Can employers call previous employers without permission

Can employers call previous employers without permission

Can employers call previous employers without permission?

The Answer is yes. They Can!

Should you be worried? No.

If you’re trying to keep your job hunting a secret, you wouldn’t want your current employer to find out.  Interviewers generally ask candidates “may we contact your current employer”. But that’s not with everyone.  But if you don’t cooperate, won’t you seem as if you’re trying to hide something?

Can employers call previous employers without permission

So can your current employer contact your previous employer without your permission? 

Well, it depends if you have already joined a new company and on what kind of papers you have signed. 

If it’s just a reference check by a potential employer without consent, then the answer is no.  

The best way to avoid a situation like this is to express your concern that you’d like to keep your job search private. But that in time, it will be perfectly okay. 

The background verification is a very important part of the hiring process. Reference checking or Background verification is the process of verifying the information provided by the potential candidate in his resume, interview, or job application.

Why do companies conduct background verification?

There has been an upward trend in candidates lying about their qualifications, last drawn salaries, job responsibilities, or employment. Background checking ensures that employers do not hire a candidate with a suspicious background. 

Employers conduct background checking to get information on the candidate’s past work history, criminal records, misdeeds at the workplace, performance credentials, educational credentials, etc.  Today, almost all the companies run background verifications on job applicants before offering the job.

If you have had a successful interview and still waiting to hear back from the company, they might be busy with your background verifications. 

Meanwhile, you may check with your references if the they called them.

If not, It’s a good idea to send them an email! writing an interview follow-up email on can improve your chances of getting hired!

So, Can employers call previous employers without permission? Yes! SO keep healthy relations with all your employers. and you do not have to worry.


An avid reader who loves reading sci-fi and modern mysteries. Partake in endless conversations, and find new friends along the way. I have 13+ years of experience working in industries ranging from tech start-ups to HR bigshots. I have found that nothing satisfies me more than meeting new people, developing new relations, gaining and sharing knowledge, solving problems, and contributing to the overall growth of the business.

This Post Has 11 Comments

  1. john doe

    But what if your past employer was ripping you off, you found out and tried to report him but then got let go because the company is behind it. So now after trying to get your supervisor fired for stealing from you he now gives false Information about you to not let you have the job?

    1. Harry

      First thing, I’m assuming you have cleared your interview rounds. the company liked your profile, skills, and credentials. Do not worry, stay positive.
      In a situation like that, The best way is to inform your current employer about why were you let go. If it wasn’t your fault,
      you have nothing to worry about.

  2. Tim Hall

    What happens if a future employer calls your previous work place and does not ash for someone in HR? Instead they hear from some employee in the work place that may spread a rumor about me? Isn’t it required that new employers get their information through the HR channel?

    1. Harry

      In absence of an HR manager, the new employers prefer talking to your reporting manager only.

  3. NigelWilliams

    An individual has been employed for 4 years. The employer didn’t take up references at the time. Can the employer now ask for references ?

    1. Harry

      Yes, it is well within the employer’s rights to do background checks on its employees as and when they feel the need. If you have something that you did not disclose during the interview and do not want to be discovered ever, It’s better to talk to your manager about it.

  4. James Guerrero

    I interviewed with a company and they asked may i contact your current employer i said no not at this time. Well after the interview they did end up contacting my employer. the reason i told her no was because my current employer has a happen of letting people go if they hear they are looking for other work. Are they able to do that?

    1. Harry

      They shouldn’t have done that. It’s wrong.

  5. Mark

    I applied for a position and they have a spot on their application for “work and related experience” they are requesting my supervisors name and contact info. Are they allowed to contact them? I have given my references and they are different than my current employer.

  6. Arlene

    Can a hiring manager call an applicant’s previous employers prior to a first interview?

    1. Harry

      NO. They can’t.

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