Ask Experts Questions for FREE Help !
Ask
    Paisley910's Avatar
    Paisley910 Posts: 3, Reputation: 1
    New Member
     
    #1

    Jul 23, 2016, 10:17 PM
    Is the information is Reference Checks Confidential?
    One of my current employees recently applied for a job at another company. I was contacted by the hiring manager to answer some questions about their applicant (my employee) to help them narrow down the candidate pool. Based on the job title and job description, it said they required someone with 3-5 years of experience in the field. My employee has one year of experience and while the new job is in the same field, same department it's not exactly apples to apples in terms of work, knowledge and programs. When I was being asked about my employee/the applicant, I was led to believe the position was for an assistant director (based on the job title & description) and since my employee only had one year of experience, no leadership, hasn't worked with the higher level decision making, he would almost be set up for failure. I truthfully explained what his current position is and answered the questions based on what he does. Not once during the conversation did the hiring manager explain that this really was an entry level position and it's only classified as Assistant Director so that they can justify a higher pay rate. I did not provide a bad reference and I was not technically reference. According to my employee, he said he checked off the box that they should not contact me.

    Anyway, is the information I provided to the hiring manager confidential? From what I found out, my employee, the applicant, was told everything I said and is now furious with me and will not let me explain.

    I didn't give a negative review, but this was a conversation and it's very possible that what I said (which was based on what I was led to believe the job he was applying for was) could have been misunderstood, misinterpreted or as with trying to take notes while having a conversation, not remembered correctly.

    If this information is supposed to be confidential, then it should only be shared with the hiring manager, HR & the hiring committee? What if the hiring manager shared it with someone at the company, who is friends with the applicant, but not a part of the hiring committee? Is there any action I can take?

    As a result of whatever was told to my employee that I said, he went to our HR Department and filed a complaint against me that this was harassment. I should mention also, that after I have the phone conversation, I did send them a written letter of recommendation about my employee thinking that if he wasn't qualified for the assistant director position (which at the time I still didn't know that wasn't the actual position), that my letter might help them consider him for another open position if one became available. This was also before I found out my employee was upset with me.

    Anyway, if any of the information I provided in our conversation was shared with anyone outside of HR or the hiring committee, especially the applicant, how am I to know that the information I provided and the notes and what was shared either through second or third hand to the applicant was what I said and not taken out of context?

    The employee did get the job, but because of what he was told I had said, he was very angry and went to HR to file a harassment complaint. Since he go the job and this did not have anything to do with our company nor was harassment, did our HR Department have any reason to get involved?

    Is there anything I can do since the actions of the other company (sharing what I thought was confidential information, sharing information that I'm not sure is exactly what I said, with someone either outside of the hiring committee who shared it with my employee or directly with my employee) which had a negative impact on my employment? Apparently, my written letter of recommendation that I sent was never mentioned to him, just something that someone is telling him I said which upset him. Since he won't speak with him, I can't even get to the truth.

    1. Is the information shared as part of the reference check process, even if I'm not a reference, confidential?

    2. If the information is shared, how can I know that what is being communicated and what is being written down are actually what I said?

    3. Since he got the job, his complaint to our HR department about my negative responses being harassment--since it was based on hearsay, did our HR Department have any reason to get involved since this was not work related to his current job, he had submitted his resignation 2 days earlier and even after he got the job? I offered to continue training him and told him he can contact me if he ever needs help once he's at the new job. I was excited for him and proud to see him succeed in this field.

    4. If the other company comes back to me and says based on their investigation, no information was shared with the applicant, do you think it would be worth it to get them to provide that in writing to my now former employer and former employee, not to get my job back, but to show that if anything was said, it wasn't based on actual information I provided to the hiring manager? It would just end this matter for me to let my former employee and HR know I wasn't doing anything to hurt him or jeopardize his job at another company. So that he knows he could trust me, even if he still never speaks to me again.
    smoothy's Avatar
    smoothy Posts: 25,495, Reputation: 2853
    Uber Member
     
    #2

    Jul 24, 2016, 02:13 PM
    As long as what you said was truthful and honest... you have nothing to fear. He is the one who needs to tread carefully... because you can sue HIM for defamation.

    First, if this imbecile is petty and rude enough to whine to your HR dept... be glad he is gone, and why would you WANT to trust a back stabber like that... I also would NOT give him ANY additional help... he burned that bridge with his complaint.
    Fr_Chuck's Avatar
    Fr_Chuck Posts: 81,302, Reputation: 7692
    Expert
     
    #3

    Jul 25, 2016, 05:54 AM
    Not really, what you told them, may be told to the employee as the reason they were not hired, or an offer terminated.

    That is why it is best to give limited information (always) unless you just love them and want to help them.
    Paisley910's Avatar
    Paisley910 Posts: 3, Reputation: 1
    New Member
     
    #4

    Jul 25, 2016, 12:10 PM
    Quote Originally Posted by Fr_Chuck View Post
    Not really, what you told them, may be told to the employee as the reason they were not hired, or an offer terminated.

    That is why it is best to give limited information (always) unless you just love them and want to help them.
    He got the job, that's why this was so completely bizarre.

    I've just never heard of sharing the information and even if it is shared, I have absolutely no idea that what I actually said about him is the actual information that is being shared with him or who shared the information with him (this could have been through a third party who was not a part of the conversation). It was a conversation and as we know, there is no way we can prove that the notes they took is what I said unless it was recorded which would be illegal since I was not told they were recording the conversation.
    smoothy's Avatar
    smoothy Posts: 25,495, Reputation: 2853
    Uber Member
     
    #5

    Jul 25, 2016, 12:33 PM
    At to the part about it being illegal to record... it all depends on where they are located... not everywhere has a 2 party consent law.
    Paisley910's Avatar
    Paisley910 Posts: 3, Reputation: 1
    New Member
     
    #6

    Jul 25, 2016, 01:10 PM
    Quote Originally Posted by smoothy View Post
    At to the part about it being illegal to record... it all depends on where they are located... not everywhere has a 2 party consent law.
    It's illegal in our state to record a conversation without notifying all parties. The behavior of this guy is just shocking, especially since he got the job. I have no idea if what I said and what someone told him I said is even the same information. I really just don't like that he's telling people that I gave him a bad review as a way to harass him. One day he's saying he owes me so much for helping him get to the point he can get this job and hopes I'll always be available to help him and the next day he hates me and gets me fired--all based on a conversation he was not a part of and really can't be trusted as being factual. (I have come to find out that the person who told him about the open position was someone who had worked at the same company with us and was friends with someone I had to fire. Could this have been a factor? Don't know. Could this have been someone else pulling my former employee's strings so they could get rid of me because everything else they were don't wasn't working? Possibly. None of this can be proved. This now former employee could have other reasons that I don't know about, because he wouldn't talk to me about it and HR wouldn't try to even get us to talk things out.) Plus, would the hiring manager risk being reprimanded/losing his job for sharing reference information with someone at their company who was not on the hiring committee, not HR and not the applicant (who got the job)?
    smoothy's Avatar
    smoothy Posts: 25,495, Reputation: 2853
    Uber Member
     
    #7

    Jul 26, 2016, 04:36 AM
    Quote Originally Posted by Paisley910 View Post
    It's illegal in our state to record a conversation without notifying all parties. The behavior of this guy is just shocking, especially since he got the job. I have no idea if what I said and what someone told him I said is even the same information. I really just don't like that he's telling people that I gave him a bad review as a way to harass him. One day he's saying he owes me so much for helping him get to the point he can get this job and hopes I'll always be available to help him and the next day he hates me and gets me fired--all based on a conversation he was not a part of and really can't be trusted as being factual. (I have come to find out that the person who told him about the open position was someone who had worked at the same company with us and was friends with someone I had to fire. Could this have been a factor? Don't know. Could this have been someone else pulling my former employee's strings so they could get rid of me because everything else they were don't wasn't working? Possibly. None of this can be proved. This now former employee could have other reasons that I don't know about, because he wouldn't talk to me about it and HR wouldn't try to even get us to talk things out.) Plus, would the hiring manager risk being reprimanded/losing his job for sharing reference information with someone at their company who was not on the hiring committee, not HR and not the applicant (who got the job)?

    Maybe now he is just showing his true colors.

    And no, its not out of line with sharing recommendation information with others. I'm not in HR, I've never been in HR, but I have had a hand in the decisions of hiring more than a few people, I was given basic information about them, was told what to ask about along with what I wanted to ask.. because HR people aren't in the position of determining who knows a given job outside of their own niche.
    Worry about the things you have control over ( you don't have control over this) and let the rest go, don't obsess over it. And yes you ARE obsessing over this.

    I'm REALLY selective about who I ask to give referrals, or who I agree to give them for (when asked in advance).. if I get surprised by a call out of the blue... I simply give them the facts... good or bad... and let them decide what they want to do with them. I've never second guessed myself or lost an sleep over it.

    I've also never stretched the truth or flat out lied for anyone... THAT would weigh on me because at some point I might find myself applying at that place and if I had given a glowing referral for someone who never deserved it... THAT they would remember.

    They look at referrals only as some basic things to look for...nobody in their right mind takes someone elses opinion as gold when deciding to hire anyone. Because friends are usually asked...not people they didn't get along with. Referrals are thus USUALLY skewed highly in a certain direction. And HR knows it.
    talaniman's Avatar
    talaniman Posts: 54,328, Reputation: 10855
    Expert
     
    #8

    Jul 26, 2016, 06:35 AM
    Were you let go because of YOUR actions, or HIS? For sure you have no control over what he does, in the past or future and I think trying to prove he can trust you, is a perfect waste of time and energy as is trying to get a concrete reason why everyone else has done what they did which is PURE speculation and assumptions, to get you where you are right NOW which is dumbfounded and confused.

    No, I won't play the big guessing game with you, and speculate over the WHY'S because it's obviously become a big obsessive distraction because you have very few facts that won't be revealed until later, but have you learned the most valuable lesson of this situation?

    NEVER, in business, give sensitive information to an outside UNFAMILIAR 3rd party without a FORMAL clearance and guidance from YOUR superior (Or HR) about any colleague/co worker/insubordinate. NEVER!!!!

    Clearly your zeal to be helpful, honest, or accurate, overwhelmed your common sense of checking to see if you even had the authority, or right, to act as you did. So the question about was the information you imparted supposed to be confidential or not, accurate or not is totally irrelevant, since you DIDN'T verify ANY of it BEFORE you proceeded!

    He may be an ungrateful BOOB, who started this whole disaster, but you still should have Covered Your Own A$$, and that's the first rule of business anywhere! Then you wouldn't be so worried about him turning YOU into the HR, or any future consequences to you biting you in the butt!

    Bottom line is you cannot go back and change a darn thing, just move forward, and do better next time. No shame in passing the buck to a higher authority when in doubt. You should have been in doubt from the start of this adventure.

    NOW you know!

Not your question? Ask your question View similar questions

 

Question Tools Search this Question
Search this Question:

Advanced Search

Add your answer here.


Check out some similar questions!

Used my confidential reference to recruit more candidates instead of to hire me [ 2 Answers ]

I recently had an interview for a contract position. I provided a reference for an organization that I currently do contract work for. It appears that they have decided not to hire me but instead contacted my reference to recruit more candidates for the job I applied for (the organizations have...

Sharing of confidential information [ 6 Answers ]

I went on a hike recently with an intern from my company. She is 21 and we do not work together and I am an hourly employee with no supervisory responsibilities over her or anyone else. She asked me to go hiking with her and made the plans through Facebook. The hike took place after work hours. ...

Losing confidential information. [ 1 Answers ]

I work for a home health care agency, to remain nameless, as a nurse. I have a fellow co-worker who lost some patient iformation that was paper form with Personal information on it. She was fired for it and is being denied unemployment stating it was "misconduct." She reported the incident right...

How do I report fraud to immigration and is that information confidential? [ 2 Answers ]

I was asked to write a letter of character for a japanese woman I used to work with. In the letter to immigration, I stated that she had a restraining order issued against her, which she did, by her then husband. Apparently she didn't want immigraiton to know this. She changed a line in the...

Confidential information in setting [ 1 Answers ]

What types of information should be treated confidentially in a nursery setting?


View more questions Search