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Getting it in writing

Posted

Specializes in Surgery.

I have now been "fooled" twice by potential employers. I get to the third round of interviews for my first NP job and then either HR and or the Nurse manager has told me that they will not be interviewing anyone else for the position, or they think i'd be a great fit because of this that and the other etc. Then they ask for my references/nurse manager name and information. I've naively bought it, twice, and have given my references and notified my manager at my RN job that i'd be taking an NP position. Then a week or so passes, I get curious what is taking so long, and contact the HR person who tells me they haven't checked references but instead are opening up the position to others more qualified. Not only am I not getting the job, but I'm then backpeddling appologizing to my boss. Ughhhhh.

What should I be doing next time? Getting the offer in writing before I agree to give my contacts? Do I tell the next HR/manager why I need it in writing and my history? Anyone with similar experiences?

Thanks

It seems odd that everything is going well until they get to the references, then it all goes south. Is it possible that one of your references is telling them something that makes them back away? I know they're telling you that they "haven't checked references", but perhaps they actually ARE checking them and they are trying to avoid being caught in the middle of a potentially nasty legal issue.

I saw a similar situation once where a nurse was applying to grad schools for an MSN program in Nursing Administration, and using a charge nurse on her floor as a reference. It turned out that this individual was being all nice and supportive to her face, but was giving her negative references. She dropped that reference, got a former manager to recommend her and was accepted to all of the next three schools she applied to. She then sailed through her MSN program with a very high GPA at a very competitive school. Later it occurred to her that the charge nurse probably saw her as competition for a nurse manager position that was expected to open. Sometimes you just don't know who your friends are.

PulselessNine

Has 3 years experience.

As a headhunter (previous career) there is something to do differently.

1. Don't tell your manager yet. You don't have a job until they tell you, "we will pay you xxxx to be xxxx. We would like you to start on xxxx." Wait until that point to tell your manager. All of the other rhetoric is just that, rhetoric.

2. Talk to people you want to give as references. Ask them what they will say. Get a neutral third party to call them and conduct a reference check on you to see what they say and make sure you are being represented well. If not, change references without confronting the negative reference. Keep your secrets or you will be burned. This is business and you will need to put on your thick skin and suck it up if you aren't getting the positive reference.

3. Contact a healthcare/nurse recruiter to be represented in a search. Follow their advice, be honest with them, and expect complete candor.

Good luck.

PulselessNine

Has 3 years experience.

Remember, just because they aren't interviewing anyone else (new) does not mean you don't have competition like someone they already spoke to and are conducting reference checks on at the same time.

Alicia777

Specializes in Surgery.

It seems odd that everything is going well until they get to the references, then it all goes south. Is it possible that one of your references is telling them something that makes them back away? I know they're telling you that they "haven't checked references", but perhaps they actually ARE checking them and they are trying to avoid being caught in the middle of a potentially nasty legal issue.

I saw a similar situation once where a nurse was applying to grad schools for an MSN program in Nursing Administration, and using a charge nurse on her floor as a reference. It turned out that this individual was being all nice and supportive to her face, but was giving her negative references. She dropped that reference, got a former manager to recommend her and was accepted to all of the next three schools she applied to. She then sailed through her MSN program with a very high GPA at a very competitive school. Later it occurred to her that the charge nurse probably saw her as competition for a nurse manager position that was expected to open. Sometimes you just don't know who your friends are.

Harry, in neither episode was the nurse manager or my references contacted, unless they're not being honest with me but I feel well-liked by my managers and have chosen my other references carefully.

Weird things happen in the job hunting. I agree with pulseless. Until you have it in writing don't say a word to your manager. In fact I will go even further-don't say a word to anyone.

I had a friend who was job hunting (in the medical field but not nursing) who interviewed for a very prestigious position. The next day someone who was on the search committee pulled him aside to privately congratulate him on the position. He never got a call offering him the job. It turned out that our department head (who was not a reference because he took it personally when someone was job hunting) had heard through the grapevine that he had interviewed for the job. He cold called the head of the search committee and told him that he shouldn't hire my friend (but amazingly he promoted my friend to management less than a month later so it clearly wasn't the guys work).

Keep your cards close to your chest and only let people in on a need to know basis. It sucks because everyone should be happy for you as you progress through your career path but some people as so insecure they will stab you in the back while smiling to your face. Ultimately you are the only person on your side 100 percent of the time.

Alicia777

Specializes in Surgery.

So what's my response when I'm asked for my references being that it always includes current boss, what do I tell her; that they MAY want to hire me?

Edited by Alicia777

PulselessNine

Has 3 years experience.

So what's my response when I'm asked for my references being that it always includes current boss, what do I tell her; that they MAY want to hire me?

Clear your references before you give them.

You choose your references and you don't have to give your current boss as a reference.

You don't have to tell your boss anything. Of course they MAY want to hire you if they are checking references. For what it's worth I have never given my current employer as a reference and I think it is wise not to unless the new position is a complete change of career.

Alicia777

Specializes in Surgery.

Clear your references before you give them.

You choose your references and you don't have to give your current boss as a reference.

You don't have to tell your boss anything. Of course they MAY want to hire you if they are checking references. For what it's worth I have never given my current employer as a reference and I think it is wise not to unless the new position is a complete change of career.

I wish it were an option but one required current boss and the other just asked but I suppose I could have declined until the actual offer.

How can you refuse to provide references and expect to get an offer?

The better way should be to make sure your references will be positive.

Alicia777 do you happen to know those NP positions are w2 employee or contractor?

I assume all those are at hospital, am I right?

Alicia777

Specializes in Surgery.

How can you refuse to provide references and expect to get an offer?

The better way should be to make sure your references will be positive.

Alicia777 do you happen to know those NP positions are w2 employee or contractor?

I assume all those are at hospital, am I right?

I agree, I can't refuse a request for references. That's just shady. The positions were both at hospitals. Yes, not a contractor position. On the first occasion I needed 5 references, 2 of whom had to be current or former bosses and considering I have been at my current RN position for over 7 yrs, I gave two of my managers. The other 3 people I'm friendly with and they are not nurses, so not sure why they would intentionally say bad things. The second job didn't check references.

I think what I will do, since I am about to interview for a brand new position is when the time comes I'll give my references and give my manager a heads up about the referral call but not give any notice of resignation. If they call, they call, then I can have a discussion with her. She's known it's been a possibility anyways.

Harry, in neither episode was the nurse manager or my references contacted, unless they're not being honest with me but I feel well-liked by my managers and have chosen my other references carefully.

Less than half of the time I have been asked to be someone's reference, has anyone called. One time I was sent a computer survey. One time I received a phone call from a frustrated sounding guy who I felt needed a therapy session as much as info on my former co-worker. In both cases they did get the jobs.

My current employer did a huge background check. I had a right to a copy so I opted to be sent one. It showed how the references had answered. I was a bit taken aback by the "could improve by" responses. Of all the things I think I could improvement at... didn't match their answers at all.

If anyone asks me to give a reference and I can't give them a great reference, then I decline. Now I know not everyone feels that way. It might be important to ask folks what they might say or do the sneaky faux reference checker phone call.

Edited by SunDazed
typo, meaning

Alicia, I strongly feel that your references are the problem. I also think that if your resume indicates where you work, they can still call your current manager and ask about you even if you did not list her for reference. I remember getting a job in the past without my references being called. When the new DON called me to her office to offer me the job, she told me she heard very good things about me from my former DON (oops!!!). I had however made it a point to write my old DON a very nice resignation letter and praising her for always doing her job well. References are everything. In a more recent situation, I always made it a point to be nice to everyone including the bosses in my former job. When I started a new job, I was in the process of applying to graduate school and didn't know anyone in my new job. My former bosses came through for me. This advice goes out to all those in school right now and planning got go further with your education. ALWAYS ALWAYS make yourself stand out in class so that your professors can remember you when you finally approach them for references. Those recommendation letters have a lot of weight. The recommenders wouldn't want to lie about you if they don't know you well enough. Not everyone who smiles at you likes you or wants the best for you. Also don't be suddenly nice just coz you need help. Be consistently the good nurse you are and character alone will take you places you never thought possible. Good luck Alicia....I strongly advice you to change all your references. This happened to a family member who kept on using his old employer for references and he ended up jobless for almost two years until he changed his references. And just like you, the jobs he interviewed for seemed to be his until the last minute, then they fell through.

Alicia777

Specializes in Surgery.

Thanks for the input everyone. Point taken, I will change a couple of my references but bosses I can't change! Hopefully, this times the charm..

I'm an RN, not an NP, but I've never resigned from a job without a clear offer, in writing from a new employer.

oncnursemsn

Specializes in Education and oncology. Has 30 years experience.

Yes, yes and yes! I have been in same position- offered (and accepted!) a job, only to find it all fall through. No explanation, but job offer gone. Whew, I will always get offer, salary and start date in writing. Period. I also taught both clinical and theory 10 years and have been asked for countless references by my students. I made it a point to give the student a copy of the reference- 1 for their records and 1 sealed/signed for their potential employer. If I couldn't give an acceptable or exceptional reference, I would inform the student and defer to them if they'd like to ask another professor. Been on both sides and know importance of honest communication.

One time I marked the box "Do not contact" and found out later, that they indeed, called that employer despite my request. Another time, a former manager backstabbed me by telling me to my face that he would provide a good reference and then, doing the opposite. I was hired for a position, then was told that the hiring action was reversed after speaking to this "positive" reference. I never would have known what had happened had the potential employer not clued me in. Frankly, even though I am not new to the world of work, it had never occurred to me that someone would promise a good reference and then wholeheartedly blacklist me. That was a lesson. Do your best to preclude bad references, but don't be surprised if you find out that underhanded things are going on behind your back.

cinlou, BSN, MSN, RN

Specializes in Emergency and Critical Care. Has 43 years experience.

As someone who hires, I can say I will call the resent employer even if it is not on the reference list, the most they can say is if you are a rehire. The personal references will give me more character information. If someone gives me a bunch of negative information, I personally question this and will call more people for added information. If a former employee says they would rehire (good sign), then I will talk to a couple for something more personal related to character. If a previous employer says they would not rehire, they legally can not tell me why, so I will call additional previous employers, usually HR to tell me if the person is re-hirable.