Head of Personnel Assessment and Development Department of Svyaznoy
We always ask for feedback from the previous place of work, if only because it is important for us to have several points of view about the personality of the candidate, his competencies and professional knowledge. The question is not that we are trying to find some kind of catch, it is important for us to get as much information as possible about a person from different sources. This applies to specialists with work experience, and especially office employees, and not sellers in the retail network, since for the lion's share of our sellers Svyaznoy is the first place of work.
We use the list of references that the applicant indicates in the resume, plus we look for additional contacts in the companies where he worked in order to get other people's opinions. A very important point: there should be several opinions. Imagine that you take recommendations from a former leader of a person, and he, suppose, did not want to let this employee go and was offended by him. The single opinion of such a manager can distort your impression. And if there are several reviews, such a "statistical error" will be leveled.
Reviews about the employee are unlikely to dramatically affect the decision to take or not to take him to work - the future leader in any case proceeds from competencies, experience of implemented projects and general impression of the person. But there may be exceptions, of course, for example, when a person is clearly disingenuous in an interview. Say, he says that he left the company due to reductions, but there really weren’t. There are also cases when several former colleagues of the applicant work in the company - if all of them give unambiguously negative feedback about his professionalism, this is a serious reason to think about whether to offer him a job.
Reviews about the employee solve an important problem - they allow you to pay attention to the features of the candidate. For example, his counselor notes that a person has some difficulty in prioritizing when he is in time trouble. Such information will be useful to his future leader - it will allow you to pre-adjust the workflow and support the employee with additional resources in high load situations. Or, thanks to the reviews, you will find out that the employee is quite difficult to adapt to new people - therefore, the leader should pay special attention to this during the period of adaptation of the newcomer to the team.
HR Director Yota
We actively use feedback from the previous place of work in conjunction with other methods: interviews, business cases. This makes it possible to comprehensively approach the selection of a suitable employee.
It happens that a candidate is lost during an interview, because it is difficult for him to tell, for example, about his achievements. The recruiter has a question whether the person will cope with the tasks, in this case, feedback from previous employers can significantly help. Of course, if we receive information about an unfair attitude to the work, that the employee tried to shift responsibility to others or behaved unethically towards the company, then we refuse to further consider the candidate.
But if we are talking about controversial issues, such as a proactive approach, creativity in those positions where this is not necessary, then such reviews are valuable to us, but we will not be based on them when making a decision. Because for each specific position there are key qualities.
Recommendations from the series “I could rely on him / her” or “I was comfortable working with him / her” should also be divided into two. Because such characteristics about the candidate depend, inter alia, on the personal qualities of the person who voices them. For example, he is so friendly that he is comfortable working with any person, regardless of his professional qualities.
Questions work well when you ask a former employer to assume that an employee remains in the company or returns, and asks what the former employer would offer now, if he had the opportunity, what type of work he would trust the employee, he would take at all.
Chairman of the Board, Bank for Settlements and Savings
In banks, of course, they pay attention to feedback about a candidate from previous places of work, but this factor alone is not taken into account, but the data are considered in aggregate. When a candidate gives me letters of recommendation at an interview, I look through them, pay attention to some interesting points, if any. But live reviews are of great value.
The Russian banking world is very cramped. After the interview, I pick up the phone and call my colleagues at the banks where the applicant worked previously, as a result of which I get complete information about the person. In banks, where work in most cases involves obligatory, punctual, attention to detail, the ability to maintain confidentiality, the most negative attitude to potential employees who have committed negligence, undisciplined, talkative and, of course, bribe-takers. If a person was kicked out of the previous place of work for kickbacks, then whatever status he may have, it will be difficult for him to get a bank again.