But Your Application Said…

I had the opportunity to speak to a young manager (in his 30’s) this week regarding some issues he was facing with hiring a new assistant manager for their cell phone company branch store.

Although he was very involved in the interviewing process the upper management did have the final say in which candidate would be hired.

When he called me he told me that he had a total of four candidates, 3 of which were already working with the company.  Two were in other stores and one in his and one outside candidate.  The dilemma for him was that the candidate that seemed most suited for the position was the outside one and he needed to figure out how to tell the employees that had been working for the company for some time that they did not get the position.

The candidate he was most concerned with was the one that worked with him.  This person had been with the company for several years and thought that they would get this job.  He was trying for figure out how to tell him he did not and still keep him as an “happy” employee.

We talked about the reasons that this person did not get the position and the best way to “word” this discussion letting the candidate know what he needed to do in the future to obtain this position and how to let him know the other candidate was more qualified.

He felt pretty good after our conversation, but still was not looking forward to letting his co-worker know that he did not get the position.  I asked that he keep me posted as to how things went down.

The next day he called and I asked how it went and he said that he did not have the conversation yet.  The chosen candidate was informed by the corporate office that she had been picked and that her being hired was contingent on her background and drug check.

He said that he was going to have the talk with his employee and he got a call from the chosen candidate. When he talked to her she said that since she now had been offered the job contingent on her back ground check she needed to let him know of some changes on her application.  She proceeded to tell him that she no longer was employed where she listed on her application and that she also just got another job that she was currently working.

When he asked her why she didn’t tell them about these changes at the interview she simply stated that she didn’t feel that is was necessary unless she was offered a job.  She didn’t seem to think it was a big deal that she did not tell them at the interview of the changes, even when the interviewers asked her questions about her current job and she alluded to the fact that she was still employed at the place on her application, which she was not.

He thanked her for the information and proceeded to call corporate offices to talk to his supervisors.  When he told them what this candidate had done and that he was very concerned that he had been untruthful with them and now he had reservations about hiring her, his supervisor just told him that she was still the best candidate and that they were going to proceed with hiring her.

This manager was very upset because he thought if this person was willing to lie in an interview, then why would they think she would be honest once they hired her?  He could not believe that his company would just overlook this, error of unethical behavior.

He asked what I thought he should do because he didn’t want to get on the bad side of his supervisors, but he also wanted to let them know that he felt that hiring someone who was not honest from the beginning was not a good idea.

My advice was for him to think about the situation for a day or two and then write down exactly what he felt was wrong and why.  Then send the letter to his supervisor asking for a time that they could possibly discuss what the companies views were and why and also his own.

Although I sided with this young manager, I knew that he probably would not win in this situation and hopefully if they hire this woman, that he will be proved right in the end or very possibly that she just made a foolish mistake and that she really is a great person and will make a wonderful assistant to him.

What advice would you have given?

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