I have always been an employee and not a contractor.

Provision of references have always come after the initial interview, most commonly well into the interview process when there is more certainty of a match.

A consultancy that farms staff out to client companies is requesting to speak with my references before they send my CV to the client company, for a specific role which is not a 100% match. If am am not considered as a match for this role, there is no other role this intermediary / consultancy has for me.

What is the consensus on providing references to a recruiting company before any interviews with the client company and before they have even seen my CV?

My concern is regarding my references being contacted multiple times by multiple consultancies for roles such as this that might not go beyond the client company viewing my CV.

klisht99's picture

Alex, It's common for a recuiting firm to screen references before sending a resume to a client. If you are applying for other jobs via this firm they will only need to check your references once. If its not a good match and you don't see yourself moving forward with this firm, it could be a waste of time for everyone.


Thanks, Nick

Alex_W's picture

Thanks Nick, the problem is, we don't even know if a) the role is still viable, and b) my backgound, though extensive and covers 90% of the JD does not cover certain parts of the role, and c) this is the only role this out-of-coutry consultancy is considering me for.  

I could get 10 contacts from 10 different consultancies like this a week - that means my references would be inconvenienced 10 times (a week) for roles that might not even get to a first interview. As opposed to every other situation I've been in, where references were contacted well into the interviewing process. 

timrutter's picture

I'm in a similar circumstance being on the job trail right now Alex. I've made the decision that I may have to sacrifice my relationship with the recruiter to protect my relationship with my referees.

Anecdoctally, a little firm pushback has not been the end of the application process in more than 50% of time.

As a personal opinion, this is one of many really dumb things I'm seeing in recruitment recently that all seem to be based in administrative efficiency rather than good results.


Alex_W's picture

Thanks Tim, yours echos my experience - you nailed it: administrative efficiency rather than good results..

The firm I am working with, based in the UK, for placement of a role in another part of the planet, insisted despite my diplomatic and polite best, to stick to their script, annoyingly and frankly rudely so, ignoring my valid reasons for withholding my references until later in the process.

I reiterated that by working together we could still get to the same place.

In the end I found a workaround (which I could discuss separately), but the damage had essentially been done - the impression they made on me is that they are out of touch with the environment in which they are trying to work, do not understand local practices, and, chose to blindly follow protocol despite respecting the concerns of their client candidates.

I would prefer to work with firms who follow a more 50-50 approach. My guess is that they are out there, and as candidates, we have a choice.