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Intern - feedback to her father (client)

(19 Posts)
JessieMcJessie Wed 13-Aug-14 04:20:31

My team has a summer interm programme and one of the interns is the daughter of an important client of ours. A colleague encouraged her to apply but she was selected for the programe "blind" by our HR department who had no idea she was related to a client. However HR were told about her connection after she was accepted.

She has not done well enough on our programme to be offered a chance to interview for a permanent job. HR told us about this before they told her. My colleague now wants to sit down with her father and explain to him why she was not chosen and give him some recommendations for how she might improve her skills and CV to get a job in the future (not necessarily with us).

The woman is 25 years old. I am very uncomfortable with the idea that we should be talking to her father about matters that are personal to her. There is no suggestion that her permission will be asked. Nobody seems to get this, and I have a feeling that the old blokes that run our team still see her as some sort of schoolgirl. They feel that they will be doing a client a favour by giving him this information, plus of course they want to avoid him being pissed off about the rejection by giving him an explanation to show that it was justified in the circumstances.

I am thinking of raising my concerns with HR. Are they justifed?

TeenageMutantNinjaTurtle Wed 13-Aug-14 04:30:39

She's 25. There's no way feedback should be given to her dad. How humiliating. I'd definitely raise it with HR.

ComradePlexiglass Wed 13-Aug-14 04:31:17

Definitely justified! Ffs. Poor woman. Where on earth do you work?

togoornottogotowork Wed 13-Aug-14 04:33:25

This is awkward - OTOH I would say no but on the other hand, how is this going to affect the relationship with the client? Tricky... I can see why they want to talk to him about it, maybe in an 'off the record' way?

runawaysimba Wed 13-Aug-14 04:36:54

Surely it doesn't matter whether it affects the relationship with the client? Employment matters are confidential. How to handle the relationship with him is a seperate matter.

woodlandwanderwoman Wed 13-Aug-14 04:45:51

If he is an important client I would like to imagine he is quite astute and this sort of feedback may not necessarily come as a complete surprise.

If I were him, I would expect your company to follow professional standards at all times which means providing feedback to the intern / employee directly particularly as their relationship was not a factor in taking her on. In this case the key is to deliver it in a fair and constructive manner with positive recommendations.

It could then be worth having an informal meeting with him at another time to allow him to raise the topic if he has any concerns and would expect to be consulted on the subject.

JessieMcJessie Wed 13-Aug-14 05:17:11

Thanks. The feedback has already been given directly to the intern, following ususal procedures and with positive recommendations for improvement. My view is that it's up to her whether or not she wants to share that with her Dad and he should respect our professionalism if we say that we can't give details of her performance for confidentiality reasons.

I should add that the Dad hasn't asked for this. We may well cast ourselves in a bad light with him by breaching her confidentiality! I think I need to alert the others to this.

barnet Wed 13-Aug-14 05:48:35

Definately alert, it will not show the company in a professional light

jaynebxl Wed 13-Aug-14 05:50:40

If I was the dad I'd be appalled at the lack of professionalism and respect for my daughter.

MuttonCadet Wed 13-Aug-14 05:54:31

Please don't let them do this, it's incredibly unprofessional.

woodlandwanderwoman Wed 13-Aug-14 07:24:02

That changes things for me slightly op, it's good that she already has the feedback. I understood that they were going go over to to her father.

If the relationship is strong and, as I know many can do, also incorporates a healthy interest in personal dialogues, the wisest thing would be for your colleagues to consult hr on what to do if your client raises the conversation.

They still shouldn't be trying to raise it themselves, but as I said before, allow him a platform to raise any concerns (or most likely disappointment) if he wishes. If they are able to make it clear they are replying within the boundaries of good practice and professionalism then I think this is the best he should expect (and more than most would get). Well done you for highlighting it and doing the right thing.

I don't think it's legal to give feedback on an employees performance to a third party......

ComradePlexiglass Wed 13-Aug-14 09:10:21

I think the thing here is that you MUST accept that you as a company don't have any control over how the client and his daughter will feel about this and you can't try to influence their response other than to give feedback to the young woman as you would to any other candidate. You've already done this and there matters should stop, I think, if you are to act ethically and legally. I imagine that your colleagues are worried that the father will feel raw and resentful and might even leave out of loyalty to his daughter. And I suppose it's just possible he might. But I would have thought that approaching him to tell him why you won't be employing his daughter, spelling out her current weaknesses and scrambling to justify and explain your decision in such an unprofessional way would be more not less likely to send him running for the door.

PetulaGordino Wed 13-Aug-14 09:14:33

your instincts are totally right

at that age i was working (in a permanent role) at a company that my father also had dealings with. this was coincidence, he had nothing to do with my getting a job there obviously. i would have been mortified and it would have been totally inappropriate if my performance had come into question for it to be discussed with my father

even if there are commercial sensitivities, that is beside the point. far better for him to see the company behave professionally under these circumstances

EBearhug Wed 13-Aug-14 20:10:28

IF her father raises it (rather than one of you) AND you know for sure you have her permission to give feedback (which is going to be rather more than him just saying, "Oh yes, she's fine with it"), then maybe.

But from what you say you haven't either of those, in which case, it'd be just as out of order as giving the feedback to a bloke you met on the street. The fact he's her father is irrelevant.

Isn't the perfect get-out clause if it even slightly comes up in conversation with the client to say "of course we can't talk about that because it's strictly confidential and we take professional codes of conduct very seriously here"

PiratePanda Wed 20-Aug-14 19:23:50

It's illegal under the data protection act unless the intern gives her explicit written permission for the company to talk to her dad. I work in universities and we get parents trying to helicopter over their adult children all the time. Whoever is suggesting this doesn't have a f'ing clue. You have to get the intern's permission to speak to her dad, end of.

Frontier Wed 20-Aug-14 19:28:53

I would guess he is well aware of her shortcomings - if he thought was capable she would be working for him! (assuming important client means, well off, senior executive or runs own company type).

I agree it would also look bad to the father if they talk to him without her permission.

EBearhug Wed 20-Aug-14 20:29:33

I would guess he is well aware of her shortcomings - if he thought was capable she would be working for him!

Why? She might not want to work for him (my father always refused to work with his father), or one or other of them might have thought it was a good idea to get some external experience, to see different ways of doing things, and get some ideas.

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