Author Topic: How to give a recommendation?  (Read 1701 times)

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How to give a recommendation?
« on: Feb 23, 2015, 12:33 pm »
I'm being contacted by other companies that ask, "Is there anyone you know that's available?" Sometimes though, their question is "Have you worked with X? Would you recommend them?" Unfortunately I can count the number of SMs I'd wholeheartedly recommend on one hand, the talent pool here is just that limited. But I don't want to come out and say "For the love of god, PLEASE don't hire this person, they're just too green for your needs." Legally that's a no-no.

If I'm unsure I'll usually ask what type of production it is (plays are better for brand new SMs), what their specific needs are (ex: someone familiar with The Nutcracker though it was a reimagining), what skill set they require (ex: QLab), those kind of questions. Are there any other things I should do or questions I should ask? I like being a helpful resource to these companies, and in my mind if the bar is raised across the board it benefits the whole community. I don't want to send over a terrible SM and have them doubt my recommendations.


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Re: How to give a recommendation?
« Reply #1 on: Feb 23, 2015, 03:57 pm »
As a potential employer, my question was "would you hire X again?"  That told me most of what I needed to know.  I guess you could re-phrase it , "We're (I'm) not hiring X back for the next show (rest of the season)". No more details if asked why.  Do you have an HR department that you could run that phrasing by? 
It's very tricky what you can say and not say.


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Re: How to give a recommendation?
« Reply #2 on: Feb 23, 2015, 04:33 pm »
There is legal requirements if you are on staff of a theater about recommendations.

Talk to you HR person.

But basically, if I do not recommend someone, I would never say "OH MY GOD, DON'T HIRE THIS PERSON."

My recommendation would be all factual.

This person worked on this show, these dates.  They were terminated at the end of the show, and not re-hired since.

Someone would get the idea.

If the person was an INTERN under me, and someone asks for a recommendation, I will ask them to explain the job to me, and then I will say where they had successes with me and my team in areas that line up.

Remember, that if you saying something that could harm them, then you might get in trouble.

I also recommend giving recommendations either in person or on phone and not emailing.

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Anything posted here as in my own personal opinion, and does not necessarily reflect the opinion of my employer - whomever they be at a given moment in time.


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