…. the new sheriff in town

So, our client tells us that they have to hire six customer service reps and have them trained by March 15. They told us this two weeks ago. One small glitch was that the new customer service manager had not been hired just yet, but management wanted to get a jump on having a number of people available for him or her once they found the manager. On paper, not a bad idea.

So, the VP tells us to line up as many good candidates as we can so that he can interview them even before the new customer service manager has been hired. He did tell us that once the customer service manager was hired, he or she would have to talk to the people and get the blessing of the new manager. Fair enough!

So, over a period of two days the VP interviews nine people. He tells six of them, on the spot, that they are exactly what the company is looking for. These candidates walk out of the interview thinking that not only did they do very well, that there was a real high probability that they were going to be hired. Having been down this road a few times before we gracefully explained to each candidate that, “It ain’t over till their butt’s in the chair.” We explained that we still had to get them to speak to the new customer service manager whenever he or she was hired.

The new customer service manager was hired within two or three days of the VP interviewing. Not bad! The VP let us know that the new customer service manager would interview all of these candidates via Skype this last week because she had not started her new job yet and of course, for dealing with the coronavirus scare. Again, fair enough!

The new manager was told by the VP about six of the people he really liked and told the new manager to interview them. The new manager interviewed all of the candidates. The new manager was very nice to all of them, very respectful, made it clear what she was looking for in people and did a good job of, at least acknowledging that she was new to the company also and there would be a learning curve for everybody.

These six people were really good. As far as customer support/service people they were actually excellent. It would be very hard to find candidates that were better. The new customer service manager encouraged all of the candidates, but in the final analysis, only hired two of the six people. Four of these people were pretty devastated.

The client has told us that they still need to hire others. Nobody is going to start on 15 March; obviously that has come and gone. In fact no one is sure of the start dates, even though the vice president was pretty adamant about these people being really good. The new customer service manager obviously wanted to put her “mark” on the fact that she was THE MANAGER and was going to make her own decisions about who was going to get hired.

Now, don’t get me wrong, it’s certainly the prerogative of a manager, even a new manager, to do what they think is best. That’s what they get hired to do. But the point is that we pretty much know the market for the kind of people that these folks are hiring and they really aren’t going to hire people any better than the ones they’ve already seen. We’re certainly going to try to help them, but we know that the candidates we come up with aren’t going to be any better than the ones this new customer service manager turned down.

The moral to the story is that whenever a new manager comes into interview with the “finalists” no candidate should ever make any assumptions based on what the previous interviewing authority said. Even if the VP loved all of these people and told them that he thought they were pretty perfect, that new manager is going to try to make his or her authority known by hiring who they like and being relatively sure that they say “no” to at least a few people because, of course, they are a m-a-n-a-g-e-r.

We’re pretty confident that the new candidates we will come up with will be no better than the ones this new manager turned down. Again, a new manager certainly has their right to do that. So, if you are a job candidate just remember that because everyone might just love you, doesn’t mean the new manager will, even though you’re told by a group of other people that you’re “perfect.”

The new sheriff in town can change a lot of things.


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