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Should I have responded better to my senior in work?

42 replies

Tantrumschmantrum · 11/10/2018 23:15

I work in a public sector role, but a reasonably technical job. My senior has joined in the last few years coming across from a private company.

Lets my senior Bob. Today he was informed that it was looking like he had a strong case to employ a new team member by the big boss.

Following a chat about how exciting it would be to have a new team member (because work load is at capacity) Bob gleefully said he was going to get Jim in (not real name - from his old job). I realise this happens but wtf? It's not an old boys club. He can't promise Jim a job. Surely HR wouldn't allow this?!

I shut up and went back to work but was actually thinking he really had taken the mikey with that comment. Now I'm a bit cross with myself for not speaking up, even if it was milder than what I've just written. Should I have spoken out?

OP posts:
ThymeCake · 11/10/2018 23:17

I'd chill.

HR will never let him do it. He just hasn't worked that out yet.

flossietoot · 11/10/2018 23:19

Maybe Jim is super. Maybe Jim will be reliable and fit in well and comes tries and tested. I would let it go as Jim will still have to apply. And unless you are involved in recruitment you have limited influence and are just going to create friction between you and bob.

Poloshot · 11/10/2018 23:20

That's how it works normally, not sure about the public sector, but why wouldn't he want to get someone in who he knows can do the job rather than someone who ticks some boxes that you might have to in the public sector

Jimdandy · 11/10/2018 23:21

He’ll either tailor the person spec so only Jim can get the job or mark his answers “more favourably” against the criteria. There are ways around it even in the public sector.

2018SoFarSoGreat · 11/10/2018 23:23

not sure I can see why this would be so awful. I would assume that Jim would have to have the right qualifications and experience to be hired, not that Bob would be able to just sneak him in without anyone noticing he has nothing to recommend him other than Bob. One would hope, anyway. I've hired tons of people over my career - the great ones I have hired at several places and they have been as amazing in each job. Wouldn't lower my reputation bringing on board someone who would make me look bad.

SheSparkles · 11/10/2018 23:26

It absolutely does not work like this in the public sector!! Every single part of the recruitment process is auditable and every decision has to stand up to scrutiny. If the recruitment decision comes to being between his mate and another better candidate he’s going to have atough job justifying offering his mate the job

Tantrumschmantrum · 11/10/2018 23:30

It just annoys me that they'll advertise it and applicants will believe they stand a chance and it's all for nothing. There is a lot of prep work involved in an interview for such a job (dont want to out myself with the job type) and there aren't many jobs like this locally. Jim could be amazing but I also know that it's the type of role that they would easily get over 50 applications for. I just think its a bit wrong to favour Jim when we know nothing about Mary and Ian and Jeff. They could be even more amazing.

OP posts:
Disquieted1 · 11/10/2018 23:31

If he's going to be held accountable for results, he should be able to assemble his own team and live or die by the decisions he makes.

Yabbers · 11/10/2018 23:37

It is how the world works and auditable or not, if Bob wants Jim, that will happen.

I’ve lost count of the number of public sector projects I’ve been involved with (on both sides of the table) which have gone to people because of relationships rather than criteria.

Tantrumschmantrum · 11/10/2018 23:53

I don't mind Jim getting the job if they interview Mary, Ian and Jeff in the same way and he gets it fairly. It was just the way he has the job before anyone else had been given a chance to show their worth. Unfairness is a pet peeve of mine that's all.

OP posts:
Puggles123 · 12/10/2018 07:09

The amount of people that move sideways or get promotion and have someone go through the answers with them beforehand; he will probably just do the same.

Puggles123 · 12/10/2018 07:10

The questions rather.

troodiedoo · 12/10/2018 07:13

I've experienced this in the public and private sector. Can't see it ever changing. Such is life.

Nacreous · 12/10/2018 07:14

The public sector organisation I'm in only opens the application window for a couple of days at a time so they don't have to see too many applicants. Retrospectively I suspect the job I applied for was opened for a particular person, but they decided to employ me in addition.

I definitely think it's unfair to invite applications that you don't really want because that wastes everyone's time.

Oblomov18 · 12/10/2018 07:17

This happens the world over, public and private. I don't get your objection.

Spam88 · 12/10/2018 07:29

I wouldn't be too concerned. Presumably the recruitment process won't just come down to Bob's decision, so Jim won't get the job unless the other people interviewing agree he's the best as well.

Aprilsinparis · 12/10/2018 07:46

I know what you mean Tantrum. I was interviewed for a public sector position, only to find out later the person who got the job, was told the interviews were just a formality.I know this for a fact, as I was told the same, when I got a job later in PS. Confused

Insertquirkyname · 12/10/2018 07:51

Headhunting is pretty standard, and the job will also be advertised. Your boss won’t be the only one on the panel and if Jim does badly in the interview compared to other candidates he’ll probably be forced to consider someone else. But if Jim is as good as he says it’ll ease your workload and be a good fit for the team.

If I were a boss, I would absolutely cherry pick people I’d respected and admired in previous roles. It’s less of a gamble and it’s the foundation of networking.

The only time I would have issue with this if it was a relative who needed a leg up etc. But Jim sounds like he’s been picked on merit and that’s the difference for me.

Hope it all works out for you

Volant · 12/10/2018 07:51

It sounds as if Bob knows what he's doing if your department is that successful and in demand. So his judgment may well be right. On the other hand, Jim may not want to move. I think you need to relax about this.

Disfordarkchocolate · 12/10/2018 07:55

Perhaps he will start as a contractor so no need for a formal recruitment process at this stage. To be followed by the very specific job description and short time frame to apply for the permanent job.

NonaGrey · 12/10/2018 07:55

In the private sector most companies have substantial friends and family recruitment awards.

Recruitment through agencies is expensive and a personal recommendation is a worthwhile endorsement. People rarely risk their own career recommending someone whose performance won’t reflect well on them.

Timeforabiscuit · 12/10/2018 07:58

I'm with you, it feels really disingenuous when public sector is all for transparency and equal opportunity and then pulls this sort of shit.

Sometimes it can work well, a secondee was head hunted and she is hands down the best addition to the team you can think of - but there was only ever a professional relationship between the recruiting manager and recruitee.

If its based on a personal relationship, it can really upset a teams dynamic.

HR know this and will be on the ball, worth bearing in mind that some public sector roles are hard to recruit for and its an expensive process - so its a balance really.


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Timeforabiscuit · 12/10/2018 08:01

Public sector DOES NOT have friends and family recruiting bonus, it would quite rightly be called cronyism and is actually screened for through recruitment to avoid conflicts of interest.

greendale17 · 12/10/2018 08:03

So many naive responses here.

We all know Jim will get the job because it is still very much an old boys network especially in public sector roles where it is who you know and not what you know.

twiglet · 12/10/2018 08:07

Bob is clearly used to recruiting in the private sector and not the public sector.

Private sector this is fairly normal practice the phrase not what you know but who you know is very true!

Public sector is usually a panel board interview with marking against technical and competency based matrix. With each member scoring and a rating overall.

Bob can give tips and hints to Jim but its still not a done deal.
You were right to respond the way you did to make him aware recruitment is done differently and make him think about the HR element!

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