My Background check is cleared, however my new employer still needs to contact my current HR for my current employer.

Should I resign prior to them contacting my current employer, or should I wait till that employment verification has been completed, then resign?

Any suggestions would be much appreciated.


3 Answers 3


Never resign until you have an unconditional job offer.

However, assuming this is the US, in almost every case your HR reference will be a formality. They will do no more than confirm that you worked in the position you said for the dates you said. Nor will they do less, by which I mean it is extremely unlikely that they will tell your new employers anything bad about you. So yes, you should give them permission to contact your HR before you resign. Don't worry, this is the normal way of doing things.

If you have particularly good relationship with your boss, you might like to tell him before the new company contacts HR. Make sure you do it informally and make it clear that you are not resigning. But this is only to be nice to him - it isn't necessary, and a good boss won't expect it. And be aware that it's a high risk thing to do. Some bosses will look to get rid of you if they think you are looking for another job.

  • my Job offer is conditional based on my background check. All my references have been called, my previous employment verification has been completed, and my education verification has been completed. So now, all that's left to do is contact my current HR dept. to confirm that I have been working here for the dates which I have mentioned on my application. So should I tell them to contact HR even though I have not yet resigned? - in that case, what do I tell HR? I don't want my current boss to get upset
    – Vanessa
    Commented Nov 29, 2013 at 17:11
  • Yes, that's what I mean when I said never resign before the offer is unconditional. You will need to give them permission to contact HR before you resign. Commented Nov 29, 2013 at 17:30
  • 4
    @Vanessa - Until you sign something or actually start working at the company they could if they wanted not take you on. So the advice about waiting to resign is still very valid.
    – Donald
    Commented Dec 2, 2013 at 13:00
  • Is there really such a thing as an unconditional job offer? Lying on a CV is grounds for dismissal.
    – user8365
    Commented Dec 3, 2013 at 4:48
  • @JeffO I didn't lie on my CV I just wanted to know how I would go about telling my current employer that they will be contacted regarding my dates -- without of course having to resign
    – Vanessa
    Commented Dec 3, 2013 at 20:03

I think you should talk to your new employer about it.

Your problem is very genuine. You should explain them the situation, that you have not informed in your current company that you will be resigning because you don't have a offer in hand and if they contact them right now it will be inappropriate.

It just makes sense. I think they should consider this much.

  • 1
    It's not inappropriate, if the offer is dependant on them talking to your current HR, you'll need to bite the bullet and let them know. Commented Nov 29, 2013 at 19:35
  • 1
    @MarkChapman - Making an offer contingent on this does not automatically make it appropriate.
    – user8365
    Commented Dec 3, 2013 at 4:47
  • From my experience across a number of industries, the ones who do checks like this tend to have a moral (or legal) requirement to do this before an offer, and the alternative is worse, I've seen people start a new job, which has a clause about checks, then find their reference isn't good enough, losing the new job in the process with no way of going back. Commented Dec 3, 2013 at 9:26

I would simply not allow it until a Firm offer is made and you have accepted / agreed to the terms of employment.

They are being unreasonable, if they won't agree to this, I would question if you want to work for them.

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