> Do I really need to explain why putting another persons current job at risk in order to gain a small advantage for yourself is unethical and unprofessional?
To say you're putting somebody's current job at risk is completely hyperbolic. They've already accepted your offer, if they lose their job (how?) and you hire them, you aren't putting them at risk. (And what, you think a past coworker is going to contact an employee's current boss and tell him the employee's going to leave? Yeah right. It's implausible that that would happen in any particular case, not implausible that it happened nonzero times in the universe, but again, you're hiring them anyway. Unless it turns out they're horrible to work with, in which case, the employer and the employer's other employees avoided a lot of needless suffering.)
> It is one thing if you have a team member or good friend who has worked with the candidate in the past and another entirely to go digging into somebodies working history to find old/current colleagues/managers to talk to.
You've put a distinction here but you lack an explanation why one behavior is immoral or unethical. (Specifically for old colleagues/managers.) Yes, you do need to spell it out. Or you could just not bother because who cares.
What makes you think the kind of reference checks the article is talking about happens after an offer has been made and accepted?
In my experience these kind of reference checks happen well before an offer is made, and they are often run in parallel on the top few candidates. So the majority of people reference checked are not offered the role.
"And what, you think a past coworker is going to contact an employee's current boss and tell him the employee's going to leave?"
I've seen word get around plenty of times even without any backdoor reference checks going on.
"avoiding bad employees certainly is good for the market"
Except if you don't know the person you are talking to then how can you judge the accuracy of what they have to say when they provide a reference?
Edit: In fact if they want to do it it should be stated as part of their application process. Then people who feel it is invasive and unethical can simply not apply for those jobs. And if they do a great job at weeding out bad apples then eventually it will become accepted practice.
It talks about checking the references given by the candidate in the same breath, there's a certain spatial locality there. Also whatever vagueness there is in the article does not open up the door for unqualified bitching.
> Except if you don't know the person you are talking to then how can you judge the accuracy of what they have to say when they provide a reference?
Using social skills.
I am not the most socially skilled person in the world. On the field, I doubt I'm even 50th percentile. Probably 35th, to be honest.
That said, judging from everything you've posted, you're a fucking poster boy for the Dunning-Kruger Effect. So... I lolt. Nice job. You got a chuckle and two-thirds out of me.
If you pass on a candidate (before the offer stage) based on a back-channel reference, then you're being unethical but you probably won't get caught, because people rarely probe (or are even able to do so) into why someone pased. If you actually rescind an offer over a bad reference... you'll have to cut a sizable hush fee to come out safe.
That said, I can't tell at this point if your fascist schtick is trolling or serious, but it's disturbing either way.