General Question

figbash's avatar

When looking for a new job while still employed, what are some ways that a prospective company can confirm your current employment without contacting your employer?

Asked by figbash (7441 points ) June 5th, 2013

A friend of mine has been looking to leave her company due to the toxic work environment and rampant dysfunction. It’s a small company and those who even give a whiff that they might be looking have experienced an even worse situation including retaliation. Essentially, they become a target.

This friend has gone through a few successful rounds of interviews and their recruiter now states that they have to contact the current employer to verify employment.

There must be some way around this, since surely hiring companies must know how problematic and potentially job-jeopardizing it would be to tip off your current employer that you’re interviewing elsewhere.

Any ways around this?

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11 Answers

KNOWITALL's avatar

Copy of your pay check or W-2.

bob_'s avatar

What if the recruiter says it’s for a credit card application, or something of the sort?

figbash's avatar

I recommended a copy of the signed and dated work contract and a blacked out copy of check auto-deposits. It seems strange that the new company wouldn’t have some way around this given that most people don’t openly announce to their company that they’re looking!

LuckyGuy's avatar

Your friend is not the first person in the world to be in this position. Good employers understand.
A blacked out pay stub or direct deposit slip is enough.

marinelife's avatar

I have never heard of a recruiter who insisted on this. I think that is very suspect.

figbash's avatar

@marinelife; suspect, how? It seemed odd to me, too. Perhaps a new person who just doesn’t know their job? This is with a very big, academic employer so it doesn’t seem reasonable.

KNOWITALL's avatar

@figbash There’s a lot of new ‘job-seeker’ scams out now, just be careful and don’t divulge any account numbers or social security numbers without investigation into the BBB, etc..

figbash's avatar

Thanks @KNOWITALL but the company is totally legit and has been around for over a hundred years. My friend did the round of on-site interviews, met VPs and had a working interview as well. I don’t know how they couldn’t understand that job searches are a private matter and hopefully they’ll bend this policy.

zenvelo's avatar

The HR department of the new company calls the HR department of the current company, and then just says “we’re verifying employment of Figbash Doe.” That’s legally about the extent of what can be disclosed but since there is no further disclosure, for all they know you’re trying to finance a new car.

BosM's avatar

The recruiter should know that the hiring company cannot require that type of contact. If they insists on talking with your friends current employer/manager, her polite and professional response should be: “I’m happy allow it once a firm offer is made and accepted”,(they can make an offer contingent on an acceptable reference, but I’ve never known previous employment to be a pre-requisite to an offer).

If they insist on verification of employment then have her provide a sanitized version of a pay stub and bank statement showing a direct deposit being made, but be careful not to divulge any bank account or social security numbers.

Honestly, I would be wary of a company like that. It sounds like your friend may be going from the frying pan into the fire…

Raubhautz's avatar

Hmmmm. This can always be tricky and not always work as when it appears that you have ‘issues’ at your current employer, some folks get nervous about you.

As @BosM mentioned above, technically, they cannot do this, though it frequently still does. Not so much with agencies and large corporations where they understand liabilities of violating worker rights. But, many medium and smaller companies might try anyways.

If you explain yourself and such, getting to the point of verification of employment, you can always show recent pay check stubs, perhaps an annual review to show your work performance. This should be sufficient for any potential employer to make you an offer.

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