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  • Why Do Chains Not Give References

    Right, so this is a rant about Asda in particular, as well as a few other chains I locum for but is 1 which is a very serious matter that has essentially screwed my career prospects.

    So essentially I keep getting shortlisted for interviews for jobs I am interested in (yay), however 1 of the serious aspects regarding why I am not selected ,despite doing well on clinical questions and being "very professional and pleasant" is my lack of a current employment referee.

    The reason I have been given by branch managers for why they are unwilling to give me a reference is a) because I do not work for the company and b) because I am not applying to work for them. it is due to this that I am unable to be selected for jobs and why I am unable to apply for postgrad diplomas or IP courses. Even if I want to leave pharmacy and do another profession, I still require employer referees however as someone who has been locumming since finishing their pre-reg 3 and a bit years ago (due to the fact that I was unable to relocate and because no permanent work was available), I am pretty screwed (which for someone who is in their mid-late 20s is pretty bad).

    Is anyone else in this situation and how do I go about dealing with this? I am particularlyl interested in hearing from thos wholocum directly with companies vs through agencies as this si more relevant to my situation

  • #2
    Hi
    Although I have locummed privately and through agencies I would not expect a company to give me a reference. As has been said to you- you are not an employee.

    When I was a manager for a chain to give a reference for an employee was severely restricted to really only stating the dates the person had worked for the company. Nothing else. So very little for an employee let alone a locum. One of the disadvantages of being a locum.

    A lot lot of employers stopped giving any sort of reference other than dates worked after a case in court where the person sued due to a bad reference. I think it was Spring v Guardian Insurance sometime in the 70s. It could be 1972 but don’t quote me. You have to be extremely careful to give an opinion about someone in writing. Occasionally I might give further information verbally but never in writing.

    Tough for you at the moment but if you have not been an employee then you cannot expect an employee reference.

    Good luck in your further job hunting.

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    • #3
      I have worked privately for companies as a locum and getting a referee was never a problem. I’d just ask an individual I worked for and put them down as a referee. I have also given references for people who have done locums for me. I’d just phrase it as “Mr X has worked for me regularly as a locum between (whatever dates) and ..... “ The trick when doing references is not giving a bad one, but not exactly giving a good one either. By this I mean if someone wasn’t so good I’d just state they “have experience in...” but if they were very good I’d say so. At the end of the day giving someone a reference is a personal thing and nothing to do with the company you work for. It doesn’t take much time to actually give one either.
      Lively debate is encouraged but please respect the opinions and feelings of others.
      Please help keep the forum vibrant by spreading the work to friends and colleagues via word of mouth or social media.
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      • #4
        Somebody once forged my signature on a reference. I found out about and complained to the police. Not their problem. Complained to the company that sent the guy quoting it. Not their problem; it was up to the employing firm to check. The Pharm Soc were a LOT more interested, if a bit long winded and the guy got struck off.

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        • #5
          I have a hunch I knew that person. Was his first name David by any chance.? I have had personal references from friends and never any trouble. I never asked for a reference from the company that made me redundant.
          johnep

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          • #6
            Originally posted by Modus_Operandi View Post
            Right, so this is a rant about Asda in particular, as well as a few other chains I locum for but is 1 which is a very serious matter that has essentially screwed my career prospects.

            So essentially I keep getting shortlisted for interviews for jobs I am interested in (yay), however 1 of the serious aspects regarding why I am not selected ,despite doing well on clinical questions and being "very professional and pleasant" is my lack of a current employment referee.

            The reason I have been given by branch managers for why they are unwilling to give me a reference is a) because I do not work for the company and b) because I am not applying to work for them. it is due to this that I am unable to be selected for jobs and why I am unable to apply for postgrad diplomas or IP courses. Even if I want to leave pharmacy and do another profession, I still require employer referees however as someone who has been locumming since finishing their pre-reg 3 and a bit years ago (due to the fact that I was unable to relocate and because no permanent work was available), I am pretty screwed (which for someone who is in their mid-late 20s is pretty bad).

            Is anyone else in this situation and how do I go about dealing with this? I am particularlyl interested in hearing from thos wholocum directly with companies vs through agencies as this si more relevant to my situation
            So based on my own experience the only realistic way to get a reference is too build up a good relationship with the manager I can't stress the importance of that. As long as you get on well profesionally with the manager and its an environment you can work without upsetting the staff I think they would be prepared to give you a reference provided you are not seen as competition or attempting to do something that might invite envy.

            However I completely sympathise with your predicament because when you work as a locum for a long period of time effectively you have no employment history and this leaves you in a bit of sticky situation. Despite building a good relationship with a manager you have no guarentee that people will actually give you a reference and whats even worse is they are not bound by the same conduct as they are for an employee so they can completely lie out of spite and you are helpless to challenge them. One thing you can do is contact your old college lecturers and ask them to be your refeference and ask any of your friends in pharmacy.

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by johnep View Post
              I have a hunch I knew that person. Was his first name David by any chance.? I have had personal references from friends and never any trouble. I never asked for a reference from the company that made me redundant.
              johnep
              No; not David. Nor Michael in case you were wondering about him as well.

              Comment


              • #8
                Oh well just a guess. My old boss said pharmacists were like " Snow flakes in summer" so the shortage meant a few people tried to take advantage. The one I was referring to was an ex dispenser who was very charming. He took advantage of a fellow rep as well.
                Those were the days!
                johnep

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                • #9
                  Hi ,
                  Like colleagues have said you could give an individual name /personal references. I've been asked and done lots of references for people I've managed , worked with , had as students etc .Anyone you've done a favour for covered at the last minute , bank holiday Sats etc . Do you get work through an agency ? Won't they do a reference ? I did regular work for an independent and depending what I was applying for ( I work in colleges as well) he would ask what I needed in it and I'd do a rough draft and occasionally he got phone calls. I've had lots of jobs so must be okay.
                  Best of luck

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by aston View Post
                    Hi
                    Although I have locummed privately and through agencies I would not expect a company to give me a reference. As has been said to you- you are not an employee.

                    When I was a manager for a chain to give a reference for an employee was severely restricted to really only stating the dates the person had worked for the company. Nothing else. So very little for an employee let alone a locum. One of the disadvantages of being a locum.

                    A lot lot of employers stopped giving any sort of reference other than dates worked after a case in court where the person sued due to a bad reference. I think it was Spring v Guardian Insurance sometime in the 70s. It could be 1972 but don’t quote me. You have to be extremely careful to give an opinion about someone in writing. Occasionally I might give further information verbally but never in writing.

                    Tough for you at the moment but if you have not been an employee then you cannot expect an employee reference.

                    Good luck in your further job hunting.
                    here's the thing, they wont even confirm what dates I have worked for in writing (I have invoices and bank statements but thats about it - I have no accountant). I have covered many shifts at last minute and have done quite a few favours for managers yet none of them are willing to help me out:|

                    there is 1 manager who I can think for a pharmacy I used to work at but they left this time last year (and due to their management changes, I lost out on locum work - lowsy workplace politics > ) who wrote me a reference for a UCAS application in October 2017, however employers require a work email address :|

                    I graduated from uni almost 6 years ago and honestly havent spoken to any of my lecturers since then. Also whilst it would be nice to use some of my friends, reality is non of my pharmacist freinds live remotely near me (+ I dont trust other locums I have encountered in my area - they are seriously weird & stir stuff).

                    EDIT - it seems even hospital locum agencies require current references :| :'(. this is seriously throwing a spanner in the works.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Modus_Operandi View Post

                      here's the thing, they wont even confirm what dates I have worked for in writing (I have invoices and bank statements but thats about it - I have no accountant). I have covered many shifts at last minute and have done quite a few favours for managers yet none of them are willing to help me out:|

                      there is 1 manager who I can think for a pharmacy I used to work at but they left this time last year (and due to their management changes, I lost out on locum work - lowsy workplace politics > ) who wrote me a reference for a UCAS application in October 2017, however employers require a work email address :|

                      I graduated from uni almost 6 years ago and honestly havent spoken to any of my lecturers since then. Also whilst it would be nice to use some of my friends, reality is non of my pharmacist freinds live remotely near me (+ I dont trust other locums I have encountered in my area - they are seriously weird & stir stuff).

                      EDIT - it seems even hospital locum agencies require current references :| :'(. this is seriously throwing a spanner in the works.
                      I'm really sorry to hear this but I was thinking that perhaps you should explain this to any prospective employer and offer character reference from your pharmacist friends who know you but don't live locally. I think it also means being flexible and willing to relocate. I'm sure one of the multiples might give you a job if you agree to work in a remote area and hopefully once you worked for a duration try to apply somewhere local.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by jzd4rma View Post

                        I'm really sorry to hear this but I was thinking that perhaps you should explain this to any prospective employer and offer character reference from your pharmacist friends who know you but don't live locally. I think it also means being flexible and willing to relocate. I'm sure one of the multiples might give you a job if you agree to work in a remote area and hopefully once you worked for a duration try to apply somewhere local.
                        I have tried to explain this to prospective employers (and hospital locum agencies) and most react negatively. If I had the reasources and fewer personal responsibilites, I probably would relocate but I am not able to relocate due to personal circumstances.

                        The large companies like boots and Lloyds are a-holes (I am on the locumboard for Rowlands, Asda and Day Lewis but since 2018 it has been mainly Asda who have gotten me work). I enquired about this with Rowlands and Day Lewis on friday and they wont give recommendations nor will they give confirmation of the dates I have worked (Asda will not either ,be it in the form of People managers (HR management for stores) or Pharmacy managers.

                        Boots actually offered me a role a couple of years ago to work 200+ away from home, (there was a verbal agreement), however when I enquired about why I havent received any proper confirmation (3 days before I was due to move there), they told me the position was no longer available as the manager who dealt with that vacancy no-longer worked for them.

                        Lloyds, the less I say the better as their HR department are lying backstabbing sods who only care about employees if they threaten to leave their company after getting treated like faeces.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Modus_Operandi View Post

                          I have tried to explain this to prospective employers (and hospital locum agencies) and most react negatively. If I had the reasources and fewer personal responsibilites, I probably would relocate but I am not able to relocate due to personal circumstances.

                          The large companies like boots and Lloyds are a-holes (I am on the locumboard for Rowlands, Asda and Day Lewis but since 2018 it has been mainly Asda who have gotten me work). I enquired about this with Rowlands and Day Lewis on friday and they wont give recommendations nor will they give confirmation of the dates I have worked (Asda will not either ,be it in the form of People managers (HR management for stores) or Pharmacy managers.

                          Boots actually offered me a role a couple of years ago to work 200+ away from home, (there was a verbal agreement), however when I enquired about why I havent received any proper confirmation (3 days before I was due to move there), they told me the position was no longer available as the manager who dealt with that vacancy no-longer worked for them.

                          Lloyds, the less I say the better as their HR department are lying backstabbing sods who only care about employees if they threaten to leave their company after getting treated like faeces.
                          You have my sympathies!

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