Reference denied, what to tell Recruiter?

  1. I recently interviewed for a position and was asked by the recruiter to provide references prior to getting offered the job. The recruiter sent me a link where I would be able to list my 5 references, and my references would be receiving a link to fill out a survey online.
    The references had to be listed ASAP according to the email (within 24 hours), and so I listed the best people I was able to think of and emailed each individual before I sent out the survey link (ideally I would have asked way before in person, but unfortunately that wasn't possible with the short notice). I assumed all of them would willingly fill out the reference survey, which 4 of them did, but there was one supervisor (charge nurse) I asked who took forever (almost a week), so when I saw her in person I asked her if she received my email. She said she did get my email, but wasn't sure about filling out a reference because of her position and concerned about whether there was a policy about providing references. So she decided to email the manager to ask her about it and where she should direct me to get a proper reference. Honestly I get what she means, but she's making such a big deal about this and I need my reference NOW. And it frustrates me that she emailed the manager when I haven't even placed a proper notice in yet since I haven't even gotten the offer. . .
    I don't mind listing another reference, but the thing is I can't delete her name off the list without emailing the recruiter telling her of my situation and that I need to list a new reference in place.
    How should I ask the recruiter if it's alright to change one of my listed references in a professional way so that it doesn't look bad? I'm afraid if I tell her one of my references didn't want to provide a reference, it would be a red flag and I will miss the potential job opportunity I could have gotten. . . Thanks in advance!
  2. 3 Comments

  3. by   llg
    Just ask her. Tell her that one of your references believes that giving a reference may be against her employer's policies -- and provide the Recruiter with the new information. The Recruiter may even tell you not to bother getting a replacement. I know that our Recruitment Department asks for 5 references in the hopes of getting 3 actually returned. They expect a couple of people to refuse.
  4. by   MedSurgRN14
    I agree with llg. It is now common for employers to direct all references through HR only... I once asked my supervisor for a reference but she could not give me one because the company policy was that only HR could give a reference, which was basically dates of employment and title of role. This is probably due to litigious reasons-- companies are afraid of being sued should an employee give a negative reference. I would follow up with your recruiter, stating that it is against company policy for the charge nurse to give out a reference and if you can replace it with another (willing) reference. As llg mentioned, the recruiter may be fine with leaving off a 5th reference for your application, esp if the previous 4 references recommended you positively.
  5. by   wasabi321
    Thank you both! I ended up emailing her asking if it was alright to replace my last reference person. I wasn't sure if it would make things complicated by mentioning the policy and all that, so I just left it simple and said she's not available.... My new reference person filled out a reference asap for me, which was great, but the recruiter never replied to my email (email was auto-replied since it was a holiday so hopefully she received/read it). Should I call/email her again just to make sure? Whenever I call she never answers her phone, probably because she's a busy person & let's it go to her voice message. I'm just afraid that since it's been a while to get my 5 references completed that they have taken me off the list & already filled the position. . .