VA Hiring Process - page 7

From the previous posts I've read the VA hiring process is pretty long and drawn out. I've applied to two different VA sites. The VA an hour away from my home I can always get in contact with a nurse... Read More

  1. by   nursetaminator
    How far back did they go on work history for VETPRO? And what happens if a business is closed and there's no way to reach the owner?
  2. by   Marshall1
    You are to list everything for 10 yrs at least. You can notate in the information the business is closed. If there are gaps more than 30 days between jobs you have to list that too. VETPRO is completed online and if there are errors or omissions it will let you know.
  3. by   nursetaminator
    Thank you Marshall1!! This entire thread has been a huge help in getting questions answered.
  4. by   elprup
    Finally my vetpro is almost done! Funny, one of my jobs told VA I only worked there for one day. Ha. Of course I had all my paystubs to prove them wrong! Hoping for some work soon.
  5. by   elprup
    I am so ready to give up! I have everything done except these reference letters.

    I got 3 typed ref letters from previous people I worked with. Two were LVN's and one an MA. VA HR is now telling me that they were too much alike, the letters have to be written by the person who signs it. Hello, they were. Obviously, I left HR a message asking nicely, what the heck!

    Then I get an email from VETPRO. All 3 of my references, for clinical employment reference where they mail references, did not respond. OK one moved, my problem. But the other two were providers from where I recently worked. So, I called my previous employer and the manager tells me that they were never given the letters from VA because of an employer rule that no current employee(s) can provide references for previous employees! That was not in my employee manual because I read the whole stinkin thing and just went back to check. Is this normal protocol? or am I really losing it?

    Yes, I only have this previous employer to get references from, because that is the only place I have worked for these last few years, because of this old grad new grad situation.

    Totally sad that I have this job, they want me to start orientation May 7th in San Francisco. Any ideas, I am really getting frustrated. Can I ask patients? I am really at a loss here.

  6. by   iToniai
    Hey all,
    This thread has been great, now that I'm finish with my process; I'll just add to this thread for others. My process has been similar but with some differences. I applied in January, the job closed in February. I was contacted about 2 weeks after the job closed by the hiring manager, she scheduled a phone interview for the next day. After the phone interview, she asked if I can come in for a face to face about a week and a half later. At the face to face, I was interviewed by 4 staff members, they asked the typical PBI type questions. A few days later, I was asked for references. I gave 4 references, all included email and physical addresses.

    My references were contacted via email (these references were very slow with getting back in contact with the manager, so I believe this slowed down my process). About 3 weeks later, I was given a tentative offer, I was asked to do my physical and fingerprint ASAP, so I wound up doing these the same week of my tentative offer. I did my physical and fingerprinting the same day (at the VA I will be working for); that same day I received the link to vetpro, I was told I had 48 hours to get it done. Honestly, the vetpro process was not as difficult as I thought it would be. They were very specific about which tabs I should skip and the ones to fill out. It took me about 1 hour (if that) to input the data. The main thing with vetpro from my experience is having your information ready (i.e. reference list and past work experience). One day after inputting the data, my references were contacted via email (the reference form was completely different from the one given by the hiring manager during the first reference check). I submitted 8 references and within 3 days, 4 of my references had email or faxed back the reference form. I knew this by checking vetpro, I was able to log back in a check the status of references submittal, education and work verficication. A week after submitting my vetpro, I contacted the person managing my file to let her know I made an error in one of my entries, she told me that they already know and the dates were corrected. She also informed me that my file was submitted to the board.

    I received my final offer about 4 business day after, via email (still awaiting snail mail confirmation). I will begin working in May (I choose my start date). After receiving my final offer, the HR person told me I'll have to do equip, which is an online background investigation before my start date. Overall, the process took about 3 months, from applying to getting a final offer.

    My advice is get your references in order, have at least one former/current manager if possible. Make sure your references are checking email, as my VA used email to send my reference form and let them know to respond back in a timely manner. Also, if you can do a face to face interview. I had a few phone interviews prior and I just don't think I did as well as when I did my face to face. I'm so excited to start with the VA, I have a few friends who work for some of the other VA's and most have only pleasant things to say about working for the VA.
  7. by   iToniai
    See below
    Last edit by iToniai on Apr 19, '12 : Reason: error
  8. by   iToniai
    Quote from nursetaminator
    how far back did they go on work history for vetpro? and what happens if a business is closed and there's no way to reach the owner?

    this is a good question. one of my previous hospital did close after i left; i inputted the data and in the comment section i stated that. they were able to verify my employment there (not sure how but they listed it as verified). also, when i did vetpro it did not say how far back to go, it stated to list all employment relevant to my field (so i only listed my nursing jobs). i did have breaks in my employment, which as stated by others, vetpro will prompt you to fix those gaps. inputting my previous address and the dates i lived there fixed that error.
  9. by   Marshall1
    First, one of the reasons people place more than 3 references is because of situations like this..the HR people told me the main thing that holes people up in the hiring process is references. So, contact HR, ask them to re-open VETPRO for you and put down other references. If you can't get a supervisor to do it pick a coworker. As far as the employer not giving references...that is not unusual now and the same thing happened with me. All the person checking the VETPRO info. needs to do is confirm you worked there and when. If you don't know who is handling your VETPRO info. find out and contact that person directly - preferably by email so you have things in writing. The fact the letters sound the same isn't your problem..whomever is doing your check can call or email the people to make sure they, indeed, wrote them. I can tell you dealing w/HR during and now after the hiring process IS stressful and one of the reasons, I've been told, many people give up. What I have learned early is to be VERY proactive and if they say they are going to pass your info. on to such and such - find out who that is and contact them yourself. As far as asking a patient, I wouldn't.
    Eqip is done after hiring - at least for us it was - and is just as involved as VETPRO and a lot of the same info. I answered what I could but as I told them, I do not remember every job from the time I was 16 until now or former neighbors names. Do the best you can and fill in the blanks w/anything you think is accurate. Good luck!
  10. by   elprup
    Thanks. After a good nites sleep I feel better. I will ask HR to call and confirm. I have already done Eqip and physical, drug test and fingerprint. I will pursue on.
  11. by   nursequilt
    This thread has been helpful to me for my journey to work at the VA Dallas. I interviewed 3/8 and received tentative offer 3/13. Two days later my physical was scheduled and I had completed VetPro. My supervisor references received their packets at work address and my HR department would not allow them to complete. My HR department completed their packets. One arrived to the VA and one did not. My third reference did not return the packet. I completed my physical and was finger printed and completed EQIP all same day. I completed my Board Package and returned by 3/28. Whew. I had three more references for this package. It seems that when I was not at work, I was working on the board package so that I could get the highest salary offer possible. I received salary offer and was boarded as a Nurse I, Level 3, Step 14 (I currently have associates degree). In order to accept the position I will be taking a deep salary cut, but should be able to recoup in a couple of years. I had to provide one more supervisor reference, which I hand carried to HR today. When I arrived with my reference, I was told by my VetPro person that the college I attended could not verify my degree because of a problem with a computer merge several years ago. I had to take my diploma to the college to prove I had graduated with my degree. Whew! This was today. I was notified by email later today that my package has been sent to the Section Chief for signature. I think that when the Section Chief signs off on my packet, I will receive a Firm offer of employment and can set a start date. What a ride.
  12. by   Marshall1
    Follow up EVERY WEEK until you hear something. Also, I was told the FERS (fed retirement) and TSP (retirement supplement were optional). FERS is NOT - 1% of your pay is automatically taken from your check. If you do not want TSP on top of that you MUST complete a waive form, have it notarized and get it back to HR so this won't be taken out as well. Another "surprised" was life insurance...we were told we were covered our salary plus 2K & if we wanted more we could opt to pay for that..what they didn't tell us was we are still charged for basic life insurance so I'm in the process of stopping this now. I didn't find any of this out, nor did the other new hires, until our checks came out. The HR people will make it sound like you are being given these benefits - you are not - you will pay for them. I have also not received my reimbursement for traveling the 500 miles for the week for orientation. I am contacting the people who reimburse for travel every week and will continue to do so until it is paid as we were told we would be given meals and a hotel since we were required to go to the facility 2 hrs away for education. This did not happen so we were told mileage at the least. Two of us were told out student loans could be paid back - we would owe the VA so many years for however much they paid. THAT changed. HR told us because they failed to place this information in the ad we can't get it. I'm not trying to be negative - just educational. Get everything in writing, don't be surprised at how SLOW HR is and if you are due something or need something do not rely just on your new boss to get it for you - contact the person in the dept. directly - and if you don't know who it is - go to the head of the dept. I don't know about the Nurse steps/levels...too confusing for me but they seem to know so....keep us posted. It's a long process that many people do not follow through on so keep going.
  13. by   nursetaminator
    Here's a question for those recently hired (or who are already with the VA): Do you have to work for the VA 5 years or 10 years to be eligible to retire with benefits - at least insurance? I was recently offered a job with them and am waiting on ppwk from HR to get the process rolling. When the HR person called I asked if it was 10 years (which is what's on the website) and she told me no, it's 5. So kinda confused. I have to call them this week and I'll ask again, but was wondering what others know or have been told. Thanks!