interviewer wants reference from current employer

Share on Facebook0Tweet about this on Twitter4Share on LinkedIn1Share on Google+2Share on TumblrDigg thisShare on StumbleUpon0Print this page

A reader writes:

I am in the midst of applying for a new job. I have interviewed three times with a prospective employer and have been told that I am one of the final candidates for the position.

The HR rep contacted me and asked if they can contact my current manager/supervisor for a reference. I explained that I would prefer they not contact my manager, since it may jeopardize my standing with my current employer. They keep insisting that they speak with my current manager, but I am afraid that if they do, my current employer may let me go in layoffs or attempt to force me out of the job somehow (i.e., re-assign, transfer, etc).

Am I obligated to provide the reference to the prospective employer? I feel that their insistence is unprofessional and inappropriate. What if they contact my employer and end up not offering me the job? Or what if I don’t accept the job offer? What is the best way to handle this without losing either job?

You certainly aren’t obligated to provide your current employer as a reference. However, if the company you’re interviewing with is insisting on it, be aware that refusing may take you out of consideration as a result.

However, this is pretty unusual. Most companies understand why candidates don’t want their current employer contacted, and it’s odd that this one is insisting. Usually, the current employer is either skipped or is contacted only after they’ve decided to make an offer — which they make contingent on a good reference from your current employer.

In the rare instance where a company absolutely insists on contacting your current boss before making an offer, these are your options:

1. Take the risk and allow it. Warn your boss ahead of time. Some people in this situation tell their boss they’re applying for a part-time or volunteer position, although I think that’s risky.

2. If you’ve had a previous boss at your current job who has now moved on, ask the company if they’d contact her instead.

3. Hold firm with this company. Tell them you are not able to jeopardize your current employment without a firm offer in hand from them, but that you’d be happy to supply many other references and to allow them to contact your current company once you have an offer (which can be contingent on that reference check, assuming you know the reference will be fine). You might even throw in a mention that it’s highly unusual for a company to insist on contacting a candidate’s current employer at this stage; maybe you’re dealing with someone clueless. You can also throw in, “In this economy, it’s not a risk I can take.” If they don’t understand that, consider that a pretty substantial red flag about this new company.

Personally, I’d do #3. What do others think?

{ 58 comments… read them below }

  1. Charles

    I agree – definitely Number 3.

    Quite frankly, if this company doesn’t understand this (or in the very least has hired someone in HR who doesn’t understand) then they are not a company I would want to work for.

    To insist on checking with your current employer raises a red flag. This is after you explained why you would prefer them not to do so? Just how badly do you want this job?

    Afterall, if they cannot be trusted or be professional enough to help safeguard your current employment status how well will they treat you once you on onboard?

  2. jaded hr rep

    In 13 years in HR (and many of that as recruiter), I have never seen a company insist on talking to a current manager. Ridiculous! I agree this is a red flag for me as to what the culture and overall experience of the managers are like at this new company.

    I’d stick to #3, and ask the recruiter what information is needed that a previous manager may not be able to offer (in a professional, calm way of course). If they think a candidate is that mercurial, is any positive reference going to help?

  3. Just another HR lady...

    For me, it would depend on the situation.

    Say you had been with your current employer for 1 year, and the previous for 10 years, and always in a similar job. No, I wouldn’t care about talking to your current employer.

    However, if your current position is the only job you have had that’s the most relevant to the job I’m recruiting for, yes, I will want to speak to your current employer. Often, people leave jobs for promotions, so for example if you were not a manager in previous jobs and I am hiring for a manager, I need to talk to someone who is aware of your capability as a manager.

    If I hit one of these situations where my candidate is worried about me contacting their current employer (it’s rare), I will make a job offer “contingent on receiving a reference from current employer”. That way, my candidate has the job offer in hand, and it alleviates the worry about telling the current employer you are job hunting.

  4. Sue

    Absolutely Number 3. If fact, if I were personally in your situation, I would tell the perspective employer that I was no longer interested in their position. I would not want to work for a company that was so self-serving as to make me risk losing my current position so they could check a reference. That company is not worth working for.

  5. Karl Wolfbrooks Ager

    I like #3. That this interviewer may be “clueless” is a sad possibility. If you want to, tell them I’m your current boss and to call me!

  6. Lynn

    I would also go with #3. That said – I must admit to some puzzlement at all the secrecy that seems to surround changing jobs.

    At every job I’ve left, my boss (and my staff – when I had staff) knew when I started looking for other work. Often my current supervisor was a reference. I’ve even done phone interviews at work with my supervisor’s permission.

    This ensured that everyone had lots of notice and I had time to train replacements. I must be lucky to have never had insane bosses…

  7. Anonymous

    I agree with number 3, we have recently had an issue where if we had called the current employer we would have found information that would have changed our hiring decision.

    However, we only request the current employer’s reference after an offer has been extended.

    For audit reasons we now have to do this to be covered.

  8. Anonymous

    If a prospective employer was that insistent on contacting my current manager before thay made an offer, it would raise concerns about whether that company would be a good fit for me. I would offer #3 and if that is not good enough, walk away and count yourself lucky.

  9. Anonymous

    I agree with the third option. I have seen this situation come up before- but as a courtesy not a reference. The company may have an obligation to speak to someone at the interviewing company. For example, a member of the interviewing company’s BOD is an exec at the current company. In this scenerio, a courtesy conversation is often expected at a higher level so they won’t appear as though they are poaching from the BOD member’s company. The only other example I could think of is if the candidate has only worked for one company, or has been with the same company for a long period of time.

  10. Lewis, AKA SeattleInterviewCoach.com

    I’d definitely stick to #3. Sure, you’re looking for a job, but why jeopardize your relationship with your current employer?

  11. Anonymous

    Wow- Thanks everyone for your comments!! Looks like a resounding #3, which I conveyed to the HR mgr. They said they would get back to me. Karl, I may need your # soon… ;) I’m definitely having some second thoughts about this employer. Thanks again, Everyone! I’ll keep you posted on how this turns out.

  12. Anonymous

    Err on the side of #3.

    If the prospective employer continues to insist on contacting your current employer, then that prospective employer is not for you. Anyone who doesn’t show respect for such confidentiality isn’t worth working for.

    In most cases, it’s unwise to let your current employer know that you are job-hunting. Even if you relate well with your current boss, there’s no guarantee that he or she would be a positive reference; you never know what he or she might say about you behind your back.

    In the occasions where I was job-hunting while still employed, the only time I had a current employer know about it was when the company I was working for at the time was in the middle of a transition. The staff (including myself) was two months away from leaving the company because the company was relocating to another town. A decision was made to let the whole staff go and reopen the company with a new staff. With two months left at the company, this gave me time to get another job lined up. (And I succeeded in securing another job before the two-month period was up.)

    Since my boss was among those being let go, she gladly gave me permission to use her as a reference. I don’t know if any of my prospective employers ever contacted her for a reference, but if any of them did, I would hope that she gave a positive reference. :)

    What I went through is an example of one of the few situations in which it would be okay to let a current employer to know that you are seeking another job. But again, in most cases, it is wise to keep it confidential.

  13. Eric Sohn

    Of the choices listed, #3 is the best. However, you left out an important option: just walking away. A firm that would require a current employer reference is…well, fishy. Unless it’s your absolute dream job, an option on the table has to be “Thanks, but no thanks”

  14. Sadistic Manager

    Eric beat me to it. It would have to be a really great opportunity to keep me interested after they started insisting.

    If they’re nagging for a current-employer reference this much, they must be interested. Would be telling to see what they had to say if you said “I’m sorry, but please don’t consider me a candidate anymore. I’m not sure I can work for a company that wants me to put myself in jeopardy for a chance to come on board.”

    Unless the whole thing is an elaborate test to see what kind of risks you’ll take. Even then, it’s still a bad idea.

  15. Rick Saia

    Well, definitely NOT #1, that’s for sure. Option #3 is the best but, echoing the comments of others, if the company insists on talking with a current manager, it’s time to walk away and pursue the next opportunity.

    On #2: If it’s someone you can trust to keep your search confidential, that can work. It worked for me on one or two occasions.

  16. Andy Lester

    Any company that doesn’t go along with #3 is a company that says “It’s all about us. Screw you, pal.”

  17. Gemma

    Whilst I agree with other’s comments, from the new company’s point of you, they may be using the references to weigh up a difficult decision between two excellent candidates. Not saying I agree with it or recommend it, but this happened to me in one of my applications to be a HR Manager…

  18. Anonymous

    It has been my experience, especially working for the government, that there are very bad, controlling managers out there and they will lie to other managers about performances of employees because they personally don't like the employee trying to get out of their present job. Just because they have the title of "manager" doesn't make them ethical, trustworthy or honest.

  19. GreatWorker

    Amazing! I guess this is more widespread than I ever knew! NEVER, in all my 37 career-years, have I EVER heard of a potential employer “breaching” a candidate’s request for ABSOLUTE confidentiality in a job search when dealing with a candidate’s current employer for seeking a reference. I know! It happened to me! I thought I did all the right things: 1) I selected the “NO” radio button option when answering the question “CAN we contact your current boss? If NOT, why?” on XYZ Firm’s online job application (To which I answered, “YES, but only AFTER I would receive – and accept – a job offer from you.”); 2) I emphatically flat out stated in a 3-member panel interview (when asked by same person who DID go ahead and call my current boss without my permission!) that, “NO, please do NOT contact my current supervisor: doing so before I would accept an offer of employment with you WILL seriously jeopardize my employment.”
    Even with a week to go of XYZ’s given “we’ll let you know by mid-March”, at this writing, I have NOT received ANY offer or call re. a hiring offer!!

    Imagine my SHOCK and HORROR in that prospective employer called my current boss (I’m a long-term temp, hired direct by the firm, and NOT by a temp agency) and my boss asked me, “X, I got a call from “Mary Poppins” asking for a reference for you, apparently you interviewed with the XYZ firm??” I’m STILL in shock; only wish I could have had the ground swollow me WHOLE!!! (Of course, I had to lie to “save” my chicken-feed low wages, and then take a 40% pay cut, 5 days down to 3 days of work/week). Can’t quit, ’cause it’ll not allow me to get UI benefits! :(
    Boy, am I ever ****ed off!!!! Only thing remains: I can job-hunt f/t 2 days a week while still being able to claim, “Yes, I AM currently working!” which’ll look better vs. me being totally out of work!!

    UNBELIEVABLE!!!!

    1. Anonymous

      I wish you could sue for such a thing. It is reckless endangerment. That is horrible and harmful behavior on the prospective employer’s part.

      All employer websites ask “can we contact this employer?” If you say no, you’ve got to explain why not. The fact that you’re currently working there ought to be explanation enough.

  20. Anonymous

    Any prospective employer who insists on talking with your current direct manager and current direct coworkers for job reference purposes is being unrealistic, unreasonable, and a bully. Clearly state to NOT contact your current employer. Professionally/courteously end the interview. Walk away. Avoid further contact.

    This happened to me recently when interviewing at a healthcare facility in TX. This hiring manager is more than negligent to do such a thing that would clearly jeopardize my current employment.

  21. Anonymous

    Bullies will give you a negative or less than glowing reference (the result is the same) because they are jealous, mean, and without a conscience.

  22. Anonymous

    You’ve got to look out for yourself.

    Politely and firmly tell the interviewer that this search is strictly confidential and that your current employer is NOT to be contacted.
    If that causes a problem from their perspective or your intuition kicks in telling you that this interviewer or company is bad news, then it’s time to walk away. Say that you respectfully withdraw from being considered for the position. Be clear, firm, and polite, of course. Stay away from anyone who would easily jeopardize your current job.

  23. Flustered in Fairfax

    I applied for a position recently and my current supervisor received a call from the perspective employer and I HAVE NOT EVEN BEEN GRANTED AN INTERVIEW AS YET. It’s a local school system and I work for a state agency. I find this practice quite unreasonable and I never received a call warning me or anything. Is there something I can do here, I feel violated and at the same time exposed as no longer being a loyal employee. I am not afraid of anything my current supervisor might have to say however the timing of such a call defies logic. I was speechless and now have to confront the reality of being short listed and replaced or “dissolved” as “they” like to call it. Thoughts?? Thanks.

  24. Mike

    This can happen if the new employer requires an extensive background security check BEFORE they can give you an official offer … which is pretty common for law-enforcement an some gov jobs. In my case I went with a vaiation of #3, informing my supervisor that I submitted my info for a job that requires a security clearance and that someone would be contacting him, not necessarily to talk about my “fit” for a particular job, but to ask about his impressions of me as an individual and as a security risk. I also told my sup that I was letting him know because I didn’t want him to be caugh off guard … or worse, wonder if I was the subject of a criminal investigation. I went on to reassure him that this was all the result of the application process for the type of position I applied for but that no official job offer has been made (all true), however I’d of course let him know immediately if this or ANY other agency presented me with an official job offer. As for WHY I applied, I was prepared to discuss but it didn’t come-up. Anyhow, this approach seemed to work well for me … at least I felt good about it and there didn’t seem to be any backlash. Then again, there’s always the possibility that my current sup would have been glad to see me go ;) .

  25. lance

    I was just in the same situation. I actually allowed the new company to call my current boss, but only because of my special circumstance:

    1.) The new job was double the salary, so the risk was worth it…not saying the new job has to have double salary, but it should be significantly more for the risk/change to be worth it anyway.

    2.) The ONLY reference I had for this the position I was applying for was my current supervisors. My other references knew me when I was in a completely different field, so my only reference that could vouch for me in the field that I was applying for was my current boss. So if your ONLY reference in that particular field is your boss, then it might be OK.

    3.) Only allow it if the new employer gives you a written conditional offer based on the reference. No point in going through the stress if it’s all for nothing, and the new place doens’t hire you even with a good reference from your boss.

    In the end, things worked out well…my current boss gave me a good recomendation because from a personal and professional level, we were had a very g0ood relationship.

    It was very tough asking my current boss for a reference. I simply came out and said it, didn’t beat around the bush too much, and said “listen, I’m applying for another job and they really want to talk to you as a reference…it’s really hard for me to ask because of the awkwardness of the situation, but I know you’re a good guy and we have a great personal and profressional relationship and I’d be so appreciative of your help. ” Also progess the conversation assuring him/her that this is nothing personal and that you are extremly grateful for everything they’ve done for you and you hope you can continue to keep in contact. I continuously repeated how much I loved my job there and the only reason I’m moving on was because the money was just so much more and I need to do the right thing for my family and kids, making sure I provide for them and save for college, etc.

    It was hard to get this reference, especially when your boss relies on you so much. But just be brave, honest, respectful, and grateful throughout the conversation and you will be fine. Think of the situation reversed…if you had someone who worked for you, was a good worker, and a good friend, wouldn’t you graciously want to help that person?

    We’re told that we don’t want to burn bridges with our former employer, but former employers also don’t want to burn bridges with former employees, because so often good employees do end up coming back if it doesn’t work out with their new employer.

    1. Ask a Manager Post author

      #3 is hugely important — only allow your current employer to be called as a reference if you have a conditional offer in hand (conditional upon that reference). Do NOT allow it until you’re their final candidate and they’ve agreed to offer you the job contingent on that reference.

  26. Anonymous

    We require the current supervisor as a reference as well as the previous 2 supervisors if any. We only check the current supervisor on the final candidate or to break a tie between two candidates though. If candidates won’t give their current supervisor, they are dropped from consideration.

    1. Ask a Manager Post author

      Wow. I don’t know if you’re in a position to do something about this, but if you are, I hope you will. You’re going to potentially cause someone to lose their job or their standing at work if you call their current supervisor and then don’t hire them.

    2. lance

      find some other way to break the tie…don’t do so by ruining one person’s life. also, if i were an employer, i would think very highly of a candidate who wanted the contingent offer in writing, prior to speaking with the current supervisor. that shows fortitude and intelligence.

  27. Anon Finalist!

    I am a finalist right now for a job that is a tailor-made fit for me. Only now am I am being told that unless I provide my current supervisor as a reference then they will be unable to consider me when they review their finalists. I really appreciate seeing the support for choice#3 above because I’m thinking the same way these responses have gone… that if it’s the employers policy to demand compliance despite the hardship they are causing to their applicants, just imagine how they treat their employees.

  28. merc

    This just happened to me today, so I appreciate everyone’s comments and AAM’s advice.

    This employer told me that I wouldn’t be hired for the job unless they had a reference from my current manager. The hiring manager looked like I was out of my mind for saying that I don’t want to risk jeopardizing my current employment. She looked appalled even! It was SO weird. There were other red flags (she said she’s “direct”, actually I’d say she’s rude and awful) so I just emailed them a “thanks but no thanks” email.

    I don’t have anything to hide, I just don’t want to risk losing my job! How hard is that to comprehend? Oh well, bullet dodged I say!

  29. VS

    I have a similar experience to share and advice to seek. I have been working in the same company for the last 6-7 years. I am now interviewing with another company that is slightly smaller but still a major corporation like my current employer. The interview process has lasted an appalling 4 months (from April through August). I have had 5 rounds of interviews and the last one was conducted in June. Since then, I have been told that I am definitely receiving the offer (except I am yet to actually receive it!). While this delay alone is ridiculous, what was more bizarre was that the HR guy tried to get my current manager’s info. I mentioned firmly that I can give a name but I do not want my manager contacted for any checks or references. I have since forwarded to them the info for 2 other individuals who have been my managers in the past (in the same company but in a different position). Now, the hiring firm tells me that they are nearly ready to send me the offer (they’ve completed a background check and called at least 5 references!). However, if I should accept the offer and they transfer my work visa across (I am not a US citizen), their VP wants the hiring manager to have a chat with my current manager. They insist that it should not make a difference after I get on board. My understanding is that a company owes nothing to a potential new hire until after that person has reported to work and been employed for atleast 1 business day. Until such time, this company can very well deny me the job on the day of joining (even after I sign the offer). Is this true? I am not sure how to respond to this company. Based on Option#3 above, a lot of you have recommended that the candidate allow the hiring company to contact the current manager contingent on an offer. Well, I am going to receive an offer from these guys but I still don’t like the idea of them calling my current manager, especially AFTER they have talked to atleast 5 other references. Please help!

    1. Ask a Manager Post author

      Yes, that’s correct. You can certainly say that you’re not willing to jeopardize your current employment by letting your boss know that you’re looking, but at that point it’s up to them whether they’re going to insist on it or not. (At which point you’d need to either agree or walk away.)

      1. VS

        Thank you. I already told them I am not comfortable with them contacting my current manager since things could go in any direction past that point. I don’t know why they are still insisting on speaking with him even AFTER I decide to accept their offer. If, for whatever reason, they change their mind after speaking to my current manager, can this company retract their offer even after I have signed it? Do I have any rights for legal action at that point?

        1. Ask a Manager Post author

          Nope, not unless you have a signed contract with them, which would be pretty unusual.

          That said, it’s not uncommon for offers to be made contingent on a good reference from the current employer.

    2. RJ

      Hi,

      Thanks for posting. I am in the same situation. After having 3 telephonic interviews, one personal interview and reference check with my previous employer they are insisting to do a reference check with my current supervisor. practically the job offer is not in hand until I work for atleast one business day. I will stick to option number 3. It was disappointing that after so many interviews and reference check with previous employer they are unable to decide if a candidate is right or not.

      1. VS

        Hi RJ

        Good luck to you. Frankly, I am very annoyed with this company I have been interviewing with. The process has lasted over 4 months and I’ve had over 5 rounds of interviews with them. They went back and forth over what they could offer and now, for the past 4 weeks, they’ve been promising that the offer can come through ‘any day now’. This is ridiculous. Of course, they want to speak to my manager after I resign from my current job and they also want me to respond to their offer within 2 business days, whenever they do end up extending one to me. I am tempted to walk away at this time. It’s not like the money they are offering is significantly more than what I am already making (considering that the new location is much more expensive than my current one).

  30. CGraceC

    I am currently in the exact same situation. I am frustrated with my current job as promises have been broken, and I have an interview tomorrow. However my current employer is starting some new projects and I will be leaving him at a bad time of the year.

    I’m very happy I found this article and feel much more confident going into my interview knowing it is not necessary to give my current employer as a reference. I have a few other references that will go along way as well.

  31. VS

    Update on my situation. I still have not received the job offer from the new company but I had another discussion with the HR guy (lasted an hour!) where he insisted on contacting my current manager for a reference. He also made it sound like this is common practice and every company in the industry does this. They are assuring me that this will happen only after I resign from my old job and accept the new one in writing. However, that does not make me feel confident since they can easily back out on their offer after they speak to my current manager. Also, I offered 2 other references (former managers) in place of my current manager but the HR guy was not interested in speaking to them stating that their interactions with me were at least 4 years old and that wouldn’t really ‘count’ since ‘I have grown during this time’. Someone should write a book about HR cliches….

  32. R

    Hi, Same happened to me. I have a very strong resume, and applied for a great job. they interviewed me two times, and were very eager to have me in their team, and they keep asking to contact my current supervisor, and I kept saying NO. At the end, I told them I amnot interested in your job anymore, because you do not respect my privacy: and when after having two face to face one hour long interviews, having my resume and list of all my publications in hand, and having list of other references that you could contact, you could not decide about your candidate and still keep insisting on the current employer -who i don’t find qualified at all being a supervisor (didn’t say this part though)- it means that you have no respect for your employee. So NO thanks I don’t want your position :)

  33. Neon

    I am now in the same situation. I have worked at a small business for almost 10 years. I work extremely hard, and often shoulder several workloads. I discovered I am being drastically underpaid for my role, and had hours reduced during the GFC which have never been restored despite the company being prosperous once again.

    My boss is ex-military, and sadly to say often a bully. Thats an understatement. I won’t go into further details, but no other employee has lasted more than two years there. He once stated at a staff meeting that if any employee applied for another job, and he was contacted for a reference, he would view this as betrayal and ensure they got an earful of exactly what he thought of you.

    I decided to finally take the plunge and apply for another job. I did well on the application and got a panel interview. I think I did alright, but was completely thrown when I was told I would need to provide contact details of my current supervisor or employer to contact them, as a last step before making an offer.

    I know absolutely my current employer will sabotage me if this happens, and it truly is not due to any flaws as an employee on my part, I bend over backwards to try to keep my current employer happy.

    Part of the reason I am looking to change workplaces is to escape the awful control my current employer has over my family and I. Its somewhat unfair to find this control will be given to him again at the point where I might escape.

  34. Irishlad

    im in a situtation now that i went for a job had a phone interview and then face to face interview then they got back to me fewdays later asking for my referneces and i emailed them my cv again with 2 references and they email back that any chance of the current employer?? never heard of this before like, im curently in a job and dont want to risk me losing hours and looking bad to the compnay if they dont offer me the job after i explain this to them she said thanks again ill go with your references you have for now, but them emailed early on the day and taught they would have rang the referneces that day but they never did would this mean they just lost interest after not getting present employer or just waiting till monday to ring them this was a friday emailed for them? its a job i really want but cant risk my own job any advice?

    1. Ask a Manager Post author

      I can’t quite understand what you’re asking here because the lack of punctuation/capitalization makes it hard to read. If you’d like to revise and repost, I’d be glad to try to answer.

  35. Still Baffled

    Thank you for posting a response to this situation. I only wished that I had read this and chose #3. An interviewer not only asked me this question by phone but she emailed me about it today. I had offered my previous supervisor’s contact information and explained that I worked with him for a longer period and still work with his team occasionally while I have only met my current supervisor six times over six months due to the nature of our work.

    I made arrangements for the final interview with their boss before I read and responded to that email. Now I am starting to wonder who being less professional, the company or me especially since the possibility, however small, exists that my past and current supervisors could talk about my job search.

    What are the odds that I cancel that interview and no one gets hurt, or is it too late and I proceed with the interview and await the results?

  36. Ivan Dix

    I am currently in a situation where I have a conditional offer but subject to three items, I have cleared 2 of which were medical and Legality to work, I have provided references covering the last 8 years but they are insisting on contacting My current employer ? the last condition was to provide references from the last 3 years of which I supplied 3. I am a Construction Site Manager using 3 different separate references is this correct or should I just walk away ?

  37. Lesley W

    This is the situation I am currently in. I am a top candidate for a 10 month school district position. Because the new job isn’t starting until September, I was hoping to give notice at my current job in August so I can continue to bring in an income until then. I’m concerned if my boss is called, this would be jeopardized. Because I haven’t received a formal offer yet and I’ve only been given a vague ballpark salary range, I’m concerned about taking the leap and allowing him to call my current boss :-(

  38. HK

    I am going to be in this situation, but mine is a little bit more twisted.
    I worked for this company for 12 months as an engineering intern. I went back to school for 2 semesters (8 months) and I got hired back for 4 months for the summer because they liked me. I am about to go back to school in Sept for 1 more semester. While I would like to pursue my career in other companies, where the potentials are higher, I do want to keep this company as one of the options for employment. This company being my only engineering reference, I am a little hesitant to start applying for other companies in the fears that the current company will find out about my job search. It is likely I will be offered another position here, but I want to know what my options are…. How do I go about doing this without burning bridges down?

  39. Bernard

    I am in the exactly same situation. The new employer confirmed verbally that they will employ me and asked for references, of which I gave them a few from past employers. But then they asked me for a reference from my present employer. To my fortune, I gave a longer notice period to the interviewer than I really have, with the intention to have more time to talk to my present employer – but at least I will not and finally I will keep my present job at least as I will find another honest employer.

    I recommend always, never talk to your present empoyer about leaving until the new working contract has arrived, signed by the new employer – I was intended to do that, just the extra spare time where I made room for saved me. Otherwise this have might ended up in my present employer wanted to keep me, so he might have told anything to the new employer … and finally I will refrain from taking up this new job.

    Any employer sould ask himself – if he contacts the present employer in the final stage of an application, if thepresent employer want to keep the employee they will show him bad, and if they don’t want to keep him they will show him good. A clever employer will know that such doing doesn`t make sense…

  40. Bernard

    What I could imagine that might makes sense in such a case, however I won’t do it because I will refrain from my new job offer,

    strict under these conditions
    - the new contract has arrived and is signed by both the employeee and the new employer
    - and the leaving conversation with the present employer is done and the employee still might work until the date of his leave

    then to make a conference call to the new employer with both the present employer and the employee.

  41. Bernard

    by the way I wasn`t born but raised in Eastern Germany and I would like to ask whether today`s employers made their hiring training with the States Security organizations of past times’ Eastern Europe…

  42. Matt

    While reading through the comments, I had a bit of an “ah-ha” moment: why not give them a copy of a performance evaluation from your current employer? If you’re a hard-working employee, the proof should be there in black and white.

  43. Jared

    I don’t think the new employer should be able to contact your current employer for a reference even after extending you an offer. They could always rescind that offer after talking to the current employer. Your current supervisor or HR person could be upset to lose a good employee, afraid to go short staffed, having a bad day. The new offer doesn’t really mean anything until you are hired. The conditional offer is just a crafty HR ploy to get to your current employer. Prior employment history with permission to contact, professional references, high quality interviews, drug and alcohol screening, criminal background checks, education confirmation, and credit checks should be more than enough. Actually it is way more than enough.

Comments are closed.