The Desk

May 17, 2008

Don’t Do This at Your Day Job

Filed under: Recruiting — Yvonne LaRose @ 10:57 PM
Tags: , ,

A couple of days ago, a Starbucks supervisor came to me asking if we could talk. She seemed a bit distraught and nervous. Since she’d already invited herself to sit down, we merely commenced our conversation with her nervously trying to find a starting place. She asked if I’d be interested in working for Starbucks. I tossed it aside, noting that it would be considered heavy duty work for someone like me, without defining what “like me” entailed.

I was down with a cold yesterday; I needed to return today for Internet access and to catch up on pending projects. The same supervisor is on duty tonight. Her attitude is changed. It seemed appropriate to follow up on the previous conversation in order to evaluate the intentions and scope of the offer.

With a break in duties, there was a window in which we could talk. Her attitude was changed. It was flippant. Upon asking for more information about the offer she made, the subject was brushed aside as just joking. However, the demeanor that I remembered was not joking but discomfort. It was also a person still trying to sort through how she would broach the subject of offering a job to a person who was overqualified for it.

For the Day Job

I allowed the cover of “just joking” to live as it let me off the hook for refusing the offer. But the lesson is when you’re about to make an offer to someone who isn’t looking, make certain you start on balanced ground. Have a good, neutral opening in order to establish rapport for the ensuing conversation. Feel the person out in regard to their potential interest in a situation that may be available. If there are some open ends, ask whether there are some aspects of a job that would make a seasonal situation more appealing. (Mind you, this may not be a feasible move.) Start moving into conversation about the situation as you discover more about the potential positive interest.

Not for the Day Job

It seems obvious that this supervisor had never been on the opposite side of recruiting and hiring. She’d never asked someone if they wanted to work in her store. We should learn from her mannerisms.

Do not:

  • invite yourself to sit down
  • just blurt out an offer
  • laugh at your candidate the next day and make fun of them to you subordinates

Stop and think about it. This failed candidate could be your ally at some time in the future. Don’t burn bridges.

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