Beware of "Bait and Switch" Government Contract Job Openings

  1. All Job Seekers,

    I want to warn everyone about shady agencies taking advantage of nurses and nurse practitioners looking for a job in this tough economy. These agencies post deceptive ads with jobs that never exist. They use the "bait and switch" technique get awarded lucrative government contracts from the military and government. This same thing happened to IT professional and engineers a while ago. I guess the scam has moved to healthcare since IT is not as profitable anymore.

    I have learned about these businesses the hard way and want to spare others the losses they will experience dealing with these shady agencies and companies. I experienced lost job opportunities because I turned other offers thinking I had a solid job offer. They give you an employment contract to make it look convincing. Some of the positions are out of state. The health care recruiter will lead you on and ask you about your house search and act concerned. However, the entire time they know you are not really moving there. They do not care that you spent countless hours looking for a place to live or losing money after you have to break a lease. They lie and tell you are starting a position around such and such date. They know most people need to give at least a two week's notice at their present job. These agencies don't care that you are unemployed after you resigned for a position that is non-existent. They lie about what your "future employer" says about your experience and credentials. The recruiters will tell you "I'll handle everything." and "You won't interview with the military." We do our interviews in the company." It is all LIES.

    You will see many heath care agencies advertising government contractor positions for nurses, nurse practitioners, and other health care providers on the internet. I am sure there are ethical health care recruiters and agencies in this business. However, the ones that are involved with government contracting bids seems to be the worst and shadiest. I have heard some horror stories...

    If you are a new graduate nurse or NP, please be extra cautious applying at these health care agencies that advertise government contractor positions. Nurses and nurse practitioners are just being used to compete for lucrative government contracts with the promise of a job that never materializes after we are told we have one. What do the nurses and nurse practitioners jobs get after the contract is awarded to them? Nothing. What do the patients who are supposed to receive the health services get? Nothing. What do the agencies get? Lucrative government contracts worth millions. The military and federal government are being played by these agencies with these contracts. The health care professionals and patients are caught in the middle of a dirty business caused by these "healthcare agencies. "

    This is how these agencies do the the "Bait and Switch" to win government contracts and screw everyone involved. ....

    The federal government awards lucrative government contracts to civilian health care agencies for health care services to take care of our military and veterans. There is a great demand for these services especially with the high rate of PTSD/TBI and traumatic injuries our troops are receive serving in combat. The agencies advertise various positions seeking nurses and nurse practitioners to care for our troops and veterans. The positions are advertised as government contractor positions at Army, Navy, Air Force, and Marine Corps hospitals, clinics, and bases all over the world. Many positions are at VA Hospitals taking care of disabled and homeless veterans. As nurses, we are caring and compassionate people. We think others feel the same way about our troops who risk their lives for our country. This is why we chose this profession. We REALLY care about people and want to help our troops. I found out the ugly truth about these agencies. These agencies are merely profiting from the troops injuries and misfortune.

    When you apply for these positions, the bait and switch game begins. One common ploy is the recruiter will state that the contract for the position you want is going to expire soon. Usually, the expiration date is around the end of the fiscal year. They encourage you to apply for the position even if a couple months remain on the contract. They reassure you that if another company wins the competitive bid, you will be hired by them. They sound convincing when they lie to you. They inform you that company who won the bid usually does not have a candidate and time to do a lengthy hiring and credentialing process. They explain they will send your package and credentials to the new company who was awarded the contract. You never hear from them again.

    After no further contact from the company that was awarded the contract if they lose, you begin to realize there really is NO job offer. The original agency used your credentials/qualifications to present when they made a bid on a contract. Whether they win or lose., the candidate is no longer useful. If the agency gets the contract award, f two things happen: they advertise the same position again and hire someone for less money OR they do not hire anyone at all. The agencies don't care either way. If they win, they get tons of money. If they lose, the agency moves on to bid on another contract and plays the bait and switch game again.

    My health care recruiter highly discouraged me from speaking to the hospital where I was supposed to work. Now, I know why. He wants to be the "middle man" so we can't compare notes. I really wonder if they ever REALLY talked to the facility I was supposed to start in my new "position."

    My suggestion is that the military and government hospitals stop using agencies for these health care positions. Cut out the middle man. We are health care professionals and deserve to be scammed when we look for jobs. The military and veterans suffer as well. Many military members and veterans have chronic health issues from the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. The agencies have no real motivation to provide the services they need. I just can't believe it sometimes that are people that do this. They really must have no conscience....
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    About TigerBlood01

    Joined: Oct '09; Posts: 32; Likes: 27


  3. by   xtxrn
    TigerBlood1....please tell me you're not Charlie Sheen - LOL

    A govt position is a big enough warning.....
  4. by   TigerBlood01
    @xtxrn, I think Charlie Sheen is a genius

    Staying away from ALL agencies in the future, especially the ones advertising govt positions. They've made enough money off nurse's hard work and the troops bloodshed. I'm voting with my feet.
  5. by   shah
    Did you report the company to the authorities?
  6. by   graceofone
    Something to add here...ALL agencies aren't bad and from what I have seen and experienced you MUST also be in contact with the contracting officer/official at the clinic in which you are applying. They can give you the real deal of what is going on. For example, a local military facility is looking for a NP, they put the position out for bids. 22 companies are elgibile to place a bid. Once awarded the bid the company has a certain amount of time to supply a NP, usually no more than 30 days. So instead of awaiting until the contract is won by their company they will place ads asking for NPs to submit applications/CVs as "feelers" and if and when they are awarded the contract, they are immediately able to supply a candiate to the facility, keeping in mind that background checks, base access, and other security measures take time. Most agencies that I have talked with or dealt with have been honest with me to say they are still in the bidding arena and don't actually have the contract yet and actually have encouraged me to apply with other staffing agencies that are advertising the same position.
  7. by   Woodenpug
    Wow! the government has some other priority, besides me! That is just unfair. Tell me it aint so.

    Yeah, most agency's do not care about you. Most, do not care about the patients. Most do care about providing staffing in case the union takes action. Go union, without you, agency nurses would be jobless.
  8. by   WTFrn
    Sorry that crap happened to you.