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Vai

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10

Reference check - before or after receiving offer letter?

I have received an informal notice from a firm that they are willing to give me an offer, but the firm requests me to provide a reference contact before sending me the formal offer. They want to call my direct manager to do a reference check. I have already left my previous job so this is not that problematic, but I would imagine job seekers who are currently employed would be unwilling to provide this reference contact before receiving a formal offer. Currently, I also have a few offers, so I want to provide the referral contact only after I have received offer and would be sure I will join the firm.

My question is, is it normal for companies to call referees before providing an offer letter? Is it okay to tell the HR I will be willing to provide the referral contact only if I receive the offer first? Also, if my ex-manager provides negative comments about me, could this cause my offer to be cancelled?

Thanks for your advice.

I have received an informal notice from a firm that they are willing to give me an offer, but the firm requests me to provide a reference contact before sending me the formal offer. They want to call my direct manager to do a reference check. I have already left my previous job so this is not that problematic, but I would imagine job seekers who are currently employed would be unwilling to provide this reference contact before receiving a formal offer. Currently, I also have a few offers, so I want to provide the referral contact only after I have received offer and would be sure I will join the firm.

My question is, is it normal for companies to call referees before providing an offer letter? Is it okay to tell the HR I will be willing to provide the referral contact only if I receive the offer first? Also, if my ex-manager provides negative comments about me, could this cause my offer to be cancelled?

Thanks for your advice.

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Book a coaching with Vai

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I think it is a fair ask from HR to do a reference check before issuing an offer letter. Given the bad economic environment, resulting in significant layoffs, companies are more cautious and choosy with hiring

If the reference is negative, there is indeed the possibility that the offer could be dropped. Alternatively, depending upon the negatives highlighted, the company might conduct further interviews to test out more on the specific negative points highlighted

I suggest that you talk to a senior person in your company whom you are on good terms and discuss the situation. If reference check request doesn't strongly or specifically ask for direct line manager, you could maybe get the reference check from the manager of your manager or someone senior whom you have worked extensively with and are on good terms with. Better to get a safe (even if less positive or neutral) reference than someone whom you don't trust completely. Talk to someone in your company who is best aware of org dynamics.

Best wishes,

I think it is a fair ask from HR to do a reference check before issuing an offer letter. Given the bad economic environment, resulting in significant layoffs, companies are more cautious and choosy with hiring

If the reference is negative, there is indeed the possibility that the offer could be dropped. Alternatively, depending upon the negatives highlighted, the company might conduct further interviews to test out more on the specific negative points highlighted

I suggest that you talk to a senior person in your company whom you are on good terms and discuss the situation. If reference check request doesn't strongly or specifically ask for direct line manager, you could maybe get the reference check from the manager of your manager or someone senior whom you have worked extensively with and are on good terms with. Better to get a safe (even if less positive or neutral) reference than someone whom you don't trust completely. Talk to someone in your company who is best aware of org dynamics.

Best wishes,

(edited)

Book a coaching with Khaled

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Hi there,

If you are uncomfortable, it might be worth it to ask the HR to wait until you sign the contract AND submit your resignation before they contact your current employer. Contacting your current employer could cause issues between you and your current company because it is not certain that you will switch companies.

I hope you can manage to get the offer and sign before any contact between the employers takes place.

Best of luck in the process

Khaled

Hi there,

If you are uncomfortable, it might be worth it to ask the HR to wait until you sign the contract AND submit your resignation before they contact your current employer. Contacting your current employer could cause issues between you and your current company because it is not certain that you will switch companies.

I hope you can manage to get the offer and sign before any contact between the employers takes place.

Best of luck in the process

Khaled

Book a coaching with Emily

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Hi,

It depends on the company practice.

From my experience, BCG and Bain only ask for background check after candidate accepts the offer, with a clause in the offer that if the background check doesn't go through, the offer would be invalid.

Some coporates and startups that I know, on the other hand, do ask for reference check as a sanity check point before issuing offer. I won't be too surprised if some consulting firm does that too.

Best,

Emily

Hi,

It depends on the company practice.

From my experience, BCG and Bain only ask for background check after candidate accepts the offer, with a clause in the offer that if the background check doesn't go through, the offer would be invalid.

Some coporates and startups that I know, on the other hand, do ask for reference check as a sanity check point before issuing offer. I won't be too surprised if some consulting firm does that too.

Best,

Emily

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Hello!

It´s totally normal and you have nothing to worry about unless you put a big lie in your CV -e.g., I worked for Google 3 years, and then it´s not true-.

Hope it helps!

Cheers,

Clara

Hello!

It´s totally normal and you have nothing to worry about unless you put a big lie in your CV -e.g., I worked for Google 3 years, and then it´s not true-.

Hope it helps!

Cheers,

Clara

Book a coaching with Iman

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Hi, I have a couple of inputs on this:

  1. It is normal for a company to ask for reference
  2. In my experience, if a candidate still employed in the current company, the recruiting company usually doesn't mind with a reference from the previous company
  3. Negative comments can be at your disadvantage, as such you need to always provide reference from someone you trust and are in good term
  4. You may say you only be willing to provide referral contact after receiving / agrreeing the offer if your current company is your first job so no other direct supervisor that can be asked.

Hi, I have a couple of inputs on this:

  1. It is normal for a company to ask for reference
  2. In my experience, if a candidate still employed in the current company, the recruiting company usually doesn't mind with a reference from the previous company
  3. Negative comments can be at your disadvantage, as such you need to always provide reference from someone you trust and are in good term
  4. You may say you only be willing to provide referral contact after receiving / agrreeing the offer if your current company is your first job so no other direct supervisor that can be asked.
Book a coaching with Anton

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Hi,

A few points:

From formal perspective: large firms do not practice calling your ex-employers before the offer

Informally: they may sometimes call their friends/ acquaintances in your current company to verify your performance. And it happens sometimes before the first interview. And it happens with very reputable firms. Even with MBB. I know numerous cases.

Good luck!

Hi,

A few points:

From formal perspective: large firms do not practice calling your ex-employers before the offer

Informally: they may sometimes call their friends/ acquaintances in your current company to verify your performance. And it happens sometimes before the first interview. And it happens with very reputable firms. Even with MBB. I know numerous cases.

Good luck!

Book a coaching with Francesco

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Hi there,

I assume the offer is not from MBB, as they normally do background checks and not reference checks, and only after the offer letter.

I believe it is fair to ask at least the general terms of the offer (eg salary, benefits or anything else you would need to evaluate the offer) before providing the reference. I would not ask for the formal contract, as the previous elements should be enough for you to make a decision anyway.

A bad reference can definitely lead to drop the offer, in particular since they will expect that it is the best reference you have, given you are the one who has to provide it.

Best,

Francesco

Hi there,

I assume the offer is not from MBB, as they normally do background checks and not reference checks, and only after the offer letter.

I believe it is fair to ask at least the general terms of the offer (eg salary, benefits or anything else you would need to evaluate the offer) before providing the reference. I would not ask for the formal contract, as the previous elements should be enough for you to make a decision anyway.

A bad reference can definitely lead to drop the offer, in particular since they will expect that it is the best reference you have, given you are the one who has to provide it.

Best,

Francesco

Book a coaching with Ian

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Hi there,

I agree that this is a fair ask.

However, note that one can probably provide a contact that isn't your direct manager if you aren't on great terms with them. Anyone in the organization for whom you have worked and who is in a senior position can be referenced.

Hi there,

I agree that this is a fair ask.

However, note that one can probably provide a contact that isn't your direct manager if you aren't on great terms with them. Anyone in the organization for whom you have worked and who is in a senior position can be referenced.

Dear A,


Accept my congratulations to your several offers. Well-done! Regarding reference call, this is not really common in consulting to ask for the references. Because, normally you already provide your reference certificates during the application process, for example from the past internships or past working experiences. However, yes, you can insist that you would be willing to provide reference contact only after you receive and sigh a hard copy.

Hope, it helps you,


Good luck,

André

Dear A,


Accept my congratulations to your several offers. Well-done! Regarding reference call, this is not really common in consulting to ask for the references. Because, normally you already provide your reference certificates during the application process, for example from the past internships or past working experiences. However, yes, you can insist that you would be willing to provide reference contact only after you receive and sigh a hard copy.

Hope, it helps you,


Good luck,

André

Book a coaching with Vlad

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Hi,

This is a standard process across many companies. However, MBBs are usually doing background checks, not the reference check.

Usually, background checks are executed before the formal offer, so I would not push the company for an offer in your case. You can always exclude the most recent job from the references if you are not comfortable with that

Best

Hi,

This is a standard process across many companies. However, MBBs are usually doing background checks, not the reference check.

Usually, background checks are executed before the formal offer, so I would not push the company for an offer in your case. You can always exclude the most recent job from the references if you are not comfortable with that

Best