Reference Checking Your Prospective New Boss

Who's the Boss?
Who’s the Boss? (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Medical device employment and compensation have been frequent topics of mine over the past couple of years (see list below). It’s an important theme.

Today I’d like to talk about reference checking your prospective new boss. As a senior executive in the industry, I’ve hired many people for my companies – some more than once. As part of the hiring process, I always try to find colleagues in my network to provide references on the prospective hire. My goal is to build an outstanding team, and mistakes are costly.  While I always ask candidates to provide references, I also like to check with colleagues not on that list.

Turnabout is fair play. Yet I’ve never had a prospective employee ask me for references. Why not? I’m happy to provide them.

While I’m at it, here are a couple more questions I wish prospective employees would ask:
Describe your management style?
How do you help employees improve their skill sets and advance in their careers?

Taking a new job means agreeing to spend the next part of your career working for a new person. It’s not a decision to make lightly. After you get an offer, ask your prospective boss for references  and do your research.

On his blog, Guy Kawasaki’s advice is even more direct. Check it out here.

And here’s that list of my employment and compensation posts:


4 thoughts on “Reference Checking Your Prospective New Boss

  1. I am 100% on board with inquiring about management style and career advancement. I’m just wondering if some folks may find asking the hiring manager for references to be a little hard to do. Certainly, you could check LinkedIn to find previous colleagues, but do you think people would provide truly candid reviews if they were still employed by that manager?

    And I love the picture of Tony’s van. That’s classic.

    1. Thanks. Good point – like any reference check, the relationship of the reference is important. Personally, I’m happy to give references from past employees, as well as current staff.

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