I don’t mind reference check calls from individual businesses considering hiring a former employee. They are usually over quickly, especially if the former employee has been given a glowing written reference. It’s the calls from the personnel agencies which frustrate the hell out of me. They usually ask if you have ten to fifteen minutes to spare to answer their questions. My “NO” is met with shock. As if anyone is going to give them this amount of time doing their job for them. Personnel agencies charge way too much as it is. Surely they could do a better job than calling a former employer to ask inappropriate questions. It is not my place to say what I think of their personal situation or whether they are likely to have a gambling problem etc. While I happily write a reference, I now refuse to answer questions from personnel agencies.