Slow Down, You Moved Too Fast……

The attached article will no doubt strike a chord with many. The excitement of the hiring manager’s voice when they pick up our phone call…the adrenaline when they say they got the job…and the disappointment of being told they don’t like us anymore. All these are too familiar a feeling when we are in the job market.

I said I have very strong feelings about this article (please read if you haven’t already since I’ll probably address it more than once!), and I do. I was really intrigued as to the big ‘mix up’, and then really disappointed to learn it was just because the manager thought he was someone else.

Wait…what?! The manager thought he was someone else?!?

Ok, Mr. Manager, I have a concern here. Several, actually. You answer the phone and a couple of things can happen at this point: you recognize the voice of the person you are talking to since you developed some sort of rapport when he interviewed with you; you ask for clarification or spelling of the last name to be sure you were talking to the right person (you said there were three applications in front of you, all with similar names); or you say you will get back to them, when you have a minute to talk, thereby controlling the situation and making sure you are doing the right thing.

So let’s start with the first point: you recognize the voice since you developed a rapport during the interview. Oh, you didn’t interview them in person? You were just hiring off the resume? Oh dear, that is a problem. So you had no idea who you were really talking to, and for a server in a restaurant you really should. As a matter of fact, when you interview a candidate and you love them for the job, you should have just offered it to them on the spot! That would have made for an awesome story for FOX 2 to pick up!

On the second point, you ask for clarification of the last name since you had multiple applications with similar last names. The only thing I could offer to you here is to pay closer attention to detail on this one. It IS a major screw up. I’ll bet if that was one of your servers making this sort of an error, they’d have heard about it, and not been allowed to offer an ‘opps’ as the response.

Behind door number three? Taking control of the situation and calling the candidate back. This would definitely have been my choice. It would have been controlled, exact, communicated clearly and correctly and executed with finesse and a level of respect.

The article in itself is a bummer for the guy. He quit a job he already had to take this one and he’s left out on the street, figuratively speaking. It wasn’t his fault the manager made a rash decision, but he’s paying the price for it. It would have been nice for the manager to hire him anyway, or to throw him a bone on another possible position, or even made a call to the former employer. Any one of those things would have been a nice thing to do.

The bigger picture problem here that I have is with the way the whole thing came down. A hiring manager should ALWAYS know who he’s making an offer to! I realize that sounds silly, but that’s exactly what happened here. Managers, or anyone in position with hiring authority, should always be in control of the situation. Phone calls should be made within the privacy of their office (where it is quiet and well, private!). Offers of work, regardless of the role, should be done with a level of professionalism. Only their application, or resume, should be in front of the hiring manager. There shouldn’t still be a stack at this point, unless you have multiple, yet identical, openings. There should be some amount of small talk with the candidate, perhaps enough to authenticate the identity of the person you’re speaking with, if necessary! None of these things should be exempt from the hiring process. Shame on those who make hiring decisions without going through their own version of the ‘triple lock down’. My fellow recruiters will know that, for certain, and probably grimaced when they read that. Duh, triple lock down, dude!

I wish anyone who ever hires had to be trained, or certified, in the process. Not just the ‘legal’ side, but the ‘human’ side, too. It’s not a skill set that is intrinsic for everyone. For most, it’s learned. For some, it’s a talent. For this restaurant manager, it was a tough lesson learned. Hopefully. For the next guys’ sake.

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