Yesterday I received an email from a former employee requesting a letter of recommendation for a job application. I’m always happy to write a recommendation for a solid employee. I think it’s part of being a good supervisor. When a staff member gave me a solid two years of fantastic work, I should jump at the opportunity to tell others about his or her performance. In my view, it’s part of my contract with them.
My former staff member mentioned that another one of her supervisors had asked that the employee work up a recommendation letter and send it along and she would sign it. I’m not naïve enough to think this doesn’t happen all the time as I’ve had a former supervisor say the same thing to me (I sought out another reference). However, let’s take a moment to think about this: a former staff member is asking for your assistance in securing a position. Asking that person to write their own recommendation is another way of saying what exactly? “Sorry I’d like to help you, but you’re not worth my time?”
What are your thoughts? Is there a situation where this is acceptable (Like if you have XXX number of employees you supervise)?