Just one more reason we, um, love HR

IT pilot fish's former co-worker is job hunting and asks fish for a favor: Will you let me use you as a reference?

"I was quite willing -- happy even -- to do so," says fish.

"He went through the normal interviewing and application process for one particular job. HR went through the normal reference-check process, where I was totally honest. He was hired and started the new job.

"A few weeks later, I got a call from a recruiter from that company. I was a bit surprised, because I had already given the reference and he'd started the job.

"But it turns out they weren't looking for a reference. They were trying to recruit his references.

"The recruiter called me during the day at work, which put me in a difficult situation -- my cubicle was not exactly a private place to hold a conversation.

"I ended up not pursuing a position with that company. I let my friend know what they had done, and it turned out that the company attempted to recruit every one of his references. That left a bad taste in all our mouths -- and left him a lot less happy with his new employer."

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