written references

  1. I went for a job interview last week. I had to sign these old reference letters that ask the employee how they rank you on different skills, work habits, etc. Is this legal?

    I always thought that they could only call and ask for dates and nothing more. Now that I think of it, isn't using the "would you rehire?" be just the same as a bad reference?
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  2. 12 Comments

  3. by   augigi
    Not sure what you mean. Where are the old reference letters from? Do you mean asking the employer? If you list referees on a resume, I assume that is you giving permission for them to call and ask about you. There is no point them calling and verifying you worked there, that doesn't help with a hiring decision.

    This may be different in the States, but when I'm hiring, I call the referees and ask how the employee was.
  4. by   TazziRN
    You mean the employer is asked to rank the employee? They can do it if you have given them permission to do so, which you did by signing the letters. And the "would you rehire" question is a way around things. The previous employer is saying nothing about you, literally.
  5. by   RedZeppelinRN
    Tazzi: I did not understand what you said about the question "would you rehire." Why is it a way around things. The Previous employer is saying nothing about you. If the employer is saying nothing about you, is this good or bad?

    Thanks
  6. by   Marylou1102
    I usually call for references but occasionally a facility will not respond to a phone call. They want proof you are who you say you are. I have never had a facility give me anything more than dates of employment. There is to
    much of a chance of legal action if they give a negative review. As to the question of will they rehire you, only a few facilities ever answered that. There was a time when it was still legal to ask those questions. Unfortunately some facilities have never updated their letters. Maybe they hope some one will be dumb enough to answer the questions.
  7. by   RedZeppelinRN
    hI Mary Lou: Thanks for your post. It makes a lot of sense. Seems like if they only names and dates, they would probably be wary of actually signing something negative.

    I was always curious about the way they give names and dates, do not say a lot of garbage about a nurse, but would't have to by just say "would not be eligible for hire, would seem like a thing that might be a strong negative. Anyway, thanks for your feedback.
  8. by   Retired R.N.
    Quote from boxter
    I went for a job interview last week. I had to sign these old reference letters that ask the employee how they rank you on different skills, work habits, etc. Is this legal?

    I always thought that they could only call and ask for dates and nothing more. Now that I think of it, isn't using the "would you rehire?" be just the same as a bad reference?
    Was this a Group One member in the Dallas/Fort Worth area?
  9. by   kukukajoo
    I come from the hiring side of things and I have used these type of forms at two jobs. I used the same forms on everyone and they signed permission that we could use them. Many companies these days will not answer more than the dates, position. Undertandable in today's world of litigation.

    The "would you rehire ?" is a great question. If someone is not eligible for rehire, we consider that a bad reference Period. Plus we could pick up on the tone and enthusiam of the person answering even basic questions a lot of times. So much can be said without words. Also I remember one HR lady who would be silent on some questions, and cough on others as a yes! Sometimes it is not the persons unwillingness to be frank rather the company policy. Makes it hard when you have a great past employee who you want to see get a great position.

    A lot of times, I would have relationships developed with the HR departments and they would be more frank with me or I would know which questions they would answer.

    Funny- we wanted all the information, but same company's policy was dates/position verified only for former employees! Talk about a double standard!
  10. by   Marylou1102
    Your welcome!
  11. by   Valanda
    I worked for one facility who had a no-rehire policy. Everytime we were asked if we would rehire that employee we had to say no. Thankfully, the HR departments in the area recognized that it was our policy and not a bad mark on the employee.
  12. by   lyceeboo
    Quote from boxter
    Now that I think of it, isn't using the "would you rehire?" be just the same as a bad reference?
    YES. The would you rehire question is frequently asked and frequently answered. It's perfectly legal.
  13. by   kocoman
    I think the OP meant "odd references release letters from former companies" ??
  14. by   NRSKarenRN
    As long as they have your signed permission on form regarding hiring questions, future employeer is legally permitted to send form to employers you provided.....where they can get former employer to provide info is another story.

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