How far to push a high profile reference.

  1. I just moved to a new city to be close to my family. There are two peds hospitals here and i have had a lot of trouble getting past HR despite my experience while job searching. I actually know a board member of one of the hospitals who talked me up to the CNO! He gave me her contact info and she responded to my email within the hour.

    She set up an interview for me and even took the time to come introduce herself to me in my interview. I took the interview seriously and didn't act like I thought I already had the job... but to be honest I never imagined I wouldn't get it.

    Now that the unit director has turned me down, what should I do? Is it appropriate to contact the CNO again? Do I go back and talk to the board member? This is such uncharted territory for me. When we spoke initially she pretty much just asked me where I wanted to work and told me she'd set up an interview. I couldn't believe a CNO even took the time to worry about a staff nurse's position, I don't know if asking again or maybe "exploring other opportunities throughout the institution" would be appropriate.

    HELP!!!!
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  2. Visit GaryRay profile page

    About GaryRay, BSN, RN

    Joined: Jan '16; Posts: 150; Likes: 284
    Radiology; from US
    Specialty: 10 year(s) of experience in Pediatric ICU

    19 Comments

  3. by   elkpark
    Yikes. You already pulled strings to get the interview, which, IMO, was bad enough. The CNO did what she was basically obligated to do by the board member requesting special consideration for you. You didn't get the job. Don't make the situation worse by attempting to pull strings further. I would hope that an ethical board member would politely decline to push any further on your behalf if you asked for further assistance. At best, if your board member is willing to lean on people to make them give you a job, you'll start that job with a resentful boss and a target on your back. I've worked in situations where employees had special connections and "protection" from a relationship with someone high up in the organization, being someone's "pet" (which is the language that gets used), and I'm here to tell you that everyone resented the heck out of those people, all day, every day, because of the special favors and treatment they got. That kind of situation is not pretty. Is that what you want? Don't you want to get a job on your own merits?
  4. by   Guy in Babyland
    I think you need to focus on why a nurse with 10 yrs experience can't get past HR stage. There has to be a reason why HR doesn't automatically put you in the interview pile.
  5. by   GaryRay
    That never occured to me, I've seen a lot of good qualified nurses never get their apps seen by managers because of HR. I also figured there was some algorithm in play since I got the "no thank you" email hours after I applied. That was why I asked for help getting the interview.

    I've had managers at other hospitals tell me the best thing to do is to email the manager directly because they don't get to see everyone who applies and often who HR pushes through looks better on paper rather than meets what the manager is looking for.

    I don't want special treatment and I sure as hell don't want the staff to know I know any executives, I just want an opportunity to find another place in the hospital I might fit in. I'm just scared to start applying to other units on my own if that would be considered rude to those who put their name out for me.
  6. by   GaryRay
    Quote from elkpark
    At best, if your board member is willing to lean on people to make them give you a job, you'll start that job with a resentful boss and a target on your back.
    I don't want to work on a unit for a manager who doesn't want me... that would be hell. I just want the opportunity to meet with other managers who are hiring. It is entirely possible I didn't get the job because the manager resented being told to interview me, or had already chosen her hires.
  7. by   llg
    I think it would be fine to apply for other positions in that hospital -- but don't ask for special favors. You've already played that card -- and it didn't work. Perhaps you tried for the wrong unit. You said you "never imagined that you would get it." Why not? If it was a bad fit for your experience, then it was probably a bad move to choose that position to interview for. Apply for positions that are a good fit for you and that relate to your experience and you might get better results.
  8. by   GaryRay
    No I meant I never imagined I would not get the job. It was a PICU job. Nearly all my experience is in PICU, I was trying really hard not to act entitled or too confident. I came to the interview with examples of projects I had done on committees at previous hospitals and wanted to be humble and show I was qualified, not just connected. I think I may have just interviewed bad and overcompensated coming off scared and unsure of myself. IDK. I think I'll just keep applying and see how I do on my own.

    What is your thought on contacting unit managers directly? I've always done it and always been told it's what got me noticed. But now I'm second guessing everything. Is it being assertive and taking the initiative, or pushy and annoying?
  9. by   jodispamodi
    just a suggestion but I wouldn't go to an interview with "examples of projects" that just says to the interviewer that you don't want to be a staff nurse but a manager or administrator, the cno dropping by probably emphasized that point. Good luck in your job search.
  10. by   elkpark
    Quote from GaryRay
    That never occured to me, I've seen a lot of good qualified nurses never get their apps seen by managers because of HR. I also figured there was some algorithm in play since I got the "no thank you" email hours after I applied. That was why I asked for help getting the interview.

    I've had managers at other hospitals tell me the best thing to do is to email the manager directly because they don't get to see everyone who applies and often who HR pushes through looks better on paper rather than meets what the manager is looking for.

    I don't want special treatment and I sure as hell don't want the staff to know I know any executives, I just want an opportunity to find another place in the hospital I might fit in. I'm just scared to start applying to other units on my own if that would be considered rude to those who put their name out for me.
    In my experience in a few different organizations, HR doesn't "push through" anyone in particular. The unit manager, service director, whomever, communicates to HR what s/he is generally looking for, and the organization has a job description that identifies key qualifications, and HR passes on everyone who meets the basic identified qualifications to the clinical person. HR's role is primarily to screen out people who obviously don't meet the established qualifications, not to make any nuanced decisions about who might or might not be good for a particular position. Most organizations nowadays also have a computer algorithm built into their online application system that screens applications for specific key words (qualifications) for specific positions.

    I agree with Guy -- if you have great qualifications and experience, and you're not getting interviews for open positions for which you appear qualified, maybe you need to look at what might be getting in your way. Is there any chance some previous employer is giving you a bad reference? Anything in your past that is problematic?

    Best wishes --
  11. by   FullGlass
    Can you work locum tenens for awhile? That might be a way to get your foot in the door.
  12. by   GaryRay
    Quote from jodispamodi
    just a suggestion but I wouldn't go to an interview with "examples of projects" that just says to the interviewer that you don't want to be a staff nurse but a manager
    You're right, I was trying to show how involved in committee work I like to be and how I don't turn down opportunities to be a super user or help with education fairs. But I do that stuff because I enjoy it and it makes me feel more like i'm a member of the unit community. I'm not ambitious at all. I was thinking it would show them I'm more than just a warm body, but I probably just came off as a know it all.

    Anyone interested in doing a mock interview with me? Clearly I need to work on my strategy.
  13. by   jodispamodi
    Quote from GaryRay
    You're right, I was trying to show how involved in committee work I like to be and how I don't turn down opportunities to be a super user or help with education fairs. But I do that stuff because I enjoy it and it makes me feel more like i'm a member of the unit community. I'm not ambitious at all. I was thinking it would show them I'm more than just a warm body, but I probably just came off as a know it all.

    Anyone interested in doing a mock interview with me? Clearly I need to work on my strategy.
    Here are some suggestions for the next interview:
    Be genuine, be sincere, be humble, and be yourself
    If you are asked about accomplishments, in one sentence say I was on x committee and through our work a decrease in y resulted. Leave it at that! Leave the examples at home, they are not interested and frankly its overkill to the nth degree. Or better answer, I always wanted to be ACLS certified and I got certified or something r/t patient care. If they want you on committees they will ask after the interview.
    If they ask you a question about what makes you happy as a nurse, mention something about taking care of patients.
    If they ask you about something that makes you unhappy about healthcare mention something that negatively impacts patient care (I always respond to this question on the national level)
    If they ask you about where you see yourself in 5 years then you can say something along the lines of I'd like to be on a committee, and I'd like xyz...
    Don't give long over elaborate answers to questions.
    If you're applying to patient care positions keep your answers patient centered.
  14. by   Meriwhen
    Quote from llg
    I think it would be fine to apply for other positions in that hospital -- but don't ask for special favors. You've already played that card -- and it didn't work.
    I agree. Keep trying to play that card and you're going to end up tanking your chances--and reputation--even further. You'll become known as the one who kept pestering the board/CNO...and if you did get hired there, that reputation is going to put a big target on your back. Let this one go and move on in your job search.

    Best of luck.

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