How candidate recommendations are verified

    If you, as a candidate, competently compiled your resume and wrote an effective cover letter, worked on their distribution, got an interview and successfully passed it, then it is likely that the next step in the difficult way of getting a job will be to check your recommendations.

    It is quite logical and justified that the company that considers you as a potential employee, first of all wants to get an adequate person and member of the team, and not just a competent specialist. Of course, compliance with the requirements of the vacancy, working conditions, company values, etc. etc. determined by a number of criteria and can vary quite widely, but certain points are certainly basic, and today we will consider them as an example.

    At my last job, I used the services of a recruiting agency, which, after several interviews with me, called one of my former managers and sent another letter of the following content (translated from English):

    Dear NN!

    I need to check the recommendations of the name and I would be very grateful if you could answer a few questions about him and his work.

    • What were his main responsibilities: tasks, project size, technical environment, etc.?
    • Describe his contribution to team / project work: key achievements and results.
    • How would you describe his attitude to work: punctuality, organization, motivation?
    • How would you describe his communication skills, oral and written?
    • How does he react to criticism?
    • How would you describe his character?
    • How does he get along with other team members, management, customers, users?
    • What would you advise to pay attention to his future leader to achieve the best results from working with him?
    • Would you recommend hiring him? Yes or no and why?
    • How would you rate his performance in a team / project: excellent, good, average, bad, and why?
    • General comments are all that you would like to add about his character or professionalism.

    Can we provide your recommendations to the candidate, as well as to other potential employers?


    As you can see, the questions are quite serious and, in general, requiring some work and time for detailed answers. Obviously, the people whose recommendation interests potential employers in the first place are your former direct managers - the higher in hierarchy, the better. Often, the provision of recommendations is regulated by company policy and can only be carried out by the human resources department or top managers.

    Of course, they don’t have much time for such communication, so in most cases the matter is most likely limited to a short phone call. Nevertheless, this part of the job search is very important: it would be foolish, having gone through all the stages, not to get a job due to unflattering feedback from the former manager. Therefore, it makes sense to attend to the preparation of your recommendations in advance.

    It is clear that situations in life are different, and it is not always convenient or possible to get good feedback from a former boss. In this case, the recommendations of your other colleagues or partners may be an alternative. For example, I even used the recommendations received on the network. If you are not sure about the “quality” of any of your recommendations, it is better not to provide it at all for verification.

    In general, if you get to the stage of checking recommendations, then this suggests that you are close to getting a job like never before.

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