The employer’s ability to ethically share information about employees has become so clouded and confused that employers, who should know better, have begun to wonder if they’re legally allowed to share information with each other at all! Let me be perfectly clear about this: Yes, they are allowed to share.
Unequivocally, employers are allowed to share information; and, more importantly, it makes excellent sense why that should be so. To suggest that they aren’t makes no sense at all, except to the prospective employee with something to hide. And within the framework of information sharing, the job seeker should become the facilitator who makes it happen and who, frankly, should want to make it happen—not for the employer’s sake, but for his own. After all, he’s the person who wants to become employed! How else is the prospective employer going to find the right person for the job?
How, indeed? A great deal can be learned about a candidate’s technical skills through job interviews with someone whose technical skills are in the same field (or at least a very least a closely related field). It would be naïve to suggest that a highly trained organic chemist couldn’t get a fair sense of a candidate’s knowledge of organic chemistry through a one-on-one interview.
What is more difficult to determine, however, is determining how capable the candidate will be in terms of soft skills, like working well with others. It’s more difficult to know how effectively the candidate’s management style will fit within an organization’s existing corporate culture, or a hundred other things that are outside the scope of technical skills.
You may recall a real-life example I’ve written about before. It has to do with a sound and vibration engineer. His story is where we’ll pick up next time!