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"May we contact your present employer?"

post #1 of 12
Thread Starter 
I want to answer "H$%@ NO!" but I don't think that's appropriate. Here's the problem, my job punishes people when they decide to leave for something better. But they treat the employees like dog poop with low pay, no respect, and blame laying. I'm assistant manager and I HATE it. I want to get a new job because of many of the above stated reasons and more. But this is where I run into a problem. What do I reply to this question? If my job knew I that I am looking for a new job they'd find a reason to fire me or cut my hours down so low that I would be forced to quit. That is what they do to everyone, anytime that they look for a new job or give their two weeks. It sucks and since I have to work so we can pay the bills, I can't risk that. But can I tell employers that? I've had to hire many people and I have to admit, when I see that box checked no it makes me wonder what the person has done at their job to want me to not call them. I don't call to verify because I don't want to get them in trouble in case they are in a job like mine but since I can't call, I can't justify that they aren't being fired for stealing or something and so they are most likely not going to get hired. So, I don't know what to do. On the one hand, I haven't done anything bad at my job and I have no problem with employers checking up on my performance at my current workplace. On the other, just the inquiry could cost me my job. Today I filled out an application and I just checked yes and now I'm scared out of my mind that they'll call and talk to the manager and she'll cut me down to 4 hours a week.

So, what do you do?
post #2 of 12
In my field, it's generally accepted that job applications are made in confidence - no one would look askance if you indicated you were not open to them contacting your present employer. Simply saying "I would prefer my application be kept in confidence" should be fine if you have other references. Most people understand that employers sometimes behave just like yours...
post #3 of 12
I think it is perfectly acceptable to specify "only upon prior notice to me" where it asks if they may contact your current employer. And then don't list the info, so they have to ask you. It is pretty much assumed, these days, that the only time you contact a current employer is if the candidate is on a very short list for being offered the job. As a manager, I hire people regularly and I would never contact someone's current employer without 1) checking with the candidate first and 2) having them as a very real possibility for my #1 or 2 potential hire.

However, I also would never hire someone without talking to their current employer first. (I've had an employer like yours so I know that happens more frequently than we'd think.)

Good luck!
post #4 of 12
It is perfectly acceptable to state that your current employer does not know you are looking for a new position and to ask that they not be contacted until there is a job offer pending. I wouldn't hire someone that wouldn't ever let me contact their present employer but I would be willing to wait until I was sure I wanted to hire that person--pending the discussion with their current employer. As long as you have other relevant references, this really shouldn't be a problem.
post #5 of 12
There are situations where it would be perfectly appropriate to contact someone's current employer, and if that was the case, then a prospective would not want to miss the opportunity...so that's why they ask. Those situations are like when a company is laying off people or shutting down a department and everyone knows that those people are leaving and the company might be able to help them find new jobs by giving them good recommendations. Or someone may be relocating due to their spouse being relocated so their current employer knows they are leaving and there is no reason why a prospective employer couldn't contact the current employer. That's why that question is asked. If I was hiring and someone asked me not to contact their current employer, I would understand and respect that and not hold it against them. Sometimes things are fine and people look for a new job to better themselves, and sometimes things are not fine and they are looking for a better opportunity. Saying you don't want your current employer to be contacted should not be something a prospective employer holds against you. Your current employer doesn't really have the right to know anything until you officially hand them your notice.
post #6 of 12
That is usually a bogus question...
post #7 of 12
I usually say "upon acceptance of job offer," which lets the interviewer know that you are not concerned about what your current employer will say, only that you don't necessarily want the current employer to know you are looking unless and until you are sure you're leaving your current job.
post #8 of 12
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jillson66
I usually say "upon acceptance of job offer," which lets the interviewer know that you are not concerned about what your current employer will say, only that you don't necessarily want the current employer to know you are looking unless and until you are sure you're leaving your current job.
:

I do alot of recruiting and interviewing for my job and most people do not want their current employer contacted. It is completely understandable.
post #9 of 12
i would put yes when they are ready to offer you the job.
post #10 of 12
I never thought to hold it against an applicant for not providing a reference at their current position, particularly a manager. It's not smart to let your current employer know you're looking until you're ready to leave. I thought that was common business sense.

That said, is it possible to find a friendly reference that you can trust in your current position? Perhaps a peer that knows you're looking and can provide information about how you do your job? That can help if the hiring manager is worried.
post #11 of 12
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jillson66 View Post
I usually say "upon acceptance of job offer," which lets the interviewer know that you are not concerned about what your current employer will say, only that you don't necessarily want the current employer to know you are looking unless and until you are sure you're leaving your current job.
Ditto.
btw most companies just call to verify employment...as do banks when you apply for a loan
post #12 of 12
I have always asked that they contact my employer previous to my current employer.
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