Q12: Can you provide references?

ROB DAVIS, P.E.


Q12: Can you provide references?

The short answer is, I don't give out references until after I have interviewed the client, have decided that I want the job, and then only if the client insists on it during the client phone interview.

The long answer is...

I never break this rule. I and other contractors have lost references because they were inundated with calls from agencies and contract firms attempting to get sales leads.

Con artists, crooks, scam artists: They send you fake job descriptions that look too good to be true. They claim they're recruiters who want want to recruit you. However, in reality, they want to defraud you, so you will entrust to them highly valuable information. They should be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law. Why? Because they deceive you; because they're con artists, swindlers, crooks, flimflammers, frauds, hustlers, scam artist, scammers. They should be in jail, and NOT on the telephone.

My references are busy, talented people who have far better things to do than answer calls from con artists who just possibly, perhaps someday, may have a suitable position for me. That is not a way to get a contract or a job! However, it's a good way to make my references not want to remain my references any longer.

It's wrong to bother employers every time I send out an email. Employers don't want to be bothered every time I send out an email.

Providing references makes no sense because, for legal reasons, an employer cannot provide you with a statement. Employers, especially Fortune 500 companies, are considered "deep pockets". They fear legal action, have nothing to gain, and everything to lose. There is no legal reason for an employer to provide a reference on a current or past employee.

Sharing my managers' names is not an option because the last company whom I gave that information to bugged them for new job opportunities, and it didn't reflect well on me. I know, you can say, "We won't do that", but that's what the other company said.

Reference information is like money, and you don't just give away your money. In the environment we're in right now, you have to value it and think about protecting it everywhere you go. Here the capital, so to speak, isn't a credit card or consumer goods. The capital is personal information that, if released, could be ruinous personally. And financially, too.

People have become accustomed to trusting their most precious personal reference information to companies. But they also need to know that all of that information is being shared more than they would expect, privacy experts say. Before you hit "submit," stop and think before giving up your personal reference information to any kind of company, said Michael Kaiser, executive director of the National Cyber Security Alliance, an industry-funded group that educates consumers about cybersecurity.

Tele-marketers are monumental time wasters who do far more damage than good. They start collecting references as soon as they receive my email. Then they contact my references, many of whom are hiring managers, and ask them whether they're looking to hire anyone. References are annoyed by such tele-marketing. If YOU were one of my references and received dozens or perhaps hundreds of phone calls on my account alone, how long would you stay my reference?

Tele-marketers make me lose references, because my references are inundated with calls from agencies and contract firms attempting to get sales leads. Tele-marketers often claim "we don't do any tele-marketing", and "we don't work that way". But their claims have never made any sense to me, because agencies and contract firms who don't do any tele-marketing, but simply check references given them by candidates will only hear the best about that candidate. After all, would a candidate list a critic as a reference?

Tele-marketers do nothing but "fish" for information at my expense. They waste my time because they play phone tag with me for many days. They waste my time because they dangle before me jobs they don't have. They waste my time because they pretend they want to establish a rapport/relationship with me. And they waste my time because they claim they're unable to visit my web sites. In general, tele-marketers have nothing but a telephone and long lists of questions. Their only objective is to pump me for references, company names, rates, and give me nothing in return.

Tele-marketers are getting increasingly more sophisticated. Last week a team of two con men fabricated a story, put on a 4-hour show, wasted 4 hours of my time, and attempted to mislead me. According to their story, they had a client who needed my help, wanted my help, and was ready to talk with me, but first these con men wanted "references" from me. In reality there was no client, no job, no opportunity, and all these con men had was a telephone, an attitude, and a long list of dirty tricks. Their only objective was to get from me references, company names, rates, etc., and give nothing in return.

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