Could a reference checking agency help me out?
July 8, 2006 8:36 AM   Subscribe

Has anyone out there successfully used a reference checking agency to check out a potentially bad reference? If the reference was, in fact, bad, were you able to solve the problem?

My last permanent job didn't work out as well as I'd hoped. I'm not going to provide a blow-by-blow account but let's just say that it was not what you'd call a match made in heaven. When the job ended they said that they would provide me with a neutral, but friendly reference: names, dates and broad platitudes about what a nice guy I am. So I'm back in the job market and I want to make sure my previous employers aren't bad-mouthing me. I'd like to use a reference checking agency, such as to make sure that they're just providing names and dates. Given the amount of money involved, I thought it might be worth asking about other people's experiences first. Has anyone here had any success with a reference checking agency in the past? And on the other side of the phone, have you ever received a call from a reference checking agency? Was their agenda completely obvious? (I just don't want to waste my money.)
posted by jason's_planet to Work & Money (3 answers total)
I just had a friend who wasn't a reference, check my references.
posted by IndigoRain at 8:55 AM on July 8, 2006

I don't know much about these agencies, so excuse me if this is ignorant, but wouldn't it be cheaper and just as effective to have a friend call for your references instead?
posted by LittleMissCranky at 9:32 AM on July 8, 2006

Best answer: If you have a friend call, you may not get the information you need. Some employers think references checking is a chore and do it merely to limit their liability; others use it to mine information. Even though they can only ask certain questions, it doesn't mean they won't try to press their luck or try to go further.

This site encourages more through fact checking.
posted by Monday at 6:17 PM on July 8, 2006

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