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PwC references

#1 PwC references
24/05/2008 14:00


can anyone tell me about the procedure for references here? i have got two references, one individual at my current firm and an academic reference. I appreciate they will contact the individuals i have named, are they also within their rights to contact the HR dept directly?


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#2 RE: PwC references
24/05/2008 15:28

answerator to question (#1)

Yes, the normal procedure is to contact HR. Most organisations require all reference requests to be passed onto HR anyway - besides the legal reasons for this, line managers don't have access/time to go through all the paperwork to confirm employment records, dates, etc.

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#3 RE: PwC references
25/05/2008 18:07

Hello to answerator (#2)

Is this references for the PWC PIC role? Do they want written or verbal references?

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#4 RE: PwC references
25/05/2008 18:51

anon to Hello (#3)

I would assume written - verbal references are usually only for senior and political positions where they need to dig for any dirt.

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#5 RE: PwC references
26/05/2008 12:40

Kat to anon (#4)

Do they normally check current salary with HR?

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#6 RE: PwC references
26/05/2008 15:59

Resident degenerate to Kat (#5)

Yes, that's one of the standard bits of "factual" (rather than opinion-based) information that they confirm in the reference check, alongside dates of employment, titles, etc.

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#7 RE: PwC references
27/05/2008 08:52

anon to Resident degenerate (#6)

How dare they check current salary. Who do they think they are? What business is it of theirs what anyone outside of the company currently earns? What do they do if you refuse your existing employer permission to release such confidential information to a third party?

However, I suspect your facts are wrong. For instance, you state that they check dates of employment, titles, etc. I'm not sure how they could possibly do that, except for your most recent job perhaps.

Does anyone here have the definitive answer?

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#8 RE: PwC references
27/05/2008 09:47

I agree to anon (#7)

I agree! How dare they check current salary. They obviously have already decided on the salary that they are going to grant you at the reference checkin stage so it is a bit unnecessary for them to undertake a spanish inquisition into your current salary. Also I thought it was a written reference they were after. Can we prevent HR from disclosing salary information?

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#9 RE: PwC references
27/05/2008 09:55

anon to I agree (#8)

To "I agree" - you certainly can prevent HR for disclosing your salary information. In fact, they NEED EXPLICIT PERMISSION if they're going to start talking about your salary to anyone other than yourself, so in fact you do not even need to tell them you do not give them permission - it is by default automatically denied. If they do disclose your salary details to ANYBODY other than yourself (the only exception being relevant managers within the company you currently work for, or suppliers like payroll bureaus for legitimate purposes) then they have committed a very serious breach of the data protection act and you could have their guts for garters. They simply cannot just go around disclosing your salary details to anybody who phones up expressing an interest in it.

I just think it is so wrong on so many levels that some companies insist they are entitled to know very sensitive facts about your personal life (e.g. current salary) when it really is none of their business. Either you can do the job or you can't - end of. In my opinion, any company that wants to know your current salary is either lacking confidence in their ability to select suitable candidates (using current salary as some kind of near-useless measure of whether you're up to the job), or has some kind of nasty agenda for the information (e.g. making you "show your hand" and them then using it as a basis for paying you as little as they can to get you to join).

Just my personal opinion of course.

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#10 RE: PwC references
27/05/2008 10:07

exactly to I agree (#8)

Poster above is right, HR can't give out salary details. References have been limited in their usefulness as giving a negative reference now leaves you open to being sued unless you can prove what you say to be fact. Most written references now consist of dates & position(s), which is accepted as an official reference.

Of course if your new employer knows someone you used to work with they are likely to check you out with them as well, but no record of that will be kept.

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#11 RE: PwC references
27/05/2008 10:54

contractor to exactly (#10)

err folks - when you start a new job you usually give the new employer your p45 - this will give them all the infromation they need relating to your pay and whether or not you've told porkies...

previous salary does matter - it confirms revenue brought iin or / worth to the company - if you're going for a 50k job and your previous earning were 25k they'll probably think you've cooked your CV and aren't worth it...the p45 will show this and they'll know you lied...

if you go for the 50k position and put 25k down on the cv they may well think you're not ready for the jump - there needs to be progression..

my advice - go contracting - more variety - more money (much more)...

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#12 RE: PwC references
27/05/2008 11:35

anon to contractor (#11)

You usually give your employer the P45 for convenience, but you do not have to.

As for previous salary, I fully understand why the prospective new employer might want that information, but it's not theirs to take! It's mine, it's private, I decide who has it, and they are extremely rude to ask for it. I wonder how they would react if I asked to see details of all THEIR staff's salaries, just to check whether they can offer me a sufficiently lucrative career path within the firm or to check whether the position they are offering me is senior enough. The bottom line is, whilst they might WANT that information, they have no RIGHT to it, and in my opinion any firm that asks for such personal information when they have no right to it is being out of order (even if they would find it extremely useful).

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#13 RE: PwC references
27/05/2008 22:26

Z to anon (#12)

You people (or person, as it rather sounds like one person posting under several names) are crazy. Anyone who takes such offence to a simple question (and one that comes up at interview regularly) is clearly unbalanced and unemployable.

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#14 RE: PwC references
27/05/2008 23:44

Mike to Z (#13)

Not sure where i sit on this one.

If in an interview and I was asked I would probably say my current salary but also make it clear that this shouldn't form the basis of an offer as I feel I am being underpaid in my current role.

I would probably find it a bit off if i were an interviewer and the interviewee wouldn't answer a standard interview question such as this

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#15 RE: PwC references
28/05/2008 06:54

anon to Mike (#14)

Lets get this clear: like the rest of you suckers, I too would capitulate and let the interviewer know anything he/she wanted, from my DOB through to my salary or even what time of the morning I usually take a dump, if they really wanted to know. But, I nonetheless feel that any employer that asks for your current salary is either planning to low-ball you on the offer, or lacks confidence in their ability to check you're capable of doing the job.

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#16 RE: PwC references
28/05/2008 08:42

Anon2 to anon (#15)

Anon, take a reality check. EVERY potential employer is likely to ask you what your currrent salary is, in order to position your application, and to see whether the discussion is worth having at all. This doesn't mean either they, or you, expect to get you for the same money - isn't this one of the most common reasons for people move after all? You current salary is only a starting point for negotiations, and there are ways and means of pitching it differently...

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#17 RE: PwC references
28/05/2008 19:09

---- to Anon2 (#16)

Yeah, they just take your current salary (where you are quite possibly paid WAY below what the market rate is) and then stick on some arbitrary percentage based on what they think is "fair". If they know your current salary, they can very precisely make the offer as low as possible.

I think in future, when I go to buy a car, I will ask the dealer how much they acquired it for so that I can verify whether the sales discussion is worth having with them. Of course this doesn't mean I expect to get the car for the same money, but it will serve as a good starting point for my negotiations with them.

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#18 RE: PwC references
28/05/2008 22:59

anon to ---- (#17)

Someone on this forum is massively insecure and/or massively overestimates their market value. Give it a rest mate.

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#19 RE: PwC references
29/05/2008 07:56

anon to anon (#18)

anon - shouldn't you be studying for your exams?

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#20 RE: PwC references
31/05/2008 10:50

Jana to anon (#19)

Don't think he is far off the point though. If you are currently underpaid it's frustrating and you want the jump but your pay scales are being used to keep you there. In negotiation you should give as little away as possible. Worse for me is that I have spent some years in academia and looking to move into industry yet I am either being offered junior roles (i.e. analyst - been there!) or associate positions of which some of the packages are below even my package in academia or what I was earning before i went into academia.

For e.g i got a call inviting me to an interview of which i was excited about until the recruiter asked if i was happy with £... package. I was shocked and dissapointed. It was sneaked in between standard questions of are you happy/ felxible with location, do you have a permit...etc So I had answered yes almost by default! Well on the one part I did not see it coming as I was lead to believe at the start of the call that they were simply scheduling an interview date, on the other part I thought salary negotiations were left to the final stages after you have convinced them that you are capable of doing the job. Also if i had said no to the package perhaps I wouldn't have an interview? I am hoping that going through the process will provide me an opportunity to convince them that their package is low. At the same time I can't help feeling short changed already and cosidering dropping out. So I guess it works both ways. Perhaps I can count on quick progression even then you have limited yourself by the package you have started with.

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#21 RE: PwC references
31/05/2008 12:15

Jamba to Jana (#20)

At the end of the day, each of us has to take personal responsibility for demonstrating our worth. We have no right to assume taht employers should take our estimations of our own worth at face value.

If you think you are underpaid in your current role then you just have to put forward such a stunning CV and interview that it is immediately apparent you are worth more than the next candidate. If you don't think your current salary is fair then you need to make a strong evidence-based argument as to why you are worth more.

When you go to interview you have to consider that maybe there are people out there who are prepared to work for less, are better qualified and still do as good or even better a job.

It's interesting how more than half of a population (in almost any industry) think they are paid substantially less than the median.

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#22 RE: PwC references
31/05/2008 12:27

The real world economist to anon (#9)

For everyone who refuses to disclose their salary information because you think you are underpaid in your old job, your reasoning is selfish and fundamentally flawed.

You say that you don't want to share your salary information because you are underpaid vs. the market. Yet, unless the better-paid candidates shared their salary information the employer would not have any basis to see that you really are underpaid at present. Without comparative information, any offer they could make would be further disconnected from the market and therefore would be more likely to be unfair.

If everyone took the attitude that their salary information was confidential then:

a) they would never realise they were underpaid, because they would not have market data to benchmark;

b) they would be more vulnerable to exploitation; and

c) there would be less connection between pay and performance, salaries would be less equitable, we would regress to a state where pay offers were based on irrelevant factors such as age, gender or class

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#23 RE: PwC references
31/05/2008 16:25

.... to The real world economist (#22)

That is wrong on so many levels I don't even know where to start with it

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#24 RE: PwC references
01/06/2008 12:24

Anon2 to .... (#23)

That may be the case, but this is a thread worth pursuing, if only because there are some strong feelings about worth vs reward out there.

Obviously a lot of factors come into play in a market situation, and while I'm sympathetic to someone coming from academia with proven consultancies skills wanting more pay this is presumably a) the reason for moving b) something you are able to prove, or at least demonstrate a strong case for when you are doing your pay deal?

For they guy who thinks he's a 'used car' and and consultancies are run by used car salesmen, the point is fairly obviously around 'self fullfilling prophesies'...mind you there are some companies where you'd fit in.

I suppose another point is the revenue you are going to bring in, this used to be calculated at ~4 times salary - I don't know what it would now - so if you want a, say £80k package (and it's package, not base pay that counts), then are you sure you are going to do £360k business pa going forwards?

Hard questions I know, but that's the nature of the business. And it takes good negotiating skills, which you could start by demostrating at interview. But my previous point stands, recruiters and companies will still want to know what your 'current package' is in order to get you the interview, and even if you hold out on it, it will be got out the end - I can't think of an interview where it hasn't...

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