IT glitch saw hundreds of graduate nurses offered jobs in error

By Cloe Willetts of The Kapiti News

Alanah Lynch was one of 297 new graduate nurses affected by a national recruitment email error last week. Photo / Supplied
Alanah Lynch was one of 297 new graduate nurses affected by a national recruitment email error last week. Photo / Supplied

Almost 300 newly graduated nurses were told they had jobs waiting for them - only to learn they had been emailed in error due to an IT glitch.

Wellington woman Alanah Lynch, 25, cried tears of happiness when she got an email on Wednesday from Advanced Choice of Employment (ACE), the District Health Board recruitment service that helps graduate nurses into entry level jobs.

The email said the Whitireia graduate had been successfully matched to Auckland DHB.
It was particularly good news for Lynch, who had missed out on an interview for ACE's first intake this year after graduating in March.

"I was over the moon and so excited I cried and leapt around the room in excitement," she said.

"There are a lot more applicants than there are jobs, which makes it quite a competition for jobs.

"I rang my sister crying happy tears, as I've waited for that money for so long. Then I rang my mum and my dad and messaged a few of my friends, who were all so happy and excited for me."

Half an hour later though, a follow-up email from ACE advised Lynch there had "been an error with the email sent previously and we will be sending an updated email shortly".

"My heart sunk," she said.

"I was so upset, having gone from an extreme half hour of pure happiness and excitement to the complete opposite.

"I don't understand how they could make that much of a mistake."

ACE has since apologised for the mistake, which it described as an "inconvenience".

It blamed issues with a new IT system for mistakenly sending out emails to 297 awaiting applicants.

ACE, which had assisted thousands of new graduates since November 2012, said the scheme was developed to simplify the application processes for new graduates wanting to apply for positions within the 20 DHBs.

DHB Workforce Strategy Group chairwoman Julie Patterson, the chief executive of Whanganui DHB, said the technical error was "most regrettable".

"We are very sorry that this issue occurred and apologise to everyone affected, particularly those applicants who have not been matched and the distress this may have caused to them and their families," she said.

"Once we were aware of the email error, ACE took immediate action and provided applicants with the correct information."

Patterson said it was the first time an issue of its kind had occurred for ACE and its applicants.

"We will continue working with applicants regarding their next steps and options such as the talent pool."

- NZ Herald

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