Over the course of your career, it is likely that most people will at some stage have to put in an employment reference request. There are three main types of employment references individuals can seek to obtain. In this blog, we will be looking at the difference between the three.
One of the things job seekers will need to consider when looking to obtain an employment reference is where is it likely to come from. Does your line manager have authority to provide you with a reference? Will it be coming from a centralised HR management team? Or will a reference from a former work colleague be more suitable? Knowing in advance what kind of references are available, will mean that you can plan in advance and avoid any potential problems before they occur. Such as at the point of accepting a new job.
Let’s take a look at the differences between references.
HR References are most likely going to be provided by a centralised HR team and represent the most generic of the three. Given that HR teams, more often than not, are usually based at the company’s head office, it is unlikely the people providing them have much hands-on experience of working with the individuals in question. This means that the reference will contain very little information about the individual, providing only the employees’ start date, end date and job title.
Line Manager References
Line manager references at least come from people that have actually worked with the job seeker and thus can be expected to be more personal than HR references. An individual will only be able to receive a reference from their line manager if he or she is authorised by the company to provide them with one. This varies depending on your employer and so it’s good to know whether you’ll be able to request one should the need arise. A reference from a line manager will usually detail how well an individual worked with management and colleagues, as well as providing insight into their work ethic. They may even be able to comment on how an individual coped under pressure and within client facing interactions.
Peer-to-peer references are those from an individual’s colleagues and peers. These are extremely useful for job seekers and help to give a potential employer a more balanced idea of the individual, and what it will be like working with them. Plus provide useful information such as how a job seeker is perceived within a team. Peer-to-peer references also help to give recruiters an idea of what kind of role or company would suit an individual best, based on what their previous or current colleagues say about them.