A possible new Company B [3 interviews so far] asks for a reference from current [soon to be past] Company A. I got an email from HR who wants a phone number to give a quick call.

Your thoughts?

PS/ People in company A will certainly say I'm the best, but i don't want this contact to happen.


2 Answers 2


If you are in the US, you have very little to be concerned, unless you have something negative written against you in your HR file. Even in some cases, past or soon-to-be-past employers do not bring them to the table, with the fear of being sued.

Provided your company A is a structured organization with HR department and a legal department and such. In that case even if they call your boss directly, he had better not talk to those guys but refer them to HR for the proper answers. And HR will only verify your employment dates and your title or titles if you had more than one during your tenure at company A.

So, by all means, give company B the number to HR department of company A and tell them that the procedure to contact your supervisor is to ask HR to connect them. In no company I worked in US would do that. And since you are in the final leg of your employment with company, does it really matter if they know who your next employer will be ? unless of course you are going to work for a direct competitor and have signed non-compete clauses in your contract, in which case I advise you to lawyer up, quick.

  • But the poster wants to avoid company A knowing that he's talking to company B. He's not worried about what company A will tell company B, he's worried about whether it will cause problems with company A, especially if he doesn't get the job.
    – djr
    Apr 1, 2016 at 17:12
  • post updated with details :)
    – Oussama L.
    Apr 1, 2016 at 17:23
  • Post might be updated but not with any additional facts. Why are so adamant about company A not to be contacted ? Do still have doubts that company B can reject you and you may have to work for company A ? Or did you misrepresent your work title/responsibilities at company A, while talking to company B ? Other than these two scenarios, I can not think of anything that can make you concerned if this talk happens.
    – MelBurslan
    Apr 1, 2016 at 20:00

Don't use a manager, by ALL means. It will be a strike against you. If you don't get hired on the new job, you don't want too many people at the old one knowing that you're looking to leave. Your current boss will go into panic mode, I guarantee, and will likely start treating you unfavorably.

Even if you're pressed for "current managerial references", DON'T DO IT. Use a trusted peer if you have to.

  • post updated :)
    – Oussama L.
    Apr 1, 2016 at 17:23
  • Surely by the time references are required that is usually one of the very last hurdles in a job. Besides why would a manger treat you unfavorably?
    – Ed Heal
    Apr 1, 2016 at 18:02
  • Ed -- it's plain and simple. They don't want to deal with having to hire somebody new. So as long as you're still there, it's best to keep the manager in the dark until an offer letter is received from the new employer, and the offer is accepted.
    – Xavier J
    Apr 1, 2016 at 18:35

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