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The hoops they make you jump through

(19 Posts)
IntelligentYetIndecisive Tue 06-Feb-18 22:32:39

I applied for a job. Nothing unusual there.

It's NHS AfC Band 2 and fixed term for 12 months, but with the possibility of training for an NVQ Level 2.

I applied online through the NHS Jobs site and didn't expect to hear anything back, after I applied for a similar job at another hospital and was not only rejected without interview, but before the advert had expired.

So I received a letter today which wasn't a hospital appointment, but an invitiation to interview.

Thrilled!! grin

Thrilled, that is, until I read the requirements.

3 forms of identification - one of which must be photo ID and one proof of address and with strict date limits. Normal so far.

Certificates for all relevant qualifications. Again, normal so far.

So far so good.

Then I read the circumstances of the interview.

There was going to be a 'mass' test of all invited candidates quite early in the morning.

These 'exams' will be taken, marked and only those who pass will be invited back for an interview on the same day.

The instruction on the letter is to ensure I have the whole day free.

So I could potentially take the three part test at 9am (numeracy, literacy and a section specific to the job), finish it at around 10:30 - 11:00 and have to knock around for hours, waiting for a phone call, before being told to either get lost or come back for an interview quite late in the afternoon.

For a lowly, non-management, non-supervisory, temporary, £15,404pa job. 😱

Am I dreaming or is this overkill?

daisychain01 Wed 07-Feb-18 02:43:59

It seems overkill yes - but could be for a role with a high volume of applications to sift through. If I understand how it works nowadays they do a thorough screening early on then give pre-screened candidates (not selected for that role) the option of being on a holding list for up to a year, so you may get more than one chance to get a similar job.

It depends whether you don't mind using up a whole day, as you say hanging around - sounds like jury service, more hanging around wasting time than actually doing anything smile

HashtagTired Wed 07-Feb-18 03:33:07

For mass recruitment I'm afraid this is not uncommon. They probably have a huge number of candidates too, so if you don't go it'll be no skin off their nose. There will be other candidates to fill your roles. NHS recruitment can be a bit complacent that way.
Band 2 roles are incredibly easy to fill, I'm afraid.

Want2bSupermum Wed 07-Feb-18 03:42:56

Here in the US if you want to apply for a government job where you have to pass a skills test you go sit the test at a prometric center at a time convienient to you. If you pass the test you can apply for a license or jobs (depends on what it's for). I have no idea why the NHS doesn't do this. Why even let someone apply for a job who doesn't have the basic skills to do it.

Want2bSupermum Wed 07-Feb-18 03:46:53

And yes I agree it's overkill for an easy to fill role which is temporary. Hire someone. If they can't do the job replace them.

With lots of applicants I don't know why they don't have a generic job opening for the trust that people can submit an application to. HR can then sift through and keep a list of qualified applicants.

Roystonv Wed 07-Feb-18 04:04:51

Horrible, makes you feel so worthless, my ds had this for so many jobs he applied for; they seem to want you to weed yourself out iyswim. The one he finally got ended up with 3 people at final interview; the other 2 (young girl and older man) ticked all the boxes testing/form filling wise (this went on and on) but would not actually have been suitable for the day to day job! My ds had the opposite happen, very suitable for post, excellent qualifications but let down by faulty calculator at first weeding out stage and 'computer said no' so It may help them manage applications but I am not sure it helps get the right candidates.

2ndSopranos Wed 07-Feb-18 10:49:38

I had this with an NHS interview. Band 6, non-clinical support role. Four of us sat some sort of ludicrous test which was some form of comprehension test which I now consider to be slightly offensive really given that the role required a very specific postgrad qualification. That ended at 9.45 and my interview was at 3. I spent an hour at their invitation looking at the services they offered on one of their PCs then wondered around a town I didn't know for hours on end.

The interview was similarly ridiculous. At the time, and why I went for the job in the first place, was that I was looking to work in a different sector. The said again and again and again that this seemed to be a sideways step and I was clearly very experienced and qualified but backtracked and said I was "very overqualified". For the next week the panel chair called me daily to tell me they "hadn't made a decision, but would do soon". With hindsight, I should have said not to bother. Eventually she called and said they couldn't offer me the job as "I wasn't suitably qualified". W.T.A.F.

I've just realised this was 10 years ago actually; seems very little has changed!

2ndSopranos Wed 07-Feb-18 10:50:16

*wandered

Polarbearflavour Wed 07-Feb-18 14:56:20

I had this for an NHS bank admin role. There were 10 of us.

Ended up wandering all over this huge, largely derelict hospital site as different people kept sending us to different locations. One staff member shouted at us for going into an office...turns out it was where we were meant to be!

They checked our documents and we had to do an IT test and basic maths and English test. Everybody passed and we had a very basic one to one interview all in the same room, all at once!

Lots of waiting around and 3 hours of my life I will never get back.

IntelligentYetIndecisive Thu 08-Feb-18 17:52:00

I'd understand if this was some sort of higher role.

I've heard of weekend long, intensive selection 'events', with extremely well paid people being put up in lousy accomodation as they re-applied for their jobs working for an ailing government agency.

I've heard of a series of events on different days for graduate roles.

I've even been through train driver testing twice. 😨

But all this for a role at housekeeper level is a bit much.

daisychain01 Thu 08-Feb-18 22:46:05

You do have the option to spin on your heels and walk away, you know smile

IntelligentYetIndecisive Fri 09-Feb-18 17:36:21

You do have the option to spin on your heels and walk away, you know

No I can't. sad

After floating between random jobs for the majority of my working life, this is the first interview in a profession I want to join.

I was just wondering if this is now standard for the NHS now, or whether it's an indicator of what a nest of twats I might be joining.

butterfly56 Fri 09-Feb-18 18:21:53

Seems like nothing has changed in the NHS. Did an temp admin role for 6months many years ago. It was the longest most ludicrous 6months of my life. They offered me permanent I turned them down.
Even the Top Consultant in that department told me to not to waste my life in such an awful organisation....He went back to Canada!

daisychain01 Fri 09-Feb-18 18:58:09

But all this for a role at housekeeper level is a bit much

I was just responding to your comment - the fact is you can't change their processes, and I agree as I said upthread that it did feel like overkill, way more than Is necessary. So it's a question of whether you are willing to go through the "short term pain for longer term gain" or whether the whole thing is just a complete crock.

I don't believe anyone should subject themselves to a process they find demeaning or negative, there are always alternatives even if you can't see it now.

IntelligentYetIndecisive Fri 09-Feb-18 19:20:23

Private companies won't pay for a qualification.

If they offer any training at all, it's their own in-house, not recognised anywhere else equivalent training with their own meaningless certificates and that's no use if I want/have to leave.

NHS offers proper, nationally recognised, NVQ qualifications with independent assessors.

I want to do the job and take advantage of the training and eventual qualification.

So yes, I'll do it.

southeastdweller Tue 13-Feb-18 22:19:05

I don't believe anyone should subject themselves to a process they find demeaning or negative, there are always alternatives even if you can't see it now.

I think that's a very idealistic and somewhat naive opinion. The job market today means that for most jobs employers can have their pick of who they want as there's so many capable applicants out there, who [need] to work. There simply aren't enough jobs to go round.

daisychain01 Tue 13-Feb-18 22:27:52

I agree wholeheartedly that there aren't enough jobs. But it's like any kind of relationship, if you are dehumanised and treated with insufficient respect, power is tipped in their favour. I cannot agree that, just because it's a recruiter's market, they should treat people like cattle (as described upthread). I'm not blaming the candidates, I'm putting the criticism with the people who should be harshly judged, because they don't have to treat people like that. It's shocking.

IntelligentYetIndecisive Wed 14-Feb-18 16:14:31

They were expecting 9. Four showed up.

I was interviewed first, after one fell at the assessment hurdle and I've just learned I didn't get it, although it was very close.

I'd clearly read the PS and JD but they needed more from me about where I thought the role holder would fit into the department and more about how I thought the role holder fitted into the hospital structure in general.

Oh. It was part time, not fixed term and they don't participate in the NVQ system anymore. Funding, you know. sad

Although their own in-house training and assessments follow the NVQ programme very closely. hmm

Draylon Thu 15-Feb-18 17:34:00

It might be 'incredibly easy' to find Band 2 candidates, whoever said that upthread but the number of good candidates we've had walk away as the process has taken weeks, so they've taken jobs in Sainsbury's instead; and you are frequently at the whim of interviewers who have no idea what skills and personal qualities the job actually requires!

It is a sad fact in the NHS, HR is increasingly 'not fit for purpose', they fuck up visas, they send out the wrong information, they direct you to the wrong people, they tell staff seeking information about employment Ts & C's to ask their line manager when the employee is disputing the line-manager's interpretation of something!

Middle management in the NHS is filled with unsuitable people, some have no idea about clinical roles but rather arrogantly think they do; others who've climbed up the ranks actually haven't, they've cheekily applied for roles they are completely unsuited for, but get offered as they've been effectively unopposed.

Someone made the point that rising through management ranks in the NHS is a system of 'not fucking up too much', not being recognised to be too incompetent, not being found out, so you'll quietly rise and rise, applying for and getting the next rank up, unopposed (no one with a brain or a conscience wants those jobs!)- til you hit a role you are completely out of your depth for, and there you'll stay, messing up and pissing off others.

These are the people who decide what ridiculous irrelevant, time wasting hoops they'll make prospective Band 2s apply for, where the sensible will just walk.

And of course, there is a great 'push' for 2s and 3s as these managers, who do not realise what skills and qualifications are really required think they're being clever in assuming that any old Band 2, with enough day-courses and NVQs, will be able to do a 5/6 HCP job. I know a lot who are being lead a merry dance in this way. I have no issue with ambition, but the NHS is being dumbed down silently in this way.

However, at Band 5/6, HCP, they're so short they'll take anyone the HCPC think are suitably qualified. Even though a day on the shop floor reveals they're not..

Sorry for the hijack, but these are the realities.

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