‘JT & Dale Talk Jobs’ is the largest nationally syndicated career advice column in the country and can be found at JTandDale.com.
Dear J.T. & Dale: I applied for a job in my field and received a response that included a lengthy questionnaire and a requirement to obtain my own credit report using a service they prefer. I’m supposed to get the report, then provide the company with the access number so they can look at it. I already know my credit score, and I did not feel comfortable giving the required credit-card info. (The report is free during the “trial period” but still requires a credit card to register.) Is there any way around this? — Joe
J.T.: This seems odd to me. I know some companies are complaining about spending small fortunes on background/credit checks, only to find that the majority of applicants fall short and get disqualified. So I guess I could see a company wanting you to pay for your own score, especially if you can get it as a “free trial”; however, why can’t you just print it out and give to them?
Dale: Because they’re distrustful, which is why they’re doing the check in the first place. So I understand their reasoning, and I see how they think they’re being clever in avoiding the cost. But do you really want to work for a company that thinks like this? I remember J.T. once quoting a saying among HR people: “However difficult the applicant is in the hiring process, they’ll be 10 times that much trouble as an employee.” Now that the economy is improving, I’d like to flip that around and apply the 10-times rule to future employers.
J.T.: We have to remember HR can have a different personality than the rest of the company; however, Joe, if you have some options, what I’d suggest is you print out your credit score, showing the date so they know it’s recent. If that’s not good enough for them, then walk away.
Jeanine “J.T.” Tanner O’Donnell is a professional development specialist and the founder of the consulting firm, JTODonnell.com, and of the career management blog, CAREEREALISM.com. Dale Dauten resolves employment and other business disputes as a mediator with AgreementHouse.com.
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