Dear J.T. & Dale: I work at a very well-known company, and we are in the position of hiring during the pandemic. Never in my life have I gotten so many requests to connect on LinkedIn and so many people trying to call in favors to get interviews. It is literally making me depressed. I don’t want to even start a conversation with anyone, because I feel like it always steers back to my company and getting in here. Is there something I can say to people to get them to stop? – Heather
J.T.: I would suggest putting together a standard one or two sentences that you can send to anybody asking for this kind of help. Something in your own voice, but along the lines of: “Thank you for reaching out. As you can imagine, my colleagues and I are getting overwhelmed with a lot of requests like this one, and it just wouldn’t be fair to help some and not others. So I’m asking folks to go directly to our recruiting and HR department. They truly are the people that make the first-round decisions. Best of luck, and I hope you can understand the situation I’m in and why I’m trying to be fair to all those who contact me.”
DALE: I would put that advice to work only if this suggestion should fail: Embrace the position you’re in and overcome your depression by turning on your gratitude and converting it into energy to help those people reaching out to you. Go to HR or management and explain that you’re getting inquiries. Ask if you can be of help by passing along résumés. If the company says they don’t want any more referrals, then you can honestly say to those seeking help, “I’d love to make a connection for you, but I’ve tried to help so many people that management told me to stop.” But, I hope that doesn’t happen. I’m hoping your company welcomes you as an ally in their hiring and details what referrals they need and how you can help your contacts and your company.
Dear J.T. & Dale: I have been going through seven rounds of interviews with an employer. I still have to go back for one more round and do a presentation. I just found out that the person I was supposed to be reporting to is about to get promoted. That makes me a little uncomfortable, because I’ve been assuming he would be my manager. Do you think I have the right to ask who the new replacement is and request the opportunity to interview with that person? – DeAndre
J.T.: Absolutely! I would continue the hiring process, and my guess is they probably would let you know who the replacement is and that you probably have already interviewed with that person. However, if they give you an offer and you haven’t met the replacement, that’s a great time to ask. Simply say that you were excited that the former manager is being promoted but that you would also love to meet the new manager and make sure that she or he is happy with you as the person for this role. The goal is to create a partnership and you can’t do that unless you meet the person you’ll be reporting to!
DALE: Seven rounds, eh? This company is clearly working overtime to make the right hire, so I agree with J.T. that they’ll want you to meet with your new manager. More worrisome is the possibility that the promotion may put the whole hiring decision on hold. So, please keep your foot on the job search accelerator. So much can go wrong in a drawn-out hiring process that you should always be striving to get in a position to say to a plodding company, “I wanted to let you know that I got a great offer from another firm.” That will speed up the decision or, even better, make it irrelevant when you take a better job.
Jeanine “J.T.” Tanner O’Donnell is a career coach and the founder of the leading career site www.workitdaily.com. Dale Dauten is founder of The Innovators’ Lab and author of a novel about H.R., “The Weary Optimist.” Please visit them at jtanddale.com, where you can send questions via email, or write to them in care of King Features Syndicate, 628 Virginia Dr., Orlando, FL 32803. (c) 2020 by King Features Syndicate Inc.