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REFERENCE CHECK

Contacting an employment candidate's current or former employer or school regarding the individual's job and/or education history.

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RESPONDING TO

Caution must be exercised when responding to any reference check.  State policy prevents the release of information relating to an employee's performance or conduct, including disciplinary actions.  However, this information may be shared with the designated representative of a State agency when the employee is being considered for employment in that agency.

REQUESTING

Candidates authorize the State of Nevada to conduct reference checks by signing their applications. However, check whether a candidate has requested that his or her current employer not be contacted.

What types of questions are appropriate to ask a current or former employer?

  • Verification of dates of employment, title, job duties and salary.
  • Is the individual eligible for rehire?  If not, why?
  • What was the individual's reason for leaving?
  • What were the individual's strengths and weaknesses?
  • Major contributions, projects worked on, responsibilities?
  • Relations with superiors, subordinates and peers?

If an employment candidate has been or is a current employee of a State executive branch agency (excluding the Nevada System of Higher Education), an appointment may be made with Central Records to review a portion of the candidate's service jacket.

The references of a candidate being considered should be checked.  If a candidate is not considered due to a bad reference, document the business reason for removing the candidate from consideration for the position.

SOCIAL MEDIA

Check to see if your agency has a social media/internet or interviewing and hiring policy that addresses social media/internet candidate searches and, if your agency does not have such a policy, contact your human resource staff.

NRS 613.135 prohibits requiring or requesting the user name, password or other information that provides access to an individual's personal social media account.  A social media account is defined as any electronic service, account or content involving videos, photographs, blogs, video blogs, podcasts, instant and text messaging, electronic mail programs or services or online services or website profiles.

A social media/internet search should be conducted by someone not involved in the hiring decision (e.g., human resources) so that only job related information is provided to the hiring authority.

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