Author Topic: How engraved does the invitation need to be?  (Read 3283 times)

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platypus109

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How engraved does the invitation need to be?
« on: August 18, 2012, 10:17:15 AM »
Currently I work for a company that serves a very specific population.  Over 90% of the people who work for my organization are similar in nature to the individuals we serve – for clarity’s sake let’s say they are all “purple”.  I am a member of the “green” population and at times I have encountered interesting differences of opinion that are due to growing up in a purple or green community. I’m not sure if this is one of those situations or if this is just a matter of differing personal/professional expectations. 

I am responsible for maintaining a mid-sized department in the organization with 4 full time and 4 part time staff members (all part time staff works off-site).   Last spring an employee left with no warning leaving us with a need to fill the position ASAP.  In June I contacted one of our long time part-timers through e-mail (our only point of contact) asking her if she was interested in applying for the position.  I’m not a fan of this employee’s work product but having someone in the position was a priority.  Essentially this means if her application had been the only one in the pile she would have had the job.

In July I went on a planned annual hiatus along with the majority of the staff in the organization.    When I returned from the break I discovered my boss’s boss had hired an unknown individual to fill the position.  I am actually fine with the new higher and feel she is a better fit then the part-timer would have been so I didn’t question why the part-timer wasn’t hired. Recently, I learned the part time employee never applied for the position because she was waiting for me to call to invite her to submit her application.  I was told this expectation was common in the purple culture though all the purple’s who’d hired me used e-mail exclusively. 

Ultimately, I don’t think I did anything rude but I am willing to concede part of being polite is recognizing where expectations differ and working towards minimizing those differences.  So my question to the e-hell community is this, do you expect to receive a specific phone invitation when applying for an in-house position? Would you have expected a phone call even after receiving an e-mail with the application details?

*Note my job is not at all related to human resources and I’ve never been involved in my organization’s hiring process.  I’m technically expected to be involved but the amount of authority I have in terms of staffing is laughable and I know the part timer knows this.
 
**It’s also possible she assumed I was giving her the job - even though we both used the words apply when discussing the position.  She also knows certain licensing agencies require us to formally advertise and interview for all open positions so nothing is certain in our organization.   

kckgirl

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Re: How engraved does the invitation need to be?
« Reply #1 on: August 18, 2012, 10:22:45 AM »
In June I contacted one of our long time part-timers through e-mail (our only point of contact) asking her if she was interested in applying for the position.

If email is your only point of contact, how are you going to call her?
Maryland

Kaypeep

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Re: How engraved does the invitation need to be?
« Reply #2 on: August 18, 2012, 10:29:02 AM »
I've never heard of such a requirement.  I think it was perfectly acceptable to email the person and inform them that a vacancy was available and ask them if they want to apply.  To me, that IS an invitation to apply.  (Just like if someone says "Would you like ot dance?" that is an invitation to dance!)  The fact that you yourself were hired through email communication disproves this 'fact' that the purple people always phone to invite people to apply.  I think this is just sour grapes and someone trying to make you feel bad becaue their friend dropped the ball or didn't know any better how to apply for the position. 

If anyone ever said anything to me, I'd inform them they are mistaken about the phone call policy because you yourself only dealt with email during the hire process.  I wouldn't get into any other details because that might cross a privacy line issue, but I'd be adament that I extended all the information necessary for candidate to apply themself and it's unfortunate they missed out when boss' boss was doing the hiring.  Perhaps it will be a good lesson for the next opening, they will know better what to do to apply.

platypus109

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Re: How engraved does the invitation need to be?
« Reply #3 on: August 18, 2012, 10:42:06 AM »
In June I contacted one of our long time part-timers through e-mail (our only point of contact) asking her if she was interested in applying for the position.

If email is your only point of contact, how are you going to call her?

Sorry, I wasn't clear, I have all the numbers for the part timers but e-mail communication is pretty standard around here.  I've only "spoken" with this woman through e-mail. She's never called me and I've never called her though we've frequently communicated through e-mail and I've talked to her face to face twice when she stopped by to see a friend in my department. 

HorseFreak

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Re: How engraved does the invitation need to be?
« Reply #4 on: August 18, 2012, 10:50:52 AM »
I think you did fine. One culture's expectations does not automatically overrule normal business practices. It's up to both sides to compromise, not assume the other culture will also be accommodated. You followed the procedure and emailed her and I don't imagine ever indicated you would call and roll out a red carpet. Sour grapes is all this is.

siamesecat2965

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Re: How engraved does the invitation need to be?
« Reply #5 on: August 18, 2012, 12:22:55 PM »
I think you did fine. One culture's expectations does not automatically overrule normal business practices. It's up to both sides to compromise, not assume the other culture will also be accommodated. You followed the procedure and emailed her and I don't imagine ever indicated you would call and roll out a red carpet. Sour grapes is all this is.

POD.  You sending her an email to me, was an invitation to apply, not a "save the application to be followed by a phone call" invite.  If she had any questions or concerns, the ball was in her court to respond to you with them.  But her waiting around for you to call and invite her to apply, after you did the very same thing via email is kind of silly, and it was her fault the job didn't work out for her.

Zilla

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Re: How engraved does the invitation need to be?
« Reply #6 on: August 18, 2012, 12:39:02 PM »
It depends on how the email was worded.


If it was similar to, "Hi Jenny, a full time position opened up in my department.  If you are interested, please apply."


Then you were fine not to say anything more and it's all on Jenny.


If it was similar to, "Hi Jenny. So and so left her position and it's available.  Are you interested?"


And if she replied she is interested in applying for it.  And you never sent anything back?  Then it's a smidgen your fault even though she should have followed up if there were no response after a few days.  Or go ahead and look up the job and try to apply for it herself.

Sirius

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Re: How engraved does the invitation need to be?
« Reply #7 on: August 18, 2012, 03:08:59 PM »
This sounds like someone dropped the ball, and it wasn't the OP.  If Part-Timer had wanted the job badly enough they should have done a little more leg work (in the sense of calling or e-mailing back to find out more details.) 

*This reminds me very much of what my dad used to call "putting legs on your prayers."  What that means is, if you need a job, prayer is great, but it also means that you need to get out and look for work so that the job your Deity sent your way will find you.  I've had jobs fall into my lap, but they were the exception rather than the rule. 

Penguin_ar

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Re: How engraved does the invitation need to be?
« Reply #8 on: August 18, 2012, 04:22:19 PM »
I don't think you owed her even an email.  If someone wants to advance in an organisation, they should keep an eye on job postings/ keep their ears to the ground and approach the hiring manager when a job opens up.

Slartibartfast

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Re: How engraved does the invitation need to be?
« Reply #9 on: August 19, 2012, 01:02:42 AM »
Sounds to me like she never got around to following up, then when someone asked her about it she tried to pin it on you.  "Oh, I wanted to, you know, but Platypus109 was supposed to call me back and formally invite me to apply and she totally didn't!  So by the time I got around to doing something about it myself, a month later, she had already hired someone else.  Can you believe it?"

O'Dell

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Re: How engraved does the invitation need to be?
« Reply #10 on: August 19, 2012, 10:37:45 AM »
Sounds to me like she never got around to following up, then when someone asked her about it she tried to pin it on you.  "Oh, I wanted to, you know, but Platypus109 was supposed to call me back and formally invite me to apply and she totally didn't!  So by the time I got around to doing something about it myself, a month later, she had already hired someone else.  Can you believe it?"

Yeah...that sounds about right to me too. I think the email was sufficient.

OP, are you getting flack for this at work or do you just want to know for your own info?
Do I contradict myself? Very well, then I contradict myself, I am large, I contain multitudes.
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Nuts&Makeup

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Re: How engraved does the invitation need to be?
« Reply #11 on: August 19, 2012, 11:26:10 AM »
Did you really "invite" her or just notify her that the position was open?  It sounds like you just let her know about the opening. If she was waiting for a formal invitation, that's just her being a special snowflake.

You can always say "I thought I was doing her a favor by telling her about it. I wasn't in charge of hiring for the position, so I couldn't invite her to do anything."

platypus109

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Re: How engraved does the invitation need to be?
« Reply #12 on: August 19, 2012, 01:36:29 PM »
Thank you all for your feedback! 

I actually did send her two e-mails, one asking if she was interested in the position and one telling her where to apply. 

Honestly, this isn't much of an issue for anyone but the part timer.  At the same time,  this was such an odd situation for me I had to check to make sure I was still OK with my "etiquette reality" as it were. I also deal with quite a number of populations in my work it helps to have confirmation that my method of communication was acceptable. 

FoxPaws

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Re: How engraved does the invitation need to be?
« Reply #13 on: August 19, 2012, 02:33:46 PM »
I actually did send her two e-mails, one asking if she was interested in the position and one telling her where to apply
I actually laughed when I read this. If this does not meet PT's criteria for an invitation to apply, I'm not sure anything short of herald reading from a parchment scroll would satisfy the requirement.

I suspect you may have dodged a bullet. Imagine having to come in every morning and formally "invite" this person to get to work. ;)
I am so a lady. And if you say I'm not, I'll slug you. - Cindy Brady

Zilla

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Re: How engraved does the invitation need to be?
« Reply #14 on: August 19, 2012, 02:56:10 PM »
OP, with your update, you have been completely blameless and it's all on the part timer.