While applying for a job online, I came across the following yes/no question on the application form:

Prior to an offer being made, [company] requires that YOU coordinate a time and date for us to speak to your former managers. Do you agree to coordinating those calls if and when the time comes?

I know that most employers ask a Yes/No question if you'd like them to contact your current employer, but this implies that they will hold an offer until you a) resign from your current employer, then b) allow them to contact your former (or soon-to-be-former) employer. I've never seen this before. Is it common?

  • @JoeStrazzere this is in the US.
    – guest
    Commented Aug 15, 2016 at 2:09
  • Well, that would certainly make it easier for you to get one of your buddies to pretend to be a former manager, and give you a glowing reference, wouldn't it? :-) Commented Aug 15, 2016 at 3:52
  • 2
    The odd part is that they're asking you to coordinate the meeting time and date. Typically you'd just provide contact information and let them take it from there.
    – DLS3141
    Commented Aug 15, 2016 at 14:31
  • If they expect this of candidates, I wonder what they'd expect of employees... doesn't seem to bode well. Commented Aug 15, 2016 at 18:10

4 Answers 4


No it's not common and is either a mistake or incompetence from whoever was setting up their hiring process. I'd avoid even applying.

With a clause like that, they're not going to be staffing with the best people. If it's an error or incompetence, it doesn't bode well that it hasn't been picked up before or shortly after it went live.

  • 2
    +1 BIg HONKING red flag with a blinking light on it to boot. Run, run fast, run far from this company. Commented Aug 15, 2016 at 12:58

It will depend on the country that you're referring to, of course.

Personally, I would say No to that section of your application form, and write a short note nearby stating that it's your old companies corporate policy for all reference requests to be directed to their HR department.

In the US and UK, it's quite common that reference requests are not accepted by managers, and are instead redirected to the HR department. All they will confirm is your job title, the period you worked there, and (sometimes) whether they would reemploy you or not. To do otherwise may leave them open to legal action if the manager says something about you that you do not agree with.


To be honest, I read this as them saying that prior to a formal offer being made they will need to be able to contact your references. In other words, they've come to the conclusion they wish to hire you but they need to dot their I's and cross their T's. In my experience this is what generally happens in most situations. In case that this isn't their intention, I would email them to be sure. I highly doubt they're actually asking you to quit ahead of time.


If that's actually their intent, yes that's odd.

OTOH my initial read of it is they're asking about someone from either your job before this one or who left your current employer because they're potentially 'safer' in that talking to them doesn't impact your situation at your current job.

Another possibility is that the wording was intended to be used for a candidate that is currently out of work; and you were given it by a mistake or oversight.

  • It is still weird that they expect you to coordinate the communication.
    – JasonJ
    Commented Aug 17, 2016 at 12:39

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