Job references should be abolished, so the unanimous opinion Opinions many experts. But there are also a number of pro arguments.

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Is a neutral job description the better way?

Should job references be abolished because they are simply too time-consuming? Or continue to be retained? To the Solution the question “work reference or not?” experts suggest limiting yourself to neutral job descriptions without any professional or personal evaluation.

It is also important to have good experiences abroad with letters of reference, in which supervisors give their name and a short personal appreciation for a former Employees vouch

These are the top 5 of criticisms on the work certificate:

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Now follows a more detailed overview of the reasoning - first the 5 main criticisms.

  1. The compilation of working documents and the clarification of relevant disputes is associated with a high administrative burden. This leads to a cost-intensive waste of working time. The number of employees who leave their employer every year in Germany and are entitled to a certificate goes into the millions. In addition, approximately 30.000 processes are conducted annually in the form of allegedly untrue or incorrect work products before the German labor courts.
  2. Certificate generation is automated in many large companies through EDP, resulting in impersonal unit certificates with minimal impact. They are neither an appropriate appraisal of the services provided, nor do they make a meaningful contribution to the selection of candidates among potential new employers.
  3. Many smaller companies are very careless about the subject of working certificates, because they themselves do not benefit from this administrative act, which is perceived to be annoying. Nevertheless, they are obliged to provide evidence. The result is not infrequent or scarce testimony, which gives the reader the impression of lesser judgment.
  4. Many people who are entrusted with the certification are not sufficiently familiar with the Certificate Code. Unwanted or misleading statements can be misunderstood as criticism of the employee's achievements.
  5. Many works are exaggerated and undeserved praises, prescribed by the worker himself or issued by conflicting employers who want to avoid a possible legal dispute with the employee from the outset.

Old brooms sweep well

But there are also numerous arguments that are put forward in favor of retaining job references as evidence of employee performance.

The arguments of the testimony critics have become more violent in some cases resistance formed. The original sound Criticism: Why get rid of a tool that works well when old brooms still sweep well?

Instead of thinking about the abolition of the evaluation tool, personnel departments should recall the preparation of the more widely used, differentiated performance evaluations, which they themselves expect from applicants.

What do work products bring? The Top 5 Pro arguments

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Now part 2 of the more detailed overview of the reasoning - here the 5 main pro-arguments.

  1. In countries in which documentary evidence such as the German job reference is not common (e.g. in the USA and Great Britain), a separate branch of industry has long developed. The latter deals exclusively with “background checks” to check the correctness of the information in the applicant's CV. In comparison, this research is significantly more expensive than the creation and correction of certificates. Due to the relatively strict data protection in Germany, expensive lawsuits by "spied" applicants should also be expected.
  2. In the past few years, a standardized language for the "Letter of Reference" has been established, which works with so-called "red flags": formulations that hide hidden problems with the employee. Linked to this is a steadily increasing number of lawsuits against reference exhibitors. The effort that the international letter of reference causes in the HR departments and before courts therefore increasingly resembles that of the German job reference.
  3. Surveys show that German companies want to have as much written information as possible to assess job aspirants. A call to former employers to obtain information is quite unusual in Germany, unlike for example in the USA. The work certificate is an indispensable role in the application documents, which is the only neutral document (ie not prepared by the employee).
  4. Work products are an important motivation factor. Employees in Germany know that their achievements are finalized by the employer and that this assessment will be important for any future recruitment. A value-free work certificate or a non-committal recommendation letter, which is only used for a short time, can not give this impetus.
  5. Knowing the certificate code is simply part of the tools of the trade for every HR manager and can ultimately be learned relatively easily. In view of the fact that every HR manager wants a meaningful reference when applying for a job, it must be clear that you cannot expect something that you are not willing to do yourself.

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