Saturday, July 31, 2010

Credit checks for potential employees?

Why?

It used to be the best source [of information about potential hires] was to check job references. Nowadays, though, very few employers will give a honest job reference, or will provide any information at all. I know I am guilty of that — my company does not allow any manager to give out performance data on past employees. I only needed to be sued once over somehow interfering with someone’s living by giving honest information about that employee’s reliability to change my behavior.

I once called another library to ask about a potential hire. The director said, "We have a legal agreement not to say anything about Mr ___'s job here." No more needed to be said.

On the other hand, I have gotten glowing references from previous employers for employees who turned out to be awful. More than once. Thank God that you can fire an employee for any reason before he or she becomes a permanent civil servant.

2 comments:

Tat said...

You don't account for a possibility that the employer might lie? That implies that you hold employers in higher regard than employees; while in fact they are as susceptible to human folly as anybody else; they are not better.

A company I started working for 10 years ago was headed by 2-head hydra: two partners that couldn't be more different. In particular, in their attitude towards people who worked for them. One was strictly business-like, very professional and pleasant to work with. Another - found pleasure in torturing people dependent on his signature on their checks, people who couldn't argue back. In particular he used to pick on one Japanese guy, approx. his own age (60ish) - his eating habits, his posture, his GF (whom the Japanese, a not very good English speaker, often called his wife). The Boss #2 even used invectives when addressing him, often in front of clients! Knowing that loss of a face is considered shameful in Japanese culture; knowingly I should say, since he (the boss) is an educated man, has been to Cornell and then to Harvard.
Naturally, one day the Japanese quit. Boss #2 announced he's going to conduct "exit interview" (a thing he didn't do to anybody else), and during it squeezed from S. what company he's going to. Next day he told the receptionist to connect him to the partner of that company, and did such a thorough bad-mouthing job on poor S, that he was fired on the second day of his new employment!

I know it from the receptionist (who had been with the Co for 25 yrs and knows them better then her own children) - and she added: "let it be a lesson to you".
It was. When in 4 years after that I quit, I didn't disclose my future place of work to Boss #2, no matter how sweetly he asked me...

Just to be on a safe side.

miriam said...

I totally agree with you--employers can be as bad, or worse, than employees. Worse, because they have more power.

I've worked for more than my share of psychos in my now mercifully terminated working life.