Thursday, June 24, 2010

Musical Chairs

The company that I work for is struggling financially and the general manager has started purging management, firing people left and right. This was, of course followed by a hiring frenzy. Two positions were filled internally by employees whose skills are completely inadequate, but who party with the boss. Two other positions were filled by new employees who are very abrasive and who flaunt their positions shamelessly. This has caused some employees to resign. Today, we said goodbye to a beloved employee of some years who resented being passed over for a promotion, and dreaded the prospect of being subordinate to the smug new employees. This loss has caused even more hard feelings across the entire facility. The only consolation is the prospect of securing a better position when the dust settles, and everyone is grabbing and clawing each time a job opening is posted. Gina in HR alerts everyone of each opening via email. But if a serious internal candidate applies, and the general manager does not want them to have it, then he orders that the opening be taken down from the internet site. One manager was promoted to another department. The man who covers for that manager’s vacations is obviously the most qualified candidate, but another new hire who is retired military also wants it. The general manager prefers that the job go to the military man who is struggling with his current managerial position. When it was known that the man intended to apply online, even after he was told that he was not the favorite prospect, Gina in HR closed the position and removed it from the website.

I tried for another position myself. I approached the head of telesales about an opening in her department. Right away she seemed very uncertain about me, but I decided to be aggressive and applied online. I was promptly granted an interview. Immediately she revealed that my supervisor gave me a good recommendation. I almost fell off of my seat! I was shocked that even though we were just going through the motion of a polite interview that would end in a “thank you for your interest, but you’re not what we’re looking for,” she revealed my intention to my supervisor—effectively jeopardizing my relationship with my current supervisor. She assured me that my boss was supportive, and I thought, “outwardly, supportive; internally, furious.”

The interview went well and ended with her asking me if I wanted to continue with the application process. Earlier on in the interview she had offered to have me shadow a telemarketer to get a feel for the job. She had also indicated that she was dissatisfied with the small number of applicants and intended to leave the job open to allow more people to show an interest. So, I said that I wanted to think it over. She quickly cut me off and said, “Then that is a ‘no’ for me. My grandfather taught me that if you see a purse in a store and you have to have it, you should get it without hesitation. It belongs to you, no matter the price. If you can leave the store without it or wait for a sale, then you don’t really want it bad enough.” I calmly replied, “And you may want to hire someone who will jump at the chance to have this job. And I am not impulsive. I never make snap decisions about anything. I have to consider it from every aspect. You are asking for a commitment to stay in the position for no less than one year. I won’t be rushed into something that is going to affect my life for an entire year, so I’m going to take you up on your offer to shadow Chrissy and I’m going to discuss it with my husband, pray about it, and sleep on it.”

I sat for an hour with Chrissy later that day, and sent an email requesting to move ahead and schedule the second interview. But I doubt that the topic will ever come up again. They hired a temp even though I had offered to fill in a couple of days per week until they make a final decision to hire someone.

1 comment:

  1. Clearly the company has a very inconsistent way of dealing with staffing issues. It is very subjective and they are opening themselves up for litigation if they continue this way.

    Regardless of what this so called HR person's grandfather says, that's no way to make a hiring decision!


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