Why reference checks are more important than you think!

Why Reference checks are important Nurse at computer

If agency work is dependent upon my skills, why is a referee so important?

Facilities pay top dollar for nurses who can hit the ground running. So, without referees to support your skills, it makes it near impossible for a facility to determine why they should choose you.

References also act as insurance policies, making sure facilities are choosing the right candidate for the both role and team. As there is no formal interview process, hospitals are employing you solely on paper value. So, select your referees appropriately to both consolidate and amplify your CV!

It is also an administrative requirement for health services to have two recent reference checks. Some regions will actually delete your application if not provided!


Can I list anyone? I have mostly just done agency contracts.

Firstly, you need permission to list someone as your referee. This is your first chance to gauge if your selection is appropriate by how your chosen person responds to this question.

If they are not comfortable or do not show interest in being your referee, try someone else.

When we want to contact your referees, we will ask for your permission. It is always polite to warn your referees that they will be contacted, and to thank them once more.

We will not contact anyone without your permission, so if that is not given promptly, your application for your dream job could be delayed.

By communicating with your referee, it helps them understand that it’s important to respond in a timely manner, as your job prospects rely upon this check.

Full time agency nurses often find it difficult to source appropriate referees. However, we have a lot of nurses in the same boat who work full time for us year on year.

They manage this by being proactive at the end of contracts to build connections, setting them up for the next opportunity. Without a reference, it is almost like you did not work there!


We understand it can be a struggle for staff who work casually at a range of facilities. Be mindful of senior staff you work with on a fairly regular basis who may be happy to support you in this way.


So, what should I look for in a referee?

The ideal referee is someone who has worked closely with you, and can comment on your clinical abilities. This should be someone in a senior/management position to yourself who you have worked with clinically in the last 12 months.

Think of a book you read two years ago – you will not remember the details as accurately as the one you read last week.

Recency builds confidence and accuracy for the facilities in the referee’s comments; all crucial to make them decide upon you!

So, help yourself by being proactive and aware. Send your recruitment consultant at least two to three senior clinical referees from the last 12 months who know you and your skills. They are your best chance at landing that dream role!

Make sure you include as much information about your referee as possible, namely contact details (including phone & email), clinical position and facility worked together.

Reference checks are important! They can be the difference between getting that wish list contract or getting left behind in the pile.

So, give yourself the best chance by being proactive and considerate with your referee choices. It’s just one of the many great ways to improve your job prospects!

Have any more questions? Please don’t hesitate to contact your consultant, or register with us and our team will be in touch to help you get started on your first Affinity contract!

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