How common is it for companies not to give references? And would it preven Someone being hired?

(14 Posts)
RockingMyFiftiesNot Mon 11-Nov-19 22:58:27

A friend of mine works for a very large, well known company. They have a policy not to provide references other than proof of employment. Managers and colleagues may provide personal references but cannot mention anything related for their job (skills/experience/strengths etc.
I wouldn't have believed it if I hadn't been shown the info. Friend is looking for a career change but is understandably nervous about the lack of reference, and prospective employers just thinking she doesn't have a good one.
She's not on MN so I said I'd ask on her behalf if this is common practice. And also if you are a recruiter or hire people, would this stop you hiring someone? This friend is very experienced, excels at appraisals and has won awards. None of which can be mentioned in any references, which seems unfair
Thank you

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isabellerossignol Mon 11-Nov-19 23:02:35

I used to work at a large company who had this policy, many years ago when it was very unusual. I think it is more common now so not such a problem but years ago it definitely prevented people from gaining other employment. Ironically the company in question refused to employ people who couldn't provide 'proper' references. Which led to interesting situations where temporary staff applied for permanent jobs and were unable to provide a reference from their most recent employer so had their offer of employment withdrawn.

prh47bridge Mon 11-Nov-19 23:43:11

Many companies only give a basic reference confirming dates of employment and possibly job title. It reduces the risk of someone trying to sue them on the basis that they have provided an inaccurate reference.

trilbydoll Mon 11-Nov-19 23:51:27

Really common, I don't know anyone who works at a company that gives any more than basic dates of employment. If we received anything extra we would think the company they came from had a very amateur HR dept.

suz22stourpaine Mon 11-Nov-19 23:58:03

Pretty normal nowadays. I work for a Top 100 company and they don't provide a reference over just confirming work dates and job title and I am just going to work for another Top 100 company where it states it in the employment contract!shock

Isleepinahedgefund Tue 12-Nov-19 06:07:31

We aren't allowed to give personal references, everything has to go through HR and they will only give a very basic, factual reference ie dates employed and any relevant comment on bad conduct (eg if dismissed for gross misconduct). If prospective employers send a lengthy form asking for lots of info they still get the standard reference back.

DontLettuceBrexitLettuceRomain Tue 12-Nov-19 07:34:18

Really normal. It's not a 'lack of reference' it's just a basic reference, very standard in a lot of industries

BlueGingerale Tue 12-Nov-19 07:41:14

Absolutely standard now. Because if they say anything she disagrees with she could sue them.

CookieDoughKid Tue 12-Nov-19 07:43:03

Agree, it's now the standard for corporates I work in London

8by8 Tue 12-Nov-19 08:08:04

It’s very common now.

The best you can really hope for is that a friendly manager will have an off the record telephone call with the recruiter and say good things.

All references I’ve seen just confirm dates of employment and job title.

KatherineJaneway Tue 12-Nov-19 13:06:27

It's normal now. Stops a lot of issues arising if you just confirm dates worked and last job title.

KatherineJaneway Tue 12-Nov-19 13:07:22

A good Linked In profile will help your friend. Last time I went job hunting I asked colleagues and manager to write me recommendations to hep my prospects.

SmallAndFarAway Tue 12-Nov-19 13:10:27

My company and others I've worked at do this (and, as previous posters said, infuriatingly require proper references themselves...). What actually happens is that managers provide references over the phone, as this is a basic part of being a decent manager. I'm in Ireland though, where we take a more relaxed approach to rules...

RockingMyFiftiesNot Tue 12-Nov-19 20:12:37

My friend is very grateful and says thank you very much, she is feeling much better about it all now.
She couldn't believe how many responses I got so quickly - I think MN might gain a new recruit!
Thank you from me too

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