at 12:01 PM on January 9, 2009

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