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Author Topic: How would you feel about 2nd Prize?  (Read 8811 times)

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How would you feel about 2nd Prize?
« on: September 30, 2013, 08:05:54 AM »
This isn't asking for advice, just asking out of interest how you would feel/react in this scenario. (Mods, please feel free to move to the Coffee Break folder if you feel it should be there)

My company is recruiting. The role  is a full time, permanent  job. Ideally we want someone to start in a months time, but most people working in this kind of job will have a 3 month notice period so the reality is we are likely to have a 2 month gap before any new person can start.

We conducted interviews on Friday - there were two strong candidates and we have decided to offer the job to Candidate A, who is currently working and has the normal 3 month notice period, so will be available to start at the beginning of January.

Candidate B was l made redundant a few months ago so is not currently working, so would be available immediately. At interview, B put a positive spin on the period out of work (saying she chose to not look for work immediately, to deal with some family matters and take some time out - but also made clear she is very keen to get back into work.

We are considering asking her whether she would be interested in a 2 month fixed term contract to cover the void period between our current employee leaving and A starting work.

If you were B, how would you react to a proposal like that?
On the one hand, it would obviously be galling to know she *just* missed getting the job (we think she is a good candidate, and could do the job well, but A was just that bit better!)
On the other,  B has been out of work for 6 months (even though a she has a plausible reason for not having gone back to work sooner) so having some more recent work on her CV might have benefits.

I think we are likely to ask her if she would be interested, on the basis that it couldn't hurt to ask, but am  curious as to how you'd feel, if you were B?


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Re: How would you feel about 2nd Prize?
« Reply #1 on: September 30, 2013, 08:28:17 AM »
She may look at it as 1) an opportunity to make some money 2) Learn some skills 3) Get her foot in the door with your company. 4) Have less of a gap on her resume

Or she may look at it as "I would rather not have a limited job but spend my time looking for a full time job."

Don't assume either way.  Offer it to her and let her decide.


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Re: How would you feel about 2nd Prize?
« Reply #2 on: September 30, 2013, 08:33:17 AM »
I would *NOT* be happy with that concession offer.

I'm not quite sure how to articulate why it would be distasteful and almost offensive to me, but it would be.
(full disclosure: at my own job, I'm currently 'covering' for a job which, when I last applied for it, I was told I was not fully qualified for.  I'm mostly OK w/ it, but it has left a bit of a bad taste in my mouth too--because apparently I'm qualified to cover for an extended period of time but not to do the job when they're not in a complete pickle  :-\).

It seems to say "we respect that you're qualified but we don't want you...however, can you do this while it's convenient for US and put off your 'real' job searching even longer?"
And, truth be told, the only way, as Canidate B, I'd accept it is if I were really hurting for cash and/OR I was paid a 'consulting rate' which would be far above my normal rate for 3 months.


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Re: How would you feel about 2nd Prize?
« Reply #3 on: September 30, 2013, 08:35:47 AM »
I've sort of been B. I applied for a permanent position and they went with someone else. They told me they would have liked to hire me as well if they'd had funding for 2 positions, then asked if I'd like to help with a temporary project on a contract basis for the next few months. I wasn't working at the time and happily accepted. Your situation is slightly different because you're basically asking her to fill in until the "real" employee can start, which some people might find insulting. But I think most people would understand that the decision wasn't personal and be able to view your offer as a good opportunity to gain experience and make contacts. Even if she doesn't see it that way, I don't think it hurts to ask.
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Two Ravens

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Re: How would you feel about 2nd Prize?
« Reply #4 on: September 30, 2013, 08:37:38 AM »
Wow, "We don't want to hire you permanently, but want you to work for us until the person we really want can start?"

I suppose if you really needed the money or wanted the experience (and who knows, something could happen with Person A), but I would not somewhat insulted by the offer.

Also, 3 months? Is that really the standard notice period in your country/industry?

Outdoor Girl

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Re: How would you feel about 2nd Prize?
« Reply #5 on: September 30, 2013, 08:54:38 AM »
As Candidate B, I would feel badly that I was second on the interview but if I didn't have any other prospects lined up, I'd probably accept the 3 month 'contract' to get my foot in the door and beef up my resume.  There is also the possibility that Candidate A changes his/her mind in the 3 month period and you already have CB working so it would be easier that way, as well.

I would be very clear with CB, though.  'CB, you were a close second in the interview.  CA is unable to begin working for us until January 2.  Would you be interested in filling the position on an interim basis until the end of the year?'  And if it is true, add something like, 'This would give you standing as a current employee should another position open up in the company for which you would be qualified.'  So CB can see that there is some benefit to the arrangement.

And if CA hasn't accepted the position yet, you may not have to worry about it.  If CA turns it down, you can offer it to CB.   :)

I actually got my current job in a somewhat similar situation.  I'd applied for a job in my brother's city.  I didn't get it.  4 months later, I got a call, asking if I was still interested in the position.  My brother's city wasn't one of the options so I chose three other cities, in order of preference.  I was offered a job in my first choice city.  I initially agonized over the decision but realized that I needed to take the job that I didn't apply for and that I didn't interview for.  It just seemed like fate was trying to tell me something.

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Re: How would you feel about 2nd Prize?
« Reply #6 on: September 30, 2013, 08:59:15 AM »
I might not like it but depending on my financial situation I might like groceries and electricity more.  Also, maybe you will be so impressed with ehr work over the next couple months that if something else becomes available you will hire her.


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Re: How would you feel about 2nd Prize?
« Reply #7 on: September 30, 2013, 01:30:09 PM »
Thank you for your thoughts. i think the feeling that it feel like an insult is wh I posted for other perspectives - from a business perspective, of course we want the cover, but particularly in her situation (having been out of work for 6 months) having recent job experience on her CV could have benefits for her.

To respond to a few points:

- We would not offer her the temp. role unless / until A accepts the offer.
- If we offered her the temporary position, we would be very clear that that is what it would be.
- In our industry (and I think for most professional jobs here) 3 months is fairly standard, and we know that A has a 3 month notice period.
- We are in an industry where having locums is fairly common, so taking someone on for a couple of months isn't intrinsically unusual, although it wasn't a locum position she applied for.
- we don't have any other openings at present, but certainly someone who has worked for us and fitted in is going to be in a strong position as a candidate - we have at least one current permanent member of staff who originally came to us as a locum.


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Re: How would you feel about 2nd Prize?
« Reply #8 on: September 30, 2013, 02:43:48 PM »
We had something similar at my place of work, where someone applied for a reasonably high up role in the department (let's say a good four or five steps up the ladder hierarchy-wise), and was passed over for a better qualified candidate, but as they also had need for another role that was about the third step on the ladder, they asked if she'd be interested in the role.

To her credit, the applicant came in, interviewed for the role (with the same people who interviewed her for the higher role) and met the team, asking questions and so on, but she obviously wasn't thrilled at the idea of a lower role than she'd originally applied for, not to mention the prospect of having to answer to the person she'd lost the other job to. We haven't heard from her since.

In this case, I think that it depends on how the offer is handled really - in this applicant's circumstances she might see the offer as a great opportunity to top up her skills before leaping back into the job hunt. Plus, the money probably couldn't hurt, right?
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Re: How would you feel about 2nd Prize?
« Reply #9 on: September 30, 2013, 03:16:12 PM »
I think it is not an insult to offer-as long as you/your company isn't offended if she says "no."

Personally, I had to think long and hard when my previous/current employer offered me a three-month assignment a couple of years ago.  I finally had been interviewing for a job that I was pretty sure I was going to be offered-but the pay at the probable new job was half of what I would get by going back to old job.  It worked out for me in the long run (my three month gig lasted a year, then they had me on an 'as-needed' basis for a year, then they hired me back full time right after I accepted another job, which I had to go back and turn down).  She may have to think about it and decide if she is in an position where a temp job would cause her problems in getting a 'real' job or if it would help her.  And it will certainly be a letdown to her that she didn't get the permanent job-I would be too! 

But in the end it is a business decision on her side, just as it is on yours.  I don't see how offering the job could be an insult.

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Re: How would you feel about 2nd Prize?
« Reply #10 on: September 30, 2013, 10:31:35 PM »
Honestly? It would depend on how desperate I was.


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Re: How would you feel about 2nd Prize?
« Reply #11 on: September 30, 2013, 11:03:56 PM »
I would be sad that I didn't get the job, but I think I would be happy to have the offer and take it. I mean, I have failed to get a lot of things I've applied for.

If this was a job in an area I was interested in, I would assume that I could make a good impression, get some contacts, prove myself by my work rather than my interview ( I interview poorly but work well).  Maybe I would get the next offer.

Also, I would make it clear I would still be interviewing and I think looking for a job while being hired is a bit easier.

So I would like the offer.

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Re: How would you feel about 2nd Prize?
« Reply #12 on: October 01, 2013, 02:14:27 AM »
Three months is also standard in my industry and location, so I don't think this is so unusual.  I'm going on the assumption that this position is one that requires some skill and education and isn't something that can be done by just anyone off the street, so you are probably as in need of an employee as she is of an employer and both sides are on relatively equal footing.

I can see both sides, and I suppose my feelings would depend on the conditions of employment.  If I were desperate for an income or to get my foot in the door, I'd probably take it on the understanding that I would continue to apply for permanent positions elsewhere, would need to work around job interviews, and might not be able to see out the whole period.  Also, the pay rate would have to be relatively higher.

Another thing I'd have to think about would be how this would look on a resume. In some fields having a short period of employment can look worse than a gap.

In the end, as someone else said, it's a business proposal and I don't see really that she would have grounds to take offense.  But you do need to prepare for the eventuality that she might not be overjoyed to take it and may want to attach some conditions of her own.


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Re: How would you feel about 2nd Prize?
« Reply #13 on: October 01, 2013, 02:56:43 AM »
I wouldn't see this as "second prize". second prize to me would be "well we can't offer you the head of the paleontology deppt position at mucho$$$$ and big corner office, but we like your CV and can offer you the receptionist job at hourly pay"(not that there is anything wrong with receptionist jobs, but if you are a PhD and have years of experience you might be more interested in a job in your field). I would see this offer as "we think you are a great candidate for the job but there is someone who is a better fit. We would, however, like to offer you a temp/interim job if you are interested".

Now it's up to the candidate to say "no thanks" or "yes please". i can see it working either way - either they will want to wait and hold out for what they *really* want, or they can think "hmmm, *a* paycheck is better than none, *a* job is better than a gap, people are usually more hireable when they are already working rather than not... so sounds like a win-win".

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Re: How would you feel about 2nd Prize?
« Reply #14 on: October 01, 2013, 08:33:42 AM »
I'm with Outdoor Girl.  While B might be disappointed to be offered the temp/interim position, given the job market, it is easier to get a job if you have a job.  So B might keep looking for permanent work elsewhere.  Then too, something might happen that would prevent A from starting on day one.  A might accept a better offer, have a personal situation or some other impediment develop between now and then.  B would be in the sweet position of being able to stay on. 

Years ago, I came out of a recruitment process as the B.  A was hired.  Six weeks later, the same position in another branch opened unexpectedly and with a phone call, I was on the payroll.   Within a year and a half, I had been promoted and was A's supervisor.  A departed for greener pastures 3 months later.....a process she had been working on for many months prior to the promotional opportunity, for which she did not even compete.  We're still great friends.