To think they will all blame me?

(27 Posts)
onedamnthingafteranother Thu 31-Jul-14 07:30:44

Short version - had a student professional last year - OK but nothing special, passed her on her course. Now she has applied to a team next to mine and passed the interview - but my boss loathed her, and has been very vocal to me (and various other people, some of them quite high up) how she wouldn't have passed her, thinks she'll fail etc.
I gave her a reference and now wish I hadn't (I was being pressured to do it quickly and and couldn't put my hand on my heart and say she can't do the job, though I do have doubts as to whether she can take the pressure), as if she does fail (and the pressures on our work are extreme right now, I don't think we should be hiring newbies at all,
Just got called in to a special meeting at which it was broadly hinted I ought to have given her a bad reference to stop her being hired (this is after the interview, mark you). If she fails (there is a probation period, but it's still time and money), is that the end of my own (pretty good at the moment) credibility, because it sure sounds like it?

onedamnthingafteranother Thu 31-Jul-14 07:32:55

sorry, meant to say "if she does fail, I feel I will take the rap"

Lally112 Thu 31-Jul-14 07:36:18

You know you cant give a 'bad' reference legally right?? trust me - I'm the ice queen of all bitches and bad references would be my forte. You can decline to provide one but you are not allowed in employment law to give a 'bad' one.

flipchart Thu 31-Jul-14 07:37:41

I can't see how it all can be your fault.
I'm guessing you didn't give her a glowing reference but she still had to get through the interview. I would turn it on the people that interviewed her if I could. Was she the only person that was interviewed?

ArgyMargy Thu 31-Jul-14 07:42:14

She passed the interview. She cant be all that bad. Think about it from her point of view. You did the right thing. Unless your reference was untruthful of course. If people want to criticise you just ignore them.

onedamnthingafteranother Thu 31-Jul-14 07:44:10

flip: no, they picked two others (we have a high staff turnover, and for good reason, it's hell at times) - also ex-students, both really good.

I gave her a good character reference and a simple "yes" as to "can she do the job"? I hate yes/no alternatives, but that's the form.

wowfudge Thu 31-Jul-14 07:49:01

I think you are possibly over thinking things - there has been a process and you have told the truth. Your conscience is clear. If, however, the internal politics are so bad that you are fretting because you have not done what you believe your boss wanted, then that's a separate issue and you might want to consider whether this is the right environment for you. Not because you have done anything wrong btw.

WookieCookiee Thu 31-Jul-14 07:49:13

you can't give a bad ref, and in your opinion she passed the course, and has now been successful at an interview so she probably didn't deserve one anyway. Does the other team report to your manager as well?
Doubting yourself over this calls your credibility into question more than giving her a decent reference IMHO. Sounds to me as if you feel you overpraised her in her reference, would that be right?

WookieCookiee Thu 31-Jul-14 07:50:56

Ok thread moved on. Then you have followed process and all is ok! Don't send guess yourself.

Toooldtobearsed Thu 31-Jul-14 07:55:06

You CAN give a bad reference, as long is it honest, true and factual.
Most employers choose not to, simply to make life easier.
If you gave an honest reference, then hold true to that. Everyone deserves a chance and she might surprise you all - you would then be getting plaudits for how insightful you were.

Bailey101 Thu 31-Jul-14 07:55:11

You can give a bad reference, it just has to factual and not conjecture or opinion. For example you can't say 'x was fired because they're a thieving crap bag' but you can say 'x's employment was terminated due to allegations of theft'.

Bailey101 Thu 31-Jul-14 07:55:47

Cross posted with toooldtobearsed smile

onedamnthingafteranother Thu 31-Jul-14 08:00:44

Didn't "overpraise" her - stated she has a good character and manner (she does) and ticked "yes" to "can she do the job?" I think she could, not sure if she can, tbh.

Pastperfect Thu 31-Jul-14 08:01:46

Of course you can give a bad reference, provided it is accurate and truthful.

You were asked to give a reference and so should have done so accurately - if you didn't for whatever reason then yes it is feasible your credibility could be affected.

However the woman was successful at interview and was presumably chosen out of the interviewed candidates by persons other than you, so it seems decision was theirs not yours.

If your reference was accurate it is very unprofessional of your colleagues to suggest that it should have been your role to vetoe the position by providing an unfairly negative reference

onedamnthingafteranother Thu 31-Jul-14 08:02:08

And yes, the other team does report to my manager- she has been promoted recently to deputy area manager.

Pastperfect Thu 31-Jul-14 08:02:36

Cross posts there grin

onedamnthingafteranother Thu 31-Jul-14 08:04:35

This was my first time as assessor and referee, I feel she should be given a chance to prove herself, if she was actually bad I would not have passed her at all. She's just a bit slow, and we are a high pressure team.

I see the "illegal to give a bad reference" line trotted out on MN regularly. Did someone say it on here once, then everyone's taken it as gospel? It's very odd - I never hear it in RL.

Lally112 Thu 31-Jul-14 08:30:25

That's what I mean by bad reference, Maybe its different here in Scotland but I work in agriculture and we get sent lots of work experience people off the dole, some of which are fine but most of which are shit.

I have to say; Mr X arrived for work but punctuality could be better etc and not this fucking twat sat outside on the fence with his mate for 10 minutes smoking god knows what before sliding through the gate.

I'm not convinced about the allegations of theft thing either because we have red diesel stolen REGULARLY by some of these people as well as quad bikes, scramblers, tractor keys etc and we are not allowed to comment on any of these acts unless it has been reported and the person has been charged or convicted of the offence. I (like I said before) am a complete ice queen and would happily send a reference saying thieving scumbag tried to break into the vet medicine cupboard but there are laws preventing me from doing so.

MummaB1014 Thu 31-Jul-14 09:07:53

Have seen similar throughout social services. Sometimes the candidate you think won't be cut out for the job turns out to be the best choice! You were honest in your assessment of her, that's the best you can do. Hopefully she'll have adequate supervision which will help her cope in the role.

Infinity8 Thu 31-Jul-14 12:54:28

Wrt the reference - if there's only a yes/no option then you have to make an educated guess and select the best fit answer.

If you did that then you are not in the wrong. If she had an interview and was offered the job she must hsve done well. Those things are outside of ypur control. Your boss has no right to try snd influence the reference you gave - you would be unprofessional and in trouble yourself if you gave a bad ref on the basis your boss doesn't like her. That would bite you in the arse, not your boss!

Bailey101 Thu 31-Jul-14 13:41:10

Lally112, I'm in Scotland too - it's perfectly legal to say why an employee was fired. If the theft wasn't proven by the police, then you would say there were allegations of theft. It's only gets into the realm of unlawful if you were to say that they definitely stole something when you couldn't prove it 100%. The same goes for anything that would fall under gross misconduct.

Lally112, I'm in Scotland too and have given a bad reference when it's truthful - "so-and-so was regularly late, and was the subject of client complaints due to her attitude. I would not employ her again." All true and able to be proved.

greenfolder Thu 31-Jul-14 20:26:39

You need too develop a thicker skin. They hired her from her interview, not your reference

museumum Thu 31-Jul-14 20:43:37

You'd need a lot more than a slight niggling doubt to tick "no" to the question "can she do the job."!!

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