A reader writes:
Recently, I was a finalist for a marketing manager position at a prominent company within the arts industry. The job involved promoting two different areas of performance art that I am very passionate about, and one of which I perform myself. I didn’t do well in the second interview, and knew I likely hadn’t gotten the job. I accepted that and made my peace with it.
I was excited to see that the person who did get the job was also involved in and excited about the same performing arts community. Recently, she’s published some blog posts about that community on a local blog (NOT her employer blog) and her description mentions that she is the marketing manager for this company, so in essence she is representing them.
My concern is this: The articles are laughable — poorly researched, containing high praise for her friends and boyfriend as “Performers who Will Make it Big!” without disclosing these personal relationships. They are passed around the community and panned, and a satirical piece making fun of them was even published on a local news site. This is bad enough, but her response to genuine comments and criticism has been to imply that commenters are “jealous.” She even posted a “Why U Mad Bro?” meme as a response! This is all occurring while her company affiliation is clearly visible, which is what concerns me. I truly respect this company and feel this is hurting their credibility.
I want to tell the hiring manager, but feel it could only come across as sour grapes as I didn’t get the job. My other thought was telling an acquaintance who also works there about it, and perhaps he could mention it to her. I don’t think she should be fired or anything like that, just perhaps needs some direction and to remove the company affiliation from her byline if necessary.
What would you think if someone sent this information to you, as a manager?
I would question their motives. Even if I was interested in the information, which from your description I certainly would be.
There’s just no way you can do this without appearing to have inappropriate motives — jealousy, or sour grapes, or trying to convince them that they made the wrong hire. Or if nothing else, just appearing to have a lack of boundaries.
When you’re rejected for a job, you can’t email concerns about the person who did get the position without it looking like it’s about your rejection.
Besides, it’s not your place to alert them to this. You don’t have the standing or the responsibility.
The only thing that would trump those concerns would be if she were engaging in behavior so egregious that their need to know was obviously paramount — endangering children, say, or systematically selling off all their office equipment on Craigslist.
Since that’s not the case here, you can’t get involved without looking bad yourself. I’d just move on and let this go.