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-   -   Laws for reference calls (https://www.englishforum.ch/employment/299050-laws-reference-calls.html)

Guest 10.07.2020 12:27

Laws for reference calls
 
Hi,


Do you have any laws for reference calls in Switzerland ? The employer can say whatever he wants? ;)

fatmanfilms 10.07.2020 12:38

Re: Laws for reference calls
 
Quote:

Hi,


Do you have any laws for reference calls in Switzerland ? The employer can say whatever he wants? ;)
Pretty much as he cant do the same on your written reference, which has to be 'positive'.

Guest 10.07.2020 12:48

Re: Laws for reference calls
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by fatmanfilms (Post 3197969)
Pretty much as he cant do the same on your written reference, which has to be 'positive'.


Even if it contradicts what is written in the reference letter ? This is tricky isn't it ?

fatmanfilms 10.07.2020 13:01

Re: Laws for reference calls
 
Quote:

Even if it contradicts what is written in the reference letter ? This is tricky isn't it ?
Nope, it's probably coded. "Holbond was a great employee & we were satisfied with his performance" translates as Holbond was a poor employee & we were not satisfied with his performance.

Spinal 10.07.2020 13:09

Re: Laws for reference calls
 
Quote:

Even if it contradicts what is written in the reference letter ? This is tricky isn't it ?
The reference letters are "coded" as they cannot be negative. There are "decoders" online ...

E.g. "Satisfactory" means unsatisfactory. "Good" means bad. "Very good" is ok. "Excellent" is good.

Stolen from another thread:

Quote:

Originally Posted by Th3Alchemist (Post 2584549)
Some examples I found on this article of Tagesanzeiger translated to EF emojis:

:D
  • «Wir waren mit seinen Leistungen stets sehr zufrieden»
  • «Sie war stets freundlich, zuvorkommend und korrekt»
  • «Wir würden sie jederzeit wieder einstellen»

:)
  • «Er arbeitete stets gut»
  • «Seine Leistungen waren überdurchschnittlich»
  • «Sie war stets freundlich und korrekt»
  • «Wir bedauern seinen Austritt»

:o
  • «Seine Leistungen waren zufriedenstellend»
  • «Sie erledigte ihre Aufgaben zu unserer Zufriedenheit»
  • «Mit ihren Leistungen waren wir zufrieden»
  • «Sein Verhalten war einwandfrei»

:(
  • «Er bemühte sich, die Arbeiten bestens zu erledigen»
  • «Er gab stets sein Bestes»
  • «Sie zeigte für ihre Arbeit Verständnis»
  • «Wir schätzten seinen grossen Eifer»
  • «Sie bemühte sich, ihre Aufgaben so gut wie möglich zu erfüllen»
  • «Sie setzte all ihre Fähigkeiten ein»
  • «Er erledigte alle Aufgaben ordnungsgemäss»
  • «Sie bemühte sich stets um gute Vorschläge»
  • «Sie machte sich mit grossem Eifer an die Aufgaben heran»
  • «Er erledigte die ihm übertragenen Aufgaben mit grossem Fleiss»
  • «Sie zeigte grosses Einfühlungsvermögen»
  • «Er trug zur Verbesserung des Arbeitsklimas bei»
  • «Sein Verhalten war korrekt»
  • «Der Austritt erfolgt in gegenseitigem Einverständnis»

So as you can see, some codes are very tricky to understand...


Guest 10.07.2020 13:17

Re: Laws for reference calls
 
Oh man. Do these carry a lot of weight in Switzerland ? Like they dont hire you because of a bad reference.

fatmanfilms 10.07.2020 13:23

Re: Laws for reference calls
 
Quote:

Oh man. Do these carry a lot of weight in Switzerland ? Like they dont hire you because of a bad reference.
Depends on how desperate they are to hire & what you can offer the company.

bowlie 10.07.2020 13:31

Re: Laws for reference calls
 
I couldn’t fault her for anything suggests you could fault her for everything.

My last employer directed management to decline all verbal references requests and to refer them to HR. They would only confirm employment, or not

Urs Max 10.07.2020 13:40

Re: Laws for reference calls
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by fatmanfilms (Post 3197969)
Pretty much as he cant do the same on your written reference, which has to be 'positive'.

Not true, the same rules apply to all forms of communication. However, instead of replying in a negative way, which would indeed be illegal, the reference'ing person just remains silent.

In my limited experience, if a reference letter isn't coded it explicitly says so. I would guess this is the standard nowadays.

Guest 10.07.2020 13:49

Re: Laws for reference calls
 
Normal laws for slander and such do count, but if you want to take up action the burden of proof is on you.

Mica 10.07.2020 14:01

Re: Laws for reference calls
 
Here is the Federal Supreme Court decision on references by phone (in French, deepl.com is your friend).
https://www.bger.ch/ext/eurospider/l...ment&zoom=YES&

Spinal 10.07.2020 14:24

Re: Laws for reference calls
 
Quote:

Oh man. Do these carry a lot of weight in Switzerland ? Like they dont hire you because of a bad reference.
Depends on the company. I know of some people that put heavy emphasis on reference letters, others really don't care.

I didn't know this when I moved, and so I gave my employer a UK reference letter (which states only my job title, start and end date). The UK firm policy states that they will do nothing more than that.

This was provided after I accepted the contract in CH, and had started moving.

My (future) manager called me, and asked why my reference letter was so bad. I told him I wasn't aware that it was bad, and that I thought the UK firms policy was to provide only the three details. He quickly checked with my manager in the UK on a phone call, and all was cleared up.

On the other hand, I really don't care about reference letters when hiring. All I want from HR is the CV. If the person has worked with someone I know, I may ask said person some pointers, but the decision is made in the interview.

One thing to note is this also applies to the wording that a reference letter is not coded. I believe that it's now standard to say that a letter is not coded, but the recipient can still choose to interpret whatever they want.

Guest 10.07.2020 14:27

Re: Laws for reference calls
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Mica (Post 3198010)
Here is the Federal Supreme Court decision on references by phone (in French, deepl.com is your friend).
https://www.bger.ch/ext/eurospider/l...ment&zoom=YES&


this is awesome

Jim2007 10.07.2020 15:50

Re: Laws for reference calls
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Spinal (Post 3197982)
The reference letters are "coded" as they cannot be negative. There are "decoders" online ...

This would be the secret code the just about everyone and their mother knows about, a well kept secret!

After thirty years here, I can say it is myth. Employees won't accept references that might even hint to a code, HR is never sure if a reference is in code or perhaps it's not, then again it might be.....

Every employer knows that nobody is going to give you a bad reference and in any case it's easy to kick you out if it does not work out. So they just go through the motions.

During my working life I held 9 positions many at well known Swiss companies and I never provided a reference to any of them. When ask I just replied "Sorry, it is not my policy to provide references." and nobody ever pushed back.

But Switzerland is a small country where everyone knows everyone and the real references happens in the background. Countless times I've been called by agencies and employers asking me to give opinions on people I worked with in the past.

Jim2007 10.07.2020 15:52

Re: Laws for reference calls
 
Quote:

this is awesome
And you think a court case will prevent people from talking... think again.

Guest 10.07.2020 15:55

Re: Laws for reference calls
 
Can you just decline to provide references ?


To be honest, if references can cause trouble why doesn't Swiss completely abolish this practice ? I don't see any gain in this references except for unnecessary hassles. I mean if the applicant is that bad, he will definitely not clear the interview. The only thing worth checking is if he actually worked in that company which he listed on his resume.

Guest 10.07.2020 16:00

Re: Laws for reference calls
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Jim2007 (Post 3198038)
And you think a court case will prevent people from talking... think again.


Agree with you

DUTCH 10.07.2020 16:57

Re: Laws for reference calls
 
Quote:

Can you just decline to provide references ?...

I don't see any gain in this references except for unnecessary hassles. I mean if the applicant is that bad, he will definitely not clear the interview. ...

I have found verbal references from previous employers fantastic tool in segregating the ace-exam-takers from good hires. Half-hour interviews are good to get the final candidate but managers want to know they are getting what they think they are getting.


Both receiving and giving references has been worth while IME, even when the other manager was not known personally to me.

Guest 10.07.2020 17:22

Re: Laws for reference calls
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by DUTCH (Post 3198055)
I have found verbal references from previous employers fantastic tool in segregating the ace-exam-takers from good hires. Half-hour interviews are good to get the final candidate but managers want to know they are getting what they think they are getting.


Both receiving and giving references has been worth while IME, even when the other manager was not known personally to me.


Were you not able to segregate that during your personal interview with the candidates ?


I may be wrong but verbal references are generally asked for after the candidate is given an offer right ?

DUTCH 10.07.2020 17:25

Re: Laws for reference calls
 
Quote:

Were you not able to segregate that during your personal interview with the candidates ?

I may be wrong but verbal references are generally asked for after the candidate is given an offer right ?

I always got and made reference calls before making an offer. There is no point otherwise, is there?

If you refuse to give references, yeah some people will make their own minds up about why that is.


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