PR 605 Lecture Notes - Lecture 80: Job Performance, Conscientiousness, W. M. Keck Observatory

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More than 80% of employers do employment and personal reference checks on people who apply for jobs with their organization. The reason for this is because the employers want to know how applicants have done in previous jobs and whether any other employees would recommend hiring the individual. However, the problem is that former employers normally don"t give useful information. In fact, two-thirds of former employers don"t give detailed references because they"re scared of being sued for saying bad things about a former employee. The result of this is a paradox: most employers want reference information from applicants, but few people will actually give it out. Another background check comes in the form of letters of recommendation. Applicants choose references that will write positive things about the applicants. This means almost every letter of recommendation is positive toward applicants. Overall, readers of these letters either ignore them altogether or ready between the lines to find the meaning behind it.

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