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I am getting a background check done and they want to call my current employer. I'm fine with it, but just curious, would my current employer know I'm leaving? Is the call pretty anonymous?

I would prefer my current employer not know it's a hiring company checking my background. I mean when I get a loan, they call my company too to verify employment.

Thanks!

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  • Your location probably matters for this. Can you tell use what country/region you're in?
    – BSMP
    Oct 13 '20 at 2:13
  • i'm currently in the USA
    – confused
    Oct 13 '20 at 2:22
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    Seems odd that a background check for a job application would involve calling your current employer. Are you sure that's what they are doing, and not trying to get a reference? I would definitely not consent to calling my current employer before joining a new company. Oct 13 '20 at 7:28
  • I'd be pretty worried if my company started giving out info about me if the caller didn't identity themselves and if I hadn't OK'd it. If you get a loan, do you not have to give a heads-up to Finance or HR that "I've applied for a loan at ACME Bank and they may call to check my employment history, I'm happy with you to share my details with them" (AFAIK here in the UK, a credit check wouldn't involve calling your employer directly but would instead check your credit score) Oct 13 '20 at 13:36
  • I doubt it's remotely possible to do an anonymous background check. After all, they're requesting information about you, specifically, and they'll have to give a reason for calling. Even if they don't say you applied for a job there, the employer can easily add up 1+1.
    – Llewellyn
    Oct 13 '20 at 18:03
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If the company identifies themselves to your employer truthfully, they will know that you're at least looking.

Would you really want your company to hand over personal information to an anonymous party? This kind of information may be covered by Protection of Personal Information law, and may carry a penalty if your current company violates it.

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Over the last 10+ years many companies in the United States have been switching to using a third-party to respond to background checks for jobs and loans.

In the case of background checks for jobs, the service provides dates of employment, job title, and little else. This is done to eliminate any need to provide any detailed performance information. This minimizes their risk of getting sued by a former employee because of a bad reference check. It also protects employees because the new company won't be talking to their current boss.

In the case of a employment check to approve a loan, the companies only release pay information if the employee has told the 3rd party company that bank x will be contacting them. This is generally done by getting a pin or reference number for the bank to use when requesting the pay information.

When I have called references during the hiring process I have not been interested in the performance information from their current manager. They are biased. They want to keep good employees and get rid of poor employees. Plus it jeopardizes the candidates current job situation.

Find out if your current employer uses a external company for this information.

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I am getting a background check done and they want to call my current employer. I'm fine with it, but just curious, would my current employer know I'm leaving? Is the call pretty anonymous?

Probably

They will likely verify that you are a current employee and your start date. This could be for a job, a loan, or signing a lease. If you work at a really small office, they may figure out you're in the home-stretch job-search wise.

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