Interviewers contacted referee even tho I ticked the 'do not contact my referee' box

(35 Posts)
Messinthemorning Sun 24-Apr-16 20:41:05

Long story,bear with me: I went for a post within my corporation-internally advertised. Same payscale, different area. I didn't want my team/line manager to know in case it made things awkward naturally. I didn't get the job, which I accept as what happens if another candidate did a better interview. However, I have just found out (from a friend) that the interview panel contacted my manager, (my referee) as he / she is senior member of the corporation-i think they wanted to get advice on the interview process-but I explicitly ticked in the application form' not to be contacted before interview'. I think it was an oversight of the panel, I think perhaps they didn't realise he / she was my referee. Either way, I have now been left in a tricky position in that my manager knows I have been going for other jobs. Not only is this awkward but I also fear it will affect any promotion internally. Wwyd? Am I in a position to make a complaint?

QuiteLikely5 Sun 24-Apr-16 20:43:54

If they contacted your manager for advice on how to conduct interviews how do you know that they also told her you were a candidate?

WidowWadman Sun 24-Apr-16 20:50:20

My organisation explicitly states that internal applicants should speak to their manager before applying. Applying for other jobs internally shows drive to develop yourself, that's a good thing and managers should mormally support that - after all developing their staff is one pf their objectives.
As a manager I'd be pretty annoyed if someone who reported into me applied for an internal vacancy without talking to me. That it's in a different business unit is irrelevant.

You created the awkward position yourself, and if I were you I wouldn't complain but take the opportunity to discuss your career development with your manager (and apologise).

Messinthemorning Sun 24-Apr-16 20:50:53

My friend who told me that they contacted my manager told me-The post that they were recruiting into is quite a unique role,that v few would go for and it was likely that I would have got it. I am now starting to wonder if my manager put them off.....it has just dawned on me that could have happened......how would I ever find out.

WombatStewForTea Sun 24-Apr-16 20:52:39

Yeah you really should have spoken to your manager first just out of courtesy.

ilovesooty Sun 24-Apr-16 20:53:43

I think I'd try to ignore information from your friend and concentrate on discussing your development with your manager.

edwinbear Sun 24-Apr-16 20:54:50

I have an interview for an internal job move in a couple of weeks. I have told my line manager out of courtesy, and explained that it is not a reflection of me being unhappy in the role I am in, but it's an opportunity to progress. She is very supportive and fully understands my rationale as any good manager would be.

Making a complaint would cast you in a far worse light than applying for an internal move.

Messinthemorning Sun 24-Apr-16 20:56:49

Widow-not all managers are as open minded and supportive as you. I too manage and agree with your philosophy, however In our organisation we have a lot of managers who care more about money and themselves.

Outfoxed Sun 24-Apr-16 20:57:13

Where I work it says about a billion times during the internal application form that you're expected to discuss applications with your line manager before applying :/ also if your manager were to be actively discouraging you from developing then they're sucking at their job

janethegirl2 Sun 24-Apr-16 20:57:17

I think I lost a job when they contacted my boss before interview. I saw the written reference she gave before the actual interview date, but I found this out several years later and it wasn't even accurate. But I was fulfilling a very unique role and I'm guessing they couldn't afford to lose me.
Not a lot I could do about it though!

ilovesooty Sun 24-Apr-16 20:59:04

You manage others yet you applied for this without discussing it with your manager?

ABetaDad1 Sun 24-Apr-16 21:01:56

It hasn't created a tricky situation.

Your manager now knows you are not happy to sit around in your current position and have ambition.

That means she has to keep you happy.

What can she do to you? She doesn't own you and she cant sack you. If she asks you about it just tell her you want a promotion and a pay rise and want that as soon as possible. Its her problem. That's what managers are there for - to manage.

I used to unnerve my boss by being non committal and just telling him I was going to stay as long as I was happy.

WidowWadman Sun 24-Apr-16 21:01:56

Mess there's a huge difference between external and internal applications. If you don't discuss external ones, that's understandable, most people don't, but where internal moves are concerned, not speaking to your manager means that you've put them in an awkward situation when they were approached about your application, and it's pretty unprofessional.

WhereInTheWorldToNext Sun 24-Apr-16 21:04:49

I'm very surprised you applied for an internal role without discussing it with your manager. Anywhere I've worked that in itself would be enough to lose you the job, on the basis it shows poor communication/lack of ability to manage stakeholders.

You absolutely cannot make a complaint - your best approach would be to have a conversation with your manager about plans for development and apologize for not keeping them in the loop whilst acknowledging that this shouldn't have happened.

Messinthemorning Sun 24-Apr-16 21:07:01

It is not routine for internal applicants to discuss their intentions where I work. I agree with those of you who say that it should happen-in an ideal world we all get support to progress and develop but that's not the culture everywhere yet. I assume that's why there is the option on applications for referees not to be contacted??My point is that it is not professional to go against the application process,and the panel were acting unprofessionally to do so. I would like to point that out to them but of course if I complain then I won't ever get a promotion again!

squiggleirl Sun 24-Apr-16 21:12:38

I'm confused....

How could you list somebody as a referee, but they not know you were applying for a position?

Surely you asked them to be provide a reference for you before you included them in your application? If not, you may well be looking at the reason you didn't get the position....

ilovesooty Sun 24-Apr-16 21:15:17

It's surely basic manners to ask for a reference prior to applying for a position.

Mistigri Sun 24-Apr-16 21:15:26

For internal job applications isn't it the done thing to speak to your manager first?

In my organisation this is spelt out clearly on internal job adverts - you have to tell your line manager that you are applying.

WidowWadman Sun 24-Apr-16 21:15:54

Was the position open for external applicants, too? In those cases it's normal to have that box.

ABetaDad1 Sun 24-Apr-16 21:16:03

OP you did nothing wrong.

In almost every employment situation on MN I almost always feel that people need to remember their employer will dump them without a moment's thought if the business turns down and you are no longer needed. Your manager has no loyalty to you. They want you to work for a many as hours in the day that they can get away with on as low a salary as possible.

You owe them nothing apart from turning up and doing the job you are employed to do and they owe you nothing apart from a salary at the end of the month.

Messinthemorning Sun 24-Apr-16 21:23:02

It was an internal application, no external candidates.
I have used the same referees for my previous applications, and have asked their permission and they have said yes any time.

UnhappyAtWork Sun 24-Apr-16 21:24:00

I dont think you should have to tell your manager if you are applying for an internal role - its got as much to do with them as if you are going for an external one, it affects them only if you get it. It can easily affect your working life if you don't have a supportive manager

Messinthemorning Sun 24-Apr-16 21:28:23

Betadad thanks for the support. Sounds like there are nicer environments to work in than the one I do now. Perhaps it's for the best that things have worked out the way they have.

squiggleirl Sun 24-Apr-16 21:29:44

Irrespective of what you have done in the past, or they have said in the past, it's generally expected that you let your referees know each time you have included them on an application. It's in your own interests to do so. If they are contacted, it'd be good for them to know what position you'd applied for, so they'd give a reference that would help support your application for this.

And I still don't get why it would make things awkward for your line manager to know you'd applied for this position. They already knew you'd applied for other positions...

WhereInTheWorldToNext Sun 24-Apr-16 21:30:00

abetadad that is a really cynical and sad attitude.

As a manger I genuinely like to see my team develop as individuals and I have a great deal of loyalty to them. Part of being a successful manager is always having a succession plan and knowing how to fill the gaps when people inevitably move on.

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