Looking for a job? Ask a co-worker to be a reference, suggests new study
Study says both bosses and co-workers can provide a unique perspective to who you really are
The next time you apply for a job you may want to consider asking a co-worker as well as a former boss to be a reference.
A new study co-authored by professor Chet Robie from the Lazaridis School of Business and Economics suggests together, they pair provide a more complete picture of who you are and what you have to offer.
Robie told The Morning Edition's guest host Andrea Bellemare on Tuesday that while a former boss is more likely to describe how you perform assigned work, a co-worker can give a more personal perspective, describing the type of person you are and what you're like to work with.
Stories they tell
"Bosses tend to look at the task related behaviours: Are they dependable? Do they come into work on time? Do they have the right experience?" said Robie.
"The co-workers tend to look at 'Do I want to work with this person?' kind of themes. Are they helpful? Do they listen? Are they compassionate?"
Robie said the perspectives differ since people tend to be more careful around their bosses and are more likely to be themselves in front of coworkers.
Examining both perspectives gives a prospective employer what Robie called is a patchwork of themes that best describes the candidate.
The study entitled References Should Come from a Candidate's Co-workers, Not Just Their Boss and was recently published in the Harvard Business Review.