To think this was not an appropriate response to not getting shortlisted for a job and I have fucked up.(83 Posts)
I recently applied for a new job. A job which I currently do (on the side), unpaid for my current employer (the experience helps toward my professional membership).
I applied for the role when it came up last year I asked for feedback on my application (its quite a specialty role they don't come up very often so when I apply I always ask for feedback so I know which areas to focus/improve on) and was told I would really need to be able to drive/have my own car, other than that my application was excellent it was just a shame that the cut off they had chosen was a driving license, if I had one I wouldve been shortlisted.
I knew that this was holding me back in life generally so I took the plunge, learned to drive and took my test. Passed first time.
This time I was in a much better position. I drive, have my own car, have relevant experience and am working toward a professional degree.
I was asked to apply by two of the senior officers, the officers that I work with proofread my application and said it wad excellent, it covered all points of the person spec with good examples given.
Their head of service decided not to shortlist me. Thats fine, I know if I keep working at it then one day my chance will come and its just not meant to be this time.
Thats how I feel. However, I recently lost my mother and feel a bit emotional over pretty much everything right now so when I asked for feedback...he said "While I believed your application was excellent, we need someone who is capable of working under pressure and whilst the degree is listed as desirable not essential, I have decided that this shall be the cut off point as I dont believe you really know what pressure is until you have had to work for a degree".
I said (and I know I shouldnt).
"While I can understand where you are coming from, I work a 40+ hour a week job, and have a small child/home to run. In the last year I have also, begun a distance learning degree (mentioned in my app), taken on extra responsibilities at work directly related to this field, completed in my own time (mentioned in my app) and learned to drive. All while working full time, caring for my family and making at least one 330 mile round trip a week to support my terminally ill mother. The application which you agree is "excellent", I managed to put together whilst planning my mothers funeral. So, whilst I can see where you are coming from, with all due respect, I think its pretty unfair that just because I dont yet have my degree you would assume I cant work under pressure".
Ive fucked it havent I?
Sounds like a totally reasonable response to me.
Whilst your (understandable) response may not have helped your chances, I can't help but think they're stringing you along.
First a driving license, you go and get this. Then they change the goalposts. What's to stop them changing the goalposts again once you have degree?
You say you perform this part of the role already unpaid?
I think that was a perfect response actually!
The recruiting manager sounds biased, but you're right, your response was quite inappropriate IMO.
If it was an internal job and you work for a large organisation (especially in the public sector) I might, however, complain that the ad didn't say a degree was essential but the manager said those things and made it a "cut off" in selecting the short list.
Like a PP I also wonder if (if this is an internal move) they don't want you in that role and are making excuses.
I think it was totally reasonable too. It won't change things this time but I bet they remember you and shortlist you next time
Its an external post with another (neighbouring), authority.
I think they sound like they're being completely unreasonable. If a degree was mandatory they shouldn't have asked you to apply. Is there someone you can escalate this to?
If they said the degree was desirable but not essential and then decided that would be the cutoff, they are messing you about. Did the job go internally to someone they already knew, I'd suspect it did.
very yup. Unpaid.
I work in Planning Policy, but to help with my RTPI membership I help out Development Control by determining various minor planning applications. As its for my own CPD I have to do this unpaid in my own time. Handling the exact applications that the person spec stated the role involved.
It can go one of two ways- he'll like you stand your ground and change his mind- or, he'll see it as a bit rude.
Personally, I feel if you're good enough to do that part of a job unpaid and have done nothing but better yourself- why are you not being shortlisted? Do they see you as doing it still regardless if they pay you or not?!
I think your reply was polite and calmly assertive and I think you were absolutely right to send it, actually. I think it's outrageous to say you don't know pressure until you've got a degree. I've got a degree and it was in no way the most stressful thing I've done. The workplace has much more pressure imo, and you're already doing that as well as adding extra learning onto that.
I think the application person has fucked up, actually. I'm really surprised that they would say something like that.
Fantastic response but I'm worried they're stringing you along too.
Do you have any other work related goals? I'm sorry about your Mum
do they have an HR dept? If they're supposed to be performing competency based interviews then they should have asked you to demonstrate a situation where you have worked under pressure, not just decided that a degree shows that (my degree was no way the most pressured thing I've done).
If you do complain though, you'll probably never know the outcome, and it won't help your chances of a move to that department. Tbh, it sounds like they already knew who they wanted anyway - have the previous 2 roles gone to internal applicants?
You spoke your mind and stuck up for yourself. Well done you.🙂
Do you have grounds for appeal? Given the dedication and effort you've given to this, I'd be very pissed off. If the degree wasn't in the original spec I'd be challenging them on this, especially given the excellent feedback you'd been given.
Fuck em OP. Your response was spot on. Some employers these days treat employees like their bitches and I think you are being strung along by them as they're getting something for free and they don't want to start paying you for it. Do what you're paid to do, you have the experience now, and try and get your promotion elsewhere.
It sounds as though you are doing everything you can to make yourself a suitable candidate for this job. Are they inundated with applicants? Because that is the only reason I can find for them deciding that studying for a degree is so important. I don't think it is reasonable for the manager to say that this proves the ability to work under pressure though....that can be demonstrated in various ways (as you have indicated). You could seek advice from HR (although that does escalate the situation). Your response was entirely reasonable and unless they are so inundated with applicants that they can pick and choose and turn desirable into essential criteria you are justified in your response.
Congratulations on everything you have done to work towards your goal.
A local authority? You could complain to HR, although the time limit might have passed. His stated reasons for not giving you the job and comment about "not knowing pressure" were unlikely to be in line with their recruitment/equality policies.
I doubt your reaction will have made it more likely you'll be shortlisted in future.
Trouble is there are no guarantees of being able to get a job like it, that will all depend on the field of other applicants, but you're plugging away towards it which increases your chances.
I think it's a reasonable response. I would be worried that they were just stringing me along since the goalposts keep changing. Is there another job you could look for?
A degree was nothing in terms of pressure compared to my job.
my view on these things is to ask myself even if they reconsidered would I want to work for them?? I often find when they are making stuff up for reasons as to why not short listed or given the post that there was an "internal applicant" and it was more cost effective to slot them in and carry another vacancy for 4 to 6 mths while recruiting to that
Fluffy there is no appeal and a pp suggests complaining to hr - you simply can't.
As someone else mentioned this could go one of two ways, I hope it goes the right way for you. Agree that my degree was by no means the most pressured thing I did.
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