Putting Locum Job Referees Under The Spotlight
There is an inevitability that you will have to disclose the details of refereeswhen applying for any training program, hospital, GP job or locum position.
Common questions which arise when doctors ask us about referees:
-who can be my referee?
-how recent do they have to be?
-what can I do if I get a bad reference?
Employers and recruiter use reference checks for a myriad of different reasons. It can be used to scrutinise company fit and personality, the need to confirm skills and experience or just to suss out what has been put forward on the cover letter or resume. A large majority of cases, these referee checks are used as a differentiator between candidates with similar skills and attributes.
When you do provide a potential employer your referee details, think of the following:
1. Has there been a past working relationship?
Try to acquire referees who have worked with you in the past few months, at a maximum of up to twelve months ago. A referee from a decade ago is lot less likely to provide supportive, meaningful information in comparison to a recent colleague.
2. Were they in a supervisory role or a peer?
It is important to make clear to your potential employer how your referee is related to you. This is highly dependent on seniority or the position. In many cases, peer references are not adequate. This is not applicable if you are applying for an extremely senior position where you have not been supervised for many years, this may be one of very few options.
3. Is there a relation between your referee and the role you are applying for?
Though your Myer Store Manager from high school may give you a glowing recommendation about your sales performance, its relevance to an employer looking for a GP locum is minimal. You need to ensure your referee suits the type of role you are applying for. A vital technique is customising your referees to the position as to maximise the support for your application.
4. Have you asked your referee for assistance?
It may come as a surprise but many of the referees we have engaged with have not been asked to be one. Not only does it make it hard for the person conducting the reference check but it is also uncomfortable for the unprepared referee. What response do you think a surprise referee is going to provide, a positive, neutral or negative reference? If you are applying for a locum position, it is inevitable they will be contacted numerous times. Make sure you communicate with your referee to let them know this as well as the type of locum roles you have applied for.
5. Afraid of negative feedback?
It is not frowned upon to ask your potential referees whether the feedback they provide of you is going to be positive. You may be surprised by their response.
However, if you do feel your referee has supplied a negative reference, in a majority of cases you can ask for a copy of the reference check from your potential employer. Under relevant Privacy legislation, they be compelled to give you a copy.
As a rule of thumb you should have at least five referees ready and willing. Having one unavailable can mean the difference between employment and still being on the job hunt.
by: Beat Medical