In a whiteboard first; Sean and I are going to collaborate on a blog. I’m going to take Part 1 and the big fella is going to handle the sequel. I do subtly hope that Part 2 doesn’t eclipse Part 1 in a Godfather trilogy type of way. I’m aiming for a 1994s Flintstones Vs 2000’s Flintstones in Viva Rock Vegas dynamic. Both films are utterly forgettable but the first one had Halle Berry in a Raquel Welsh Esq ensemble. It’s a fool’s wish as Part 2 has the big reveal! As sexy and revealing as the aforementioned woolly mammoth outfit! You may be asking yourself “why are they opting for joint custody of precious Blogly? Also, why is Papa Walters getting the more desirable Thurs – Sunday time? Well, being completely honest, he’s the fun dad. Furthermore, a blog this rambunctious needs some co-parenting. It’s not very often something happens that floors both me and Mr. Walters but this left us rolling our eyes to Undertaker Wrestlemania levels.

But first, some foreshadowing…

We’ve been pretty busy in Rice HQ and as a result, we’ve had to conduct quite a few references, Sean penned a great wee think piece around references the other week asking the question; what if candidates took them on their potential employers? I think employers would have to be slightly more accountable and at the very least, a little more compassionate with exiting staff. Thankfully nowadays that whole ‘once they leave, they’re dead’ attitude is less prevalent than it was in the past. It always warms my heart to see a picture of a nice bouquet/ bottle of bubbly accompanying a large card with well-wishing paragraphs jostling for position. In our line of work, you give a lot of yourself and it’s nice to see people getting their thanks. You’d think it’s the least someone could do for an employee who’s secreted blood, sweat, and a heap of tears for the cause. However, you would be mistaken.

Turns out the least you can do is as little as possible! There are a few agencies out there that have a ‘policy’ around not giving references as if that’s a real thing?? It’s like having a policy against paid sick leave. For the life of me, I can’t figure out how they spin it to not come out sounding nefarious as f*ck. Managers get told that they can be let go for giving a reference! Putting them in a real tough spot. These orders are from the top by an out-of-touch director but usually, Mr/Mrs/They. Manager is a normal person who after forging a relationship with the existing consultant agrees to be a referee. These are usually conducted in a car, a mile away from the office, with the same level of panic Drew Barrymore has when on the phone at the beginning of Scream. Silence speaks volumes and a refusal to speak on someone’s performance conjures up negativity more than anything else, which isn’t fair for someone who has done a good job?

It used to be the way with getting references from the UK. You’d get an email, subject line; “reference’ body of the email; “attached” and there would be some file containing the facts. Their name, their title, and the dates they worked. As grim and as informative as a headstone but at least they include an adjective or two like loving or caring! Nowadays, business owners over in Blighty will make time in the evening to save me coming into work too early which is greatly appreciated. It does raise the question of what do we use a reference for? Is it just to check that they worked there and during what time period? Is it a tool used to probe around areas for development? Does it provide insight into how this person is best managed? Or, is it the cornerstone to an interview process? In truth, it’s all of the above. A reference probably shouldn’t be used as a deciding factor, if you’re at the point of taking one I would think you’re are already 80 – 90% sure of hiring them. After all, the reference is only as credible as the referee…

I leave you on that lil cliffhanger. Hopefully, I’ve built it up enough to an inevitable disappointing Sopranos/GOT finale. If for some reason Seano decides to go AWOL and is inspired by some new piece of employment/HR legislation, I’ll step up to bat and blow the whistle on the unconscionable behaviour that unfortunately still haunts our industry.

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