Reader Question: I am so hurt I don't even know where to begin.
I work for a wonderful large credit union company. I really enjoy my job. I have a great working relationship with HR and upper management. I manage two supervisors and 22 employees.
Recently, we posted an opening for the supervisor position for my branch. This is a very important position that requires a lot of soft and hard skills. HR is not consistent with their transfer procedures - some managers/supervisors get to interview potential candidates for their department and others aren't able to interview.
So, when this position was posted I called HR and asked if I was going to be able to interview or speak with the top candidates. I was given a round about answer of, "it depends". As soon as I hung up the phone, I thought I would be given the opportunity, if I decided, to interview.
The next time I spoke with HR, they told me that the HR manager and the operations manager (above me) were meeting to select the top candidates. Then, I was notified that my manager and the VP made the decision of who was going to be the new supervisor (my subordinate).
Of course, I didn't want to create career suicide by complaining about the process-I knew the choice was made and there was no discussion. I'm trying to trust that upper management made the right decision. However, I have worked for approximately 30 companies in my career and I have never known of a manager not to be involved or at least talk to a candidate before an offer is made.
I feel as though my input was not important and that it sends the wrong message to the other employees. Is this the new norm and I've missed the training? How can I let upper management know that my input is important without them getting defensive?
My Response: You should be hurt. Everything about what you describe is wrong. I fault your HR manager and your boss. They should absolutely know better. It is never okay to not allow a manager to interview and have the most important voice in selecting a direct report. Never.
It does send the wrong message to other employees and it is totally disrespectful of you. It is counterproductive to you and the rest of your staff owning the new employee.
You need to talk with your boss about the impact of this decision on you and your position. And, about how you'd like to see matters of this nature handled in the future.
If this is career suicide in your organization, then resign yourself to being walked over in the future. If they don't see how unusual and irregular this is, perhaps you need to work elsewhere? Or, get used to your voice not having impact in your wonderful company. If this is the only negative, then you have an even tougher decision. Good luck.
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