HR told me they’re taking a risk in hiring me

A reader writes:

I recently received a job offer from the HR person of the company that I interviewed with. She said “they are taking a risk in hiring me and offering me the job.” I thought it was a strange statement.

When the managers in that company discuss me, they can say “OK, let’s take a risk and hire this person.” But would a HR make that statement to a candidate when offering the job?

I think it is a negotiation tactic so that I won’t ask for a higher salary, work my ass off to prove I am not a risky person, and don’t ask for raise for a couple of years.

What is your opinion? Interested to know.

It’s one of two things. Either it’s a negotiation tactic, like you suspect, designed to make you not ask for more money, or it’s an awkward attempt at a compliment. I can think of a couple of times when I’ve said to a candidate who knew her experience was on the light side, “We had candidates with more experience than you, but ultimately we were really impressed with your ____ and think you would excel in the job.” It’s possible that the HR person was going for something like that and screwed up the delivery.

On the other hand, do you think you’re a risk? If it’s clear that you’re not the traditional ideal candidate for the role but you pushed for them to take a risk on a new approach, then maybe she was just acknowledging that. But if that were the case, you probably wouldn’t be asking me.

And frankly, the reality is that every hire is a risk to one degree or another. People can blow you away in an interview and then crash and burn once on the job. But hiring managers don’t normally feel the need to remind candidates of that when making an offer.

{ 7 comments… read them below }

  1. Chuck*

    I think there is one more possible explanation for the comment.

    The HR manager may be a total idiot and demonstrated that by not keeping her mouth shut.

    She may be ignorant of what the hiring manager needs and may think they should hire a square peg to fill that round hole.

  2. Anonymous*

    I had something similar happen to me at my last job. It was a small family-owned business (no HR person)and when the owner offered me the job, she said "I have some reservations about you but I'd like to offer you the position anyway." Needless to say, despite excellent performance reviews, I was out of there in 9 months. My advice would be to run far away from this company. Even if the HR manager is an idiot, she's doing you a favor by letting you know how they feel ahead of time.

  3. Anonymous*

    ROFL The company's biggest risk was in hiring the HR manager. This offer just screams set up to fail, RUN.

  4. Anonymous*

    Impressive, you just got a heads up about company culture, transference and office politics all in one shot.

    The company's biggest risk was hiring the HR manager. This offer just screams set up to fail. If I wasn't strapped for cash I'd run the other way. Good luck!

  5. Anonymous*

    I wouldnt feel very comfortable coming into a position with an organization where I knew that their opinion of me was that hiring me was a risk. Of course every hire is a risk since you never really know if the individual will work out and be an assets until they start working, but I would like to think that after theyve made the decision to hire me they feel that it was the best move and theyre excited about me coming onboard, not that theyre apprehensive and worried that the decision might be a bad one or risky.

    If I was unemployed I would probably take the job but if I already have a job and am just looking for a new position or new challenge I would probably decline the offer and inform them that I dont feel comfortable taking a position with a company that feels that my hire is a risky move on their part.

  6. Anonymous*

    I really don't think it's as dramatic as all that — I wouldn't turn down a job based on one idiot comment from one person.

  7. N.*

    Makes me wonder if the HR person has it in for the hiring manager, or the candidate… Either case gives me a bad vibe.

Comments are closed.