Don’t Trust Candidates, Trust Their Colleagues


Think references never say something negative about a colleague or you for that matter? Think again.

In a survey, one of our questions states, “If you were asked by a colleague to participate in a confidential online reference check, where you are asked to review your colleague’s performance, how truthful would you be?” We received 742 responses representing a national sample in the US. 2/3’s expressed they would be “Very truthful – I’d give a honest review, not just positive feedback while 1/3rd said “Somewhat truthful—I’d give a pretty honest review but slightly positive to support my colleague”. Only 1% would say only positive statements, even if they were untrue.

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Don’t believe the survey? Here are some real responses we collected:

  • "Drinking habit”
  • “Attitude towards management and supervisors”
  • “Anger outbursts, critical and disrespectful of coworkers”
  • “We hired her and fired her twice. She was not punctual or reliable”
  • “Patient safety”
  • “Hard time putting her patients’ needs before her own”
  • “Issues with communication with patients, staff and faculty”
  • “Always tried to leave early”

The notion that associates will always lie to provide positive feedback in a reference check is simply false.

Read more examples of actual candidate feedback here.