Growth Strategies

Can I ask a new employee's previous employer the reason of separation?

min read
Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.
Oh, yes, you may certainly ask -- but don’t expect an answer. I estimate that 95 percent of all employers will only provide you with the dates of employment and title of past employees; and then they will confirm a salary level if authorized in writing by the employee to do that.

Savvy employers are aware that employees who lost out on job opportunities when a reference check revealed their poor performance or bad behavior, etc. will sue the past employer if they can for ruining their chances of gainful new employment. It does not matter if what the past employer said is true or not, as often "truth" can be conveyed in a variety of ways and -- is like beauty -- somewhat in the eyes of the beholder.

About the only way to obtain an honest assessment about a potential employee from a past employer is to know someone well enough that works at that company who is willing to talk with you on an assured confidential basis because they trust you.

More from Entrepreneur

Kim's expertise can help you become a strong leader, pitch VCs for capital, and develop a growth strategy.
Book Your Session

In as little as seven months, the Entrepreneur Authors program will turn your ideas and expertise into a professionally presented book.
Apply Now

Are paying too much for business insurance? Do you have critical gaps in your coverage? Trust Entrepreneur to help you find out.
Get Your Quote Now

Latest on Entrepreneur

My Queue

There are no Videos in your queue.

Click on the Add to next to any video to save to your queue.

There are no Articles in your queue.

Click on the Add to next to any article to save to your queue.

There are no Podcasts in your queue.

Click on the Add to next to any podcast episode to save to your queue.

You're not following any authors.

Click the Follow button on any author page to keep up with the latest content from your favorite authors.