Sunday, 23 April 2017

When Human Resources is anything but …

It is sobering when one happens to come across an internal job advertisement for a desired position and, upon applying receives a more than positive reception from his immediate management team but, for reasons too long winded and tedious to run through here, he is overlooked when, on the surface, he was unquestionably qualified.  

Selection criteria addressed near perfectly, he was even told so. Resume content that almost perfectly met experience sought and nothing, not even a look in, omitted in the first round for apparently no logical reason.

Feedback is sought through the correct channels and it comes back giving little solace in the face of humiliation and poor treatment. The thrust of the argument for which he was unsuccessful? “…. we were looking for someone with management experience”, the words struck hard.

Was there not sufficient management experience presented? Everyone thought so.

After some thought, he deliberates on whether to address the apparent decider/s directly, but then, in a fleeting instant he asked himself  some pertinent questions.

Why? To what end? Answers were not easy to come by and that, in and of itself suddenly meant, let it go…

Below is the email he quite nearly sent to HR or, as it's labeled in his organisation, People and Performance ...

Dear Xxxxx…

In relation to the recently advertised position Xxxx for which I was an unsuccessful applicant. 

I have had ample time to reflect upon comments you made to me over the phone after requesting feedback from your office. 

Truth be written, your initial remarks, which summed up your main argument, that the company was looking for, “someone with management experience” though entirely understandable, left me perplexed and logically raised several pertinent questions. 

  1. That my resume was not even read, or otherwise, entirely overlooked prior to my application having been deemed unsuccessful and/or
  2. The company had very specific selection criteria for the position that, intentionally or inadvertently or otherwise expediently, went unmentioned in the job advertisement and/or
  3. That the company, be it your area or, my business unit or perhaps both business units colluding, regarded me a fool of sorts and/or 
  4. That Human Resources locally termed as, “People and Performance” is incompetent in terms of, the talent acquisition function. 
If by chance, it is neither of the four points raised, then the real reason has not been brought to light, which is quite another concern. Of logical course, there is something else worthy of mention, that being that my CV was indeed read, but simply because of your vocal reasoning that, “…. we were looking for someone with management experience” suggests that the company has - in light of CV content - inadvertently referred to me out as a liar. 
Please note, all points raised in this communiqué have nothing to do with the position itself for I have no further interest, it is history. 

My concern rests entirely with the way I feel I have been treated and with your feedback, a response that incidentally, I requested in person, not over the phone – I was doing the job for which I am employed when I took your call, which is contrary to operational policy, accordingly, I was somewhat hamstrung in terms of an effective response.

Now, with hindsight at my disposal I view your reasoning for my failure to secure an interview as, poor at best. A reasoning that has since elicited more than the normal number of discussions amongst work colleagues but more so, my external business networks and, in all instances raised more questions than it answers. I can still hear it, “looking for someone with management experience”?

Honestly, I find this remark astonishing given the written content of the advertisement, my cover letter and the accompanying resume.

Needless to add, my belief in your office, the HR function, P&P whatever, together with “human elements” of the business unit for which I am employed, have been dealt a blow. 

I seek no redress for this communication, my goal merely being to communicate my thoughts on the matter in the hope that you may come to understand that I am no jester.

It was poor form and, it did not go unnoticed*. 

Yours Sincerely,

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