Last year I interviewed for a job and did not get it (obviously). The HR person I interviewed with was one of the worst examples of HR ignorance and arrogance I have ever encountered. The HR person was young and very self-important. It was obvious the "I have a job and you don't, and I am in the position of making or breaking your opportunities for employment" aspect of the HR - candidate dynamic had gone straight to the ego. But I sucked up and played the game and got through to the second and third round of interviews, which went well.
The hiring manager (in an executive level position) was very nice, she even actually phoned me to explain the only reason they didn't select me for the position was because the other top candidate had the exact client experience in the industry of their top client. She wanted me to know that I was perfectly qualified and a great candidate and a nice person, perfect for her team, but the other candidate had very specific client experience so it made more project sense to hire the other candidate. I understood, and I thanked her for personally following up with me. She told me she'd send me any other openings that might open up and encouraged me to keep applying at her company.
Good to her word, about six months ago she sent me a job posting and I applied, and received a standard rejection email from HR. Then, last week she sent me another email with a newly posted job and suggested I apply. I thanked her profusely and spent three hours carving out a thorough application. I mentioned the hiring manager who sent me the job postingUnder the "How did you hear about this position" section.
Today I received this email from the ignorant, arrogant HR person:
We received your application for [ABC job] at [XYZ, Inc.].
After reviewing your candidate file we discovered you were not selected for two previous positions at [XYZ, Inc.]. You will not be considered for the [ABC job]. This is your third strike. We have removed your candidate profile from our database. All future applications you submit to [XYZ, Inc.] will be similarly deleted. [XYZ, Inc.] feels you are not an appropriate fit for our company culture.
True, this wasn't a form rejection email, which is refreshing. When you spend significant time and thought on a job application it's nice to have a personal response. And I always appreciate candor and constructive advice. And I like that he didn't hide behind a generic signature, he took full responsibility for the rejection email by signing his name and three, count 'em three, lines of a job title. (Ever notice the correlation between age and job titles? The younger, more junior level the person, the longer and fluffier the job title.)
It's certainly the most blunt rejection letter I've received, so kudos there, too. Message received, loud and clear. I'm not an [XYZ, Inc.] kind of person. If I were basing my opinion of [XYZ, Inc.] solely on the HR person, I would wholeheartedly agree that I am not an appropriate fit for their company culture.
There is the matter of the woman who suggested I apply to the position. She is the polar opposite of the HR person. So I'm confused as to what [XYZ, Inc.]'s culture is
. Is it the snide HR nitwit, or the pleasant, professional executive? Is she a lone wolf, a renegade who doesn't fit in at [XYZ, Inc.], or is the HR person an jerk wielding what little power he has over lowly job candidates who are no threat to him?
The executive is far senior to the HR guy. If I were an angry, spiteful, sore loser I would forward the rejection email to her. But I'm not angry or spiteful. I'm the kind of person who routinely earned good sportsmanship awards and got extra civics points.
I could query her with my actual sentiment: Confusion. "Thank you for suggesting the [ABC position], I applied and was summarily rejected. Perhaps I was not the right fit for the position, and it seems HR feels that I am not the right fit for [XYZ, Inc.], either. I very much appreciate your efforts in suggesting job postings to me, but I am now confused as to whether or not I should proceed with any future openings."
Apart from the HR nitwit, I would very much like to work at this company so I don't want to burn any bridges or come off in any way unprofessional. Going over the head of an HR person with an overinflated sense of importance is never a good idea. I learned that lesson a long time ago. And the rejection email is very clear. There is no gray area nor room for interpretation.
Some will say, "Trill, you have nothing to lose. Forward the email to the nice executive who suggested you apply to the position. If take this HR ninny down in the process, so bet it. You're doing a lot of people at [XYZ, Inc.] a huge favor."
And I would agree with that point of view, but...coming off as a snarky backstabber is not the optimal image to cultivate when one is in desperate need of a job.
So. Another day, another job hunting farce.
“Would it save you a lot of time if I just gave up and went mad now?”