dating company clients, who makes the final hiring decision, and more

It’s seven short answers to seven short questions. Here we go…

1. Who makes the final hiring decision?

I have a panel job interview tomorrow morning that will consist of Human Resource Specialists and my supervisor (if I get the job). My question is, who ultimately makes the hiring decision — HR or your potential supervisor?

The manager for the position, unless the company is horribly run. HR shouldn’t be making final hiring decisions. In some cases, HR might make decisions on who passes an initial screening, before candidates go to the hiring manager, but by the time the hiring manager is involved in interviews, she’s the one who should be making decisions. (Note that hiring manager = the person who would be managing you, not “manager of all hiring.”)

Read an update to this letter here.

2. Can an employer prohibit you from dating a client?

My question stems from your article about how companies can prohibit coworkers from dating coworkers. I have a lady-friend who currently works at the plasma center that I frequent, who I’ve known for about a year (which is longer than she’s had the job!). And when she signed her work contract, they say they strictly forbid dating coworkers and donors, and supposedly they can terminate her for it. While I’m not going to risk her job to date her (as she has a young child take care of and raise), I’m wondering if an employer can bar you from dating someone who is a customer or client? And what if we had been dating before she was hired?

They can indeed. In many cases, employers have a vested interest in prohibiting employees from dating clients — if the relationship goes south, they could lose the client. Or the client might get different treatment than other clients. So it’s not hard to understand why employers would want to ensure that coworkers keep those relationships professional.

3. How should I point that this prospective job doesn’t seem like it should be a contract position?

I have an interview next week for a job that was listed as “full-time, contract.” In re-reading the job description, it sounds much more like an employee position than an independent contractor. Assuming that is indeed the case, if everything were to go well and I were to be offered the job, would this be something I should bring up before accepting?

The company is small and doesn’t seem to have an HR department–the office manager is the one setting everything up, and the initial interview will be with the hiring manager. It may be that they just don’t know the difference between contractors and employees (I had a previous job where that was the case, and they straightened it out on their own soon after hiring me). Would I be in a stronger position to discuss/negotiate this before or after accepting the job? Or is it most likely not up for discussion?

Wait until you have an offer — because at that point they’ve already decided that they want to hire you, whereas if you start complicating things for you before that point, they may find it easier to just go with a different candidate. Once you have an offer, say that you want to get clarification on the contractor status of the role, since the IRS regulations require that contractors ___. (Fill that in with whichever part of the regulations they’d be in violation of — for instance, that contractors control when, where, and how they do the job.) Say something like, “This sounds like it might actually be an employee position, using those guidelines.”

Approach this from the assumption that they simply don’t know or overlooked this (which is likely with a small business) and it shouldn’t be adversarial; if they respond adversarially, that’s a big red flag for you.

4. My son’s boss won’t deal with any problems

My son has a manager who will not deal with any issue, no matter what it is, whether it is personal problems, workload, occupational health and safety … there is always the same response of “If you don’t like it, there is the door.” My son is not the type to go at things aggressively. He thinks before he speaks, but this person is just plain rude about what he thinks of the workers’ ideas, rights, or issues. What do you suggest?

Your son probably needs to accept that this is how is boss is and/or find another job, since this guy doesn’t sound particularly open to changing. The exception would be if laws are being broken or people’s safety is being put at risk, in which case he should speak up and alert someone with some authority.

5. Do these signs mean my company isn’t going to hire me for a permanent position?

I am working for a company in a large metropolitan area. I’m a contractor hoping to be made perm. I took on a large amount of work because the company was short staffed. I didn’t realize, but I had a medical problem. I overworked and needed to take 3 weeks sick leave. I work really hard. Feedback is excellent on my work and I have been working well for past month.

I applied for the perm role but I feel like I’m not getting the job. I got no definite response. I really had to fight in the first instance for the interview. Apparently the company wants to see the full range of candidates prior to making a decision.

I’m not sure what to do, as my contract will come to an end shortly. Do you know if it is standard for companies to advertise a perm role for more than a month? Do you think the excuse of searching for a full range of candidates is an indication that I didn’t get the job? The company is really short staffed and there is only me doing the work, so it’s possible that they are stringing me along until they find someone else. Do you know how in general how companies manage this process?

Wanting to talk to more candidates can mean “we’re not especially excited about you for the job so we want to make sure we see who else is out there,” or it can mean “our policies require us to interview at least X candidates before we can make a hire,” or it can mean “we’re not hiring you and we’ll let you know that once we decide who we are hiring.” In other words, it’s all over the map, so you can’t really conclude anything from it. Similarly, advertising the job for more than a month isn’t that unusual so you can’t really read anything into that.

What you do know for sure, though, is that there are no guarantees that you’ll get this job, and that would be true even if they seemed wildly enthusiastic about you — so you should be actively job searching since your contract is ending soon. If you end up getting this job, then great — you can curtail your search. But you should be proceeding as if you don’t have and won’t get this job, until you have an offer letter in your hand.

6. Can I reapply after interviewer expressed concerns about my ability to excel in the job?

I was interviewed for a customer service job last week, and everything seemed to go really smoothly. Because the company I applied for is asking for the job applicants to be available as early as possible, everything went quickly. Yesterday, however, I got the dreaded email saying I wasn’t chosen. I followed up right away, asking for feedback on how to put myself up better for other jobs.

The interviewer replied today, saying that my experience was just a bit under, but that wouldn’t be a problem in normal circumstances. However, because her team can get rather vocal about what needs to happen, she feels that I will get “snowed under” by the pressure. She ended her email with, “But maybe I misinterpret you.”

To my suprise, the job vanacy was reposted, maybe not even an hour later. I’m somewhat confused. Is reapplying a good idea, or would that make me come across in a bad way? I’m really interested in the job, but I also don’t want to come across in a bad way and ruin my chances on the job market in my current industry/area. (It’s an industry where everybody literally knows each other, and one mistake can ruin a lot here.)

Do you think there’s merit to her feedback? Would you thrive in an environment where expectations are high and people are aggressive and maybe even pushy? If you think you’d do well there, why not email her back and tell her that, in fact, she might have misinterpreted you, give some examples of times you’ve excelled in that type of environment (or at least say that you’re not cowed by that kind of thing), and tell her you’d still love to be considered. (Don’t just reapply though — that would come across oddly since you’ve already been interviewed and you’re already in contact with her.)

7. How can I let me neighbor know I won’t be offended if she rejects me for a job?

Recently at a ladies social function in my neighborhood, my wife made the acquaintance of a woman who is a manager in my field of work. I had not previously met this person, as she had only moved in a few months ago. During the course of conversation, jobs came up and long story short, my wife came home with a business card and instructions for me to email my résumé to this manager.

I sent an introduction email, as well as my résumé, and although to say my qualifications matched would be a stretch, I was granted a phone screen and a face-to-face interview. During the interview, it was mentioned that the hiring would probably be on a temp basis with the option to go full-time. Here is where I need your help. How do I communicate to her that it is okay if she goes with another candidate and if after the temp part she cuts me loose if hired? The only knowledge she has of me as a person and professional is what she gleaned in the interview. I don’t want her to feel any obligation based solely on the fact I live four houses down. While I would be disappointed, I am not about to go all DeNiro stalker crazy person. Would it look like I was down playing my interest by communicating that before the decision is made? Also, if I don’t get selected, I would very much like the chance at an informational interview and to maintain her as a contact because her company will be bringing in a lot of remora companies that I might be able to get on with.

Well, first, she’s probably not worrying that you’ll become a crazy stalker. She’s probably assuming sanity on your part, and most hiring managers are reasonably comfortable with having to turn people down. Plus, since you noted that your qualifications weren’t a great match for the position, she has a perfectly easy way to do it — she can easily point to that.

That said, you could certainly send her an email thanking her for her time, telling her how much you enjoyed talking to her, and adding that if the fit isn’t right for this particular role, you’d love to stay in touch with her. That conveys that you’re not assuming the job is yours and that you’re a mature, sensible adult without going overboard.

{ 86 comments… read them below }

  1. spender*

    regarding # 3:

    are you sure they mean “independent contractor” as opposed to “regular employee but instead of permanent, hired for a set period of time?”

    my current job is on a contract stating that my employment is on specific terms, with a fixed end date. i am classified and treated as a regular employee, except that i know when my last day at the organization will be. this is not an uncommon way to be employed where i am.

    were i you, i would ensure that this is not what is meant by contract employee before mentioning it to the manager, at risk of looking stupid.

      1. Jamie*

        Me too. Contract employee, independent contractor, and temp are so often used interchangeably (even by those who should know better) that I’d double check to make sure it wasn’t the verbiage in error and not the intent.

    1. KarenT*

      Me too. “Full-time, contract” can mean a full-time, temporary position, not just full-time independent contractor.

    2. Jordan*

      Agreed – this is how I interpreted “full time, contract” as well.

      The OP’s question could still apply, as in “they want to hire someone for 5 months, but it sounds like a job that should be year round,” but I think that could easily be addressed during the interview process.

      1. Lee*

        I came to post the same thing too. I’ve worked in non-for profits in Australia and a lot of jobs are posted like this as employment often relies on funding. It also happens a lot in my current field of teaching (but that’s more about student numbers and such).

      1. LMW*

        In the US too. I was a W-2 contractor for three years, and that’s different from a 1099 independent contractor. That’s a good interview question for them though — which type do they mean.

        1. Chinook*

          I too would ask for clarification once you are offered the job. I currently work with contract workers who have a different style contract than I do. Most of them are their own professional corporations and have no intention of becoming employees of the company. I, on the other hand, am on a temp to perm contract that is more of a way to justify and flesh out a new position. Both these styles of contracts have a business purpose that means the job could be temporary whereas a normal position is implied to be permanent.

  2. Jessa*

    Regarding number 7, I’m not sure I’d mention anything about “if it’s not a good fit,” unless they chose not to bring you on board, then I’d mention it in the “thank you for considering me and if you have something else please keep me in mind,” type way. To me it would look like you were running yourself down, as opposed to downplaying your interest. I mean you must have thought you had some sort of fit even if it wasn’t perfect or you wouldn’t have passed your information to them at all.

  3. Chloe*

    #7 – what is a ‘remora’ company? I googled it and only got sucker fish. My mind is boggling.

    1. David*

      A remora is a sucker fish. If you were to call a person a remora, it would generally be considered an insult. This is mostly because they tend to rely on other fish for food, and they are, more or less, the “bottom feeders” that eat… waste…

      It appears to have a somewhat different context here, not necessarily bad, not necessarily good. But essentially, I think it’s more of a company that depends on others for it’s work.

      1. Op #7*

        I used remora because I was looking for a way to describe a symbiotic relationship that would catch Alison’s eye and get my question used. Upon further review I chose a poor example. What I meant was where the suppliers to a large manufacturing facility set up shop close by i.e. vanilla bean handles is two blocks from Chocolate teapots 400,000 sq foot factory. However I am afraid the question is a moot one since I found out I got the job! So, many thanks to Alison for this site and the tips and advice it offers.
        I will continue to read and comment(albeit after 5 cst) as it’s a temporary position and I wish to continue to gain strength through knowledge.


  4. Jazzy Red*

    OP # 1, in my company (a family run business), the hiring manager has nothing to say about who gets hired. The director (good friend of the owner, HR director, etc.) usually makes the decision. The manager has to take whoever they decide to hire, and live with it.

    Have I ever mentioned how dysfunctional my company is?

    1. Another Emily*

      Once my husband’s boss hired someone for him. The new hire abandoned her job after one day. This was not a good hire. Just let the managers manage!

  5. KellyK*

    For #2, if you had been dating before she was hired, it would’ve been up to her to talk to the hiring manager or HR about it before accepting the job.

    I can easily picture a company making an exception for a pre-existing relationship because if they choose not to hire her, or make her job contingent on breaking up with you, they risk losing you as a client anyway. But, some places may also not make an exception either because it’s just a hard, fast rule, or because they’d rather risk losing one client now than risk an even stickier situation later.

    1. Loose Seal*

      OP, do you donate plasma there? Or are you a supply salesperson, copier repairperson, or other contract type?

      The reason I ask is that if your only contact with the place is that you donate plasma, then can you donate at a different center? Then it seems that she would be free to date you if she wants. If you’re under a contract to provide services/supplies, then I think you’re out of luck until the contract ends.

      1. A Bug!*

        It’s a good question. Based on the context I’d assume he’s a donor, in which case it’s probably true that he could go to another clinic if it’s an option.

        But to veer into relationship territory, I wouldn’t make the jump to another clinic before first getting positive confirmation that the lady-friend is interested in exploring a romantic relationship.

        I say that because I can’t tell from the letter how informed and/or on-board the lady-friend is with respect to the topic of a potential romantic relationship with the writer, or if the writer’s just looking to remove all potential obstacles first. If she isn’t in the loop on it and the writer changes clinics and then says “Good news, I’ve started going to X Clinic so now we can date,” she might be placed in an awkward position.

        1. FreeThinkerTX*

          I was thinking that she may have, ah, “embellished” what the employee handbook says about dating, and used that as a means to get the OP to stop pursuing her. In my personal experience, a man who says he has a “lady friend” is a man pursuing someone who is polite to him, but who is very much not interested in dating him.

      2. Anonymous*

        Yeah I understand them not wanting people to date business contacts, but I can’t quite figure out why phlebotomists dating plasma sellers is a huge deal.

        1. Emily K*

          When I was in grad school selling whatever I could for extra scratch, plasma included, I developed a crush on my phlebotomist. I baked him cookies for Valentines Day and put my number on a note in the bottom of the tin. He asked me out and we dated (casually/non-exclusively) for several months. I wouldn’t think his employer would have cared in the slightest. Even though they were the only plasma center within 100 miles, being a donor isn’t like being a client. You only interact with the phlebotomist for a few minutes at a time, and honestly if you’re desperate enough to be selling your bodily fluids for money you probably would suck it up and endure the possibility that out of the 5-10 employees working when you go in, 1 might be your ex and you might have to endure a few awkward minutes of being stuck by them to get your plasma-cash. I know I would have.

  6. Nodumbunny*

    #6 – I think when the interviewer closed her email with “but maybe I misinterpret you” she was intentionally giving you an opportunity to convince her that you can handle the pressure. Did you reply? Alison’s advice is spot on and I think the interviewer has left the door open for it, but yeah – don’t just re-apply without answering her.

  7. Suz*

    OP #2 – If you’re a plasma donor, you’re not just a client. You’re a patient. It’s very common to forbid staff to date patients, even if the staff member’s job doesn’t involve patient contact.

    1. TL*

      Somebody called into the radio show that I listen to and said that their OB-GYN had asked them out while they were paying for their appointment.

      Off-topic, but awkward and unethical!

      But, for the OP, if you’re just donating regularly, I would see if there’s another place you can donate instead and then ask out.

    2. Physical therapist*

      I don’t know about phlebotomists but in some states some health care providers can also lose their license to practice by dating clients.

  8. some1*

    #2, I’m sorry to say that your lady friend probably doesn’t want to date you, or she would have suggested you start going to another plasma center. Also, if you are donating plasma because you need the money, that usually doesn’t bode well for a potential partner’s interest in you.

    1. Jamie*

      Wow – that’s really harsh.

      And you get paid to donate? One of my sons is a regular donor because he did it once in high school and they keep calling him so he keeps going in. He’s a nice person and I’ve needed a transfusion in the past so I’m glad there are people like him who do this.

      He never got a dime – just a cup of juice (orange or apple, donors choice) and a couple of cookies.

      (although we have no way of knowing if he’s making money off this – broke people fall in love everyday.)

      1. some1*

        You get money if you donate plasma where I live. I have friends who did it in college when they were broke.

        I didn’t mean to diminish a donor’s contribution in anyway — I had two blood transfusions as an infant — but I and most people I know don’t wish to date someone who is desperate for money. Not because I am a gold digger, but because I don’t like having to pay for someone else all the time, and I have nice stuff that I don’t want to get stolen.

        1. Colette*

          I think it’s a leap to accuse someone who is saving lives of being desperate for money. Maybe they are getting paid, but that may not be their primary motivation.

          It’s another leap to decide that people who don’t have much money will expect you to pay all the time, or that they’ll steal nice stuff. People who can afford to pay for things steal as well – it’s about character, not finances.

          1. KarenT*

            Agreed. These accusations are way out of line. Being paid to donate doesn’t make someone poor, or desperate for money. Why is the blame on the person being paid? He isn’t scamming this clinic for money–they are paying him willingly.
            And this correlation you (some1) has between poverty and stealing is just so disturbing.
            And you have no idea whether or not this woman is interested in him.

              1. KarenT*

                Pretty clearly, IMO

                ” Also, if you are donating plasma because you need the money, that usually doesn’t bode well for a potential partner’s interest in you.”

                “I and most people I know don’t wish to date someone who is desperate for money. Not because I am a gold digger, but because I don’t like having to pay for someone else all the time, and I have nice stuff that I don’t want to get stolen.”

                1. some1*

                  Well, I do not blame him or anyone else who donates plasma (or pawns their belongings, tries to get on a jury, or signs up for a paid study, etc) because they need money, but I see how it came off that I was belittling that, and you’re right, that’s okay.

        2. Loose Seal*

          Wow, as someone who was well-below-the-poverty-line-poor until my thirties, I find your insinuation that poor people are out to steal your stuff incredibly insulting.

          [Hint: you probably shouldn’t reply any more to this line of discussion as you’re only digging yourself a deeper hole.]

          1. some1*

            First of all, if you read my first post, I wrote “*if* you are donating for the money”. I never said the LW *was* absolutely doing this for the money and must be broke. But based on my own experience, most plasma donors do it because they need the money.

            Secondly, I do not think all poor people automatically expect others to pay their own way or will steal. However, in my personal relationships, I have been taken advantage of financially by former friends who were broke. I agree that was more about their character than lack of funds, but I have never had someone who had plenty of their own money just expect me to pay for them or have my stuff missing after they left.

            So based on my own experience, if someone is obviously hurting for money wants to go out with me romantically, I am more than likely to turn him down.

            1. Jamie*

              We all form biases based on personal experiences, but I think what people are reacting to (and speaking for myself – I was) is someone writing in with a reasonable question about workplace protocol and how it affects dating being told they probably don’t want to date you and being broke doesn’t bode well for someone being interested romantically.

              Commenting based on an assumption that this unknown, to us, lady-friend would make the same kind of judgements you are and wouldn’t be interested is a huge freaking leap and frankly pretty hurtful and insulting to a lot of people in that boat.

              Hence the strong reactions.

              And just because the lady-friend hasn’t suggested he go to another center doesn’t mean she isn’t interested. He hasn’t asked her out yet. Very few women preemptively alert their male friends that they should frequent other establishments if they want to date her in the future. Who would do that? That’s a conversation after mutual interest has been established, which it hasn’t yet.

              1. some1*

                Understood that my first post came off at best as supercilious and at worst rude, cruel and class-biased, and I can see why people were offended now. FTR, I have been unemployed and understand how scary it is and how it hurts one’s dignity.

                I understand that this is a workplace blog, and we speak in hypotheticals all the time, but I my eyebrow went up when I read the LW’s question. I have brothers and a lot of guy friends who talk about women they would like to ask out, but she has told him she can’t because she’s not over her ex, she doesn’t date co-workers, customers, neighbors, etc. I know I have said stuff like this to men to let them down easy, and I wonder if the LW’s friend was doing the same.

                And I do think he has asked her out or hinted to her that he’s interested, because he knew about the No Dating policy at her clinic. It could be something she mentioned to him when she was hired in passing, though.

            2. Loose Seal*

              Frankly, you sound like a nightmare to date. So those that you pass by because they don’t make enough money for your consideration are probably the lucky ones.

                1. Loose Seal*

                  I’ll be glad to, Alison. I thought some1 needed to feel a little bit of what OP will likely feel after reading her first comment.

                2. some1*

                  “I thought some1 needed to feel a little bit of what OP will likely feel after reading her first comment.”

                  This isn’t your job. You don’t moderate this blog.

        3. TL*

          Woah, my brother donates plasma for money occasionally, and I can assure you he has never stolen any of his girlfriend’s stuff.

          In fact, he had one take some of his stuff after they broke up and he just let it go.

      2. Blood Donor*

        There’s a difference between donating blood and donating plasma. I believe you aren’t allowed to receive payment for blood donation (which is used in transfusions), just like how you can’t be paid for organ donation. So if you go to a Red Cross blood drive, all you’re going to get is juice, cookies, and the satisfaction of having saved a life. And maybe a sticker. :)
        But if you’re donating plasma at a plasma donation center, you absolutely get paid. I’ve never done it, but I had friends in college who did it for the money. Not saying anything about anyone’s financial situation, but I don’t know anyone who didn’t do it for the money. The plasma from these centers is used for research, production of medications, etc., but I don’t believe it goes to actual patients.

        1. TL*

          Our blood bank takes plasma and it goes to patients (but it’s non-paid and it’s at a blood donation center.)

          They told me the reason why a patient would need plasma instead of blood – maybe clotting factors? but I don’t remember as I was distracted by the needle in my arm.

        2. Nodumbunny*

          I think donating plasma is much more time-consuming than donating blood – the blood has to be cycled through to separate the hmmm? from the whaa? (I’m unclear on the details) and then pumped back into the donor and that is time-consuming. So that’s why some places pay for plasma.

        3. Risa*

          My brother donated plasma for my mom when she was undergoing an experimental, month-long, bone marrow/plasma transfusion for a study for treatment of breast cancer. I believe they cycle the blood to separate the red from the white blood cells, resulting in the plasma. My brother’s plasma was so plentiful that he was the only one who had to donate – though the rest of us were planning to if it was needed.

          Plasma can definitely go to patients and in our case it was very specifically planned as a part of my mother’s treatment plan.

      3. Former blood bank employee*

        Let me try to clear up the blood/plasma donor/seller confusion.

        Blood is made up of components: red cells, white cells, platelets and plasma. When you donate blood at a blood drive or donor center, you’re usually donating what’s called “whole blood.” There is a process called apheresis where you can donate just one component. Different components are transfused to different types of patients.

        A “blood bank” is a non-profit organization (Red Cross or otherwise) that takes donations of blood or blood components from donors. These donations are transfused to sick or injured patients. In general donors in the US are volunteers and can’t be financially compensated. Most people donate whole blood but you can donate plasma or platelets or just red blood cells at a blood bank.

        A “plasma center” is a for-profit organization that pays people to give plasma. It’s not transfused to patients, it’s used in pharmaceutical research and products.


      4. Ruffingit*

        I donate blood regularly. You do not get paid to donate blood, but you can get paid to donate plasma. Plasma donations can take up to an hour, blood donation is usually much quicker than that. In any case, people have made some “keeping me afloat and/or paying for my entertainment budget” money from plasma. Not a bad thing to do if you’re healthy and can donate.

  9. Elizabeth west*


    Ugh, something similar happened to me once. It was a receptionist position in an accounting/tax firm. The owners, an older married couple, made me take one of those personality tests in the interview, and then they told me I wasn’t the right “type” for the job (whatever that meant). I made a good case for myself, because I had been doing receptionist work for some time, and they hired me.

    Three days. That’s how long it lasted. 1) I was not told when hired that I would be taking over a client’s payroll. I am not an accountant, do not know anything about it, and I am LD in math, so no. 2) I found out that I would have to do a buttload of personal work for their church group. 3) I made a minor mistake on my second day and the wife SCREAMED at me.

    #3 is what decided it. At the end of the third day, I had a private meeting with the husband and told him I was very sorry but I didn’t think this was the right atmosphere for me, and thank you very much but no thanks.

    Really rethink whether you would want this job. If you do get a chance to talk to the hiring manager again, ask many more questions. I really should have asked more to begin with–then I might have found out about the payroll thing, which, since I couldn’t do it, would have been a deal-breaker anyway.

    1. Chinook*

      Elizabeth, for some reason you initially showed up as Anonymous on my screen and when I replied to you my response ended up down below. I could blame the tech but I think I need more coffee.

      Please see my repsonse below about a math LD and accounting.

  10. Joey*

    Eh, I’m not sure I agree that the Hiring manager should make the final hiring decision. I’ve always had good experiences with the hiring manager making a recommendation and his manager have the final call. Yes, usually the hiring managers selection is the person hired, but sometimes there’s debate and in the end the higher manager makes the final call.

    1. Colette*

      But … that could mean that you’d work for someone who didn’t want to hire you but was overrulded, wouldn’t it? That doesn’t seem like a terribly good situation to be in.

      1. Jamie*

        This. Also, the hiring manager will (if they are competent) have the best idea of what they need and who will be the best fit with their current team. I’d certainly expect upper management to know what the job entails and be able to vet requirements – but if they know better than the manager closest to the team something is wrong.

        1. Chinook*

          Exxactly. I would think that those in other positions would only have the right veto a hiring manager’s choice and not the right to choose who to hire. The perfect example may be that the hiring manager likes person A but HR realizes that she doesn’t meet a basic qualification that person B does have and this could open them up to accusations of discrimination.

        2. Joey*

          How so? The manager has a broader perspective on what makes someone successful. The hiring manager only knows what makes someone on his team successful.

      2. Joey*

        Initially yes, but the manager should speak his mind then support the final decision regardless of who made the decision. That means investing the same effort regardless of who is hired.

      3. Cassie*

        I agree. I’ve had a manager that basically called the shots on who was hired, even though the hiring manager wanted to go with someone else. Yes, there are times when it’s debatable which candidate is better but the hiring manager is typically the person that has to work with the candidate on a daily basis. And should thoroughly know what the job entails. The Manager may not be aware of all the nitty-gritty stuff.

        In my past experience, the Manager would be picking people based on personal connections/friendships and the hiring managers were trying to hire based on qualifications and potential. It was not fun.

    2. De Minimis*

      I’ve seen it vary based on the size of the company and the level and number of the vacancies. At my former job, everyone’s input was taken into account, but the partners [it was an accounting firm] made the decision, even though they would not often be working directly with the people they hired. But it was a situation where they hired several new people each year. I would expect that it was somewhat different if it were a mid-level hire or above. Also, the structure of that job was very loose and you could have a variety of people supervising your work on various projects, so you never really had a set supervisor.

      At any rate, I think the key point is that HR should not be the ones to make the hiring decisions at the end of the process, unless of course the job actually is in HR itself.

      1. doreen*

        There’s a very specific sort of job where it makes sense for HR to make the hiring decisions – it just happens that I’ve had a few of them. They have all been jobs that hired en masse for multiple locations , put new hires through a full-time classroom training program lasting anywhere from three weeks to six months, and the new employees find out their assignments ( which may be based on how well they did in training) near the end of the training.

      2. Joey*

        I disagree, unless you’re hiring for HR positions. This is a recipe for warm bodies. This is basically saying you, in an office, know better that the folks on the front lines who are training, giving direction, and evaluating the employees who will be successful. When this happens the managers have a crutch and you are left with a mirage of what a successful candidate looks like. You’re hiring people to pass training, not folks who will click with their supervisors and team.

          1. doreen*

            Maybe I wasn’t entirely clear. First of all , in these sort of jobs, the training is given by people in HR – staff development, training academies etc fall under the HR umbrella. I agree that you’re hiring people to pass the training, but in some situations that’s all you really can do. If you’re hiring 40 people in November to start training in January and finish their training in March, you may not know where the openings will be in March because these are the also often the sort of jobs where people transfer from one location to another. You may have openings in locations A, B and C in November, but by March those positions have been filled by people who transferred from location H and Q which is where the new hires will be sent. Even if you had managers interview and make the hiring decision, it wouldn’t have been H&Q. It’s almost like military recruiting on a smaller scale- if I decide to enlist tomorrow, it’s not my future commanding officer who decides whether to accept me. Nobody knows at the point the decision is made who that might be , and in the jobs I’m referring to noone knows at the point of hiring who the employee’s manager will be.

            Like I said , it’s a very specific type of job.

    3. Ask a Manager* Post author

      I’m far more okay with that than with HR making the final call. HR should never make a final hiring decision (unless it’s for a job in HR, obviously).

      I’ve made the final call before on hires who would be reporting to someone who reported to me, when the manager didn’t have a lot of experience — although I’d never overrule them if they felt strongly or push someone on them they didn’t want.

      1. Joey*

        Usually the times I’ve overruled is because I’m willing to hold out for someone great while the manager is trying to settle for someone good in the name of filling in quickly.

  11. Chinook*

    Anonymous, I feel bad about your bad 3 day job experience, but I want to let you know that having a LD in math is not neccesarily a show stopper when it comes to working with numbers (just like having a reading LD doesn’t mean you can’t work with words). I discovered that I was dyslexic with numbers when I first started working in an accounting department back in the good old days when journal entry corrections were written in actual journals and added by hand before being recorded in the one computer in the office. Turned out that the 2 other women I was working with had similair issues and showed me some tricks for double checking my work (i.e. if the difference between the two columns can be divided by 9, you switched 2 numbers somewhere). And my LD was so severe that it woudl sometimes take me 3 or 4 attempts to dial a correct phone number and I was convinced that my calculator was broken when I did grade 12 math because my teacher would confirm that my work was all correct and yet he couldn’t figure how I got the answer I did (I later told this teacher about the LD and he said it never crossed his mind because I was such a strong student.)

    Considering my jobs since then have included typing up financial statements for auditors and then verifying that their nummbers add up, I have learned to work with my LD and, though I do mention it as a wekaness, I also point out that it means I always double check my work with numbers.

    What’s my point? Don’t let the LD stop you from doing anything with numbers. Learn ways to verify your work (because you can’t spellcheck numbers, damn it) and remember that accuracy is more important than speed. Who knows, you may even learn to like that type of work!

    1. Ask a Manager* Post author

      Just because I know this will cause confusion otherwise — that wasn’t Anonymous, that was Elizabeth West … who accidentally posted twice, once as Anonymous, then as herself (presumably because she forgot to log in the first time). I deleted the Anonymous version because I delete double posts when I see them. But you saw it and replied to it, and now you’re replying to an Anonymous who no longer exists.

      I know this is far too much information but otherwise bafflement will ensue.

    2. Loose Seal*

      Just FYI… Even though dyscalculia is statistically as common as dyslexia, it is frequently unnoticed by teachers because the student tends to excel in their other subjects. So they will be told to “pay attention” or “work harder” because the teacher can’t comprehend there might be a LD. Also, students with dyscalculia tend to understand the mechanics behind the math, they just have difficulty with the actual arithmetic. So if you showed an Algebra problem with letters substituted for numbers, a student with dyscalculia would be just as likely as other students to get it correct. Recent studies suggest there is a problem in the right parietal lobe that causes dyscalculia.

      (I have dyscalculia and jumped on the chance to do a research paper on the subject last semester. It’s truly fascinating to me.)

      1. Lucy*

        I am very sure that I have at least a slight form of this. I was in all advanced classes while nearly failing math… I loved teachers that would give me partial credit, because that’s the only way I passed tests. I could tell them exactly how to do the problem, walk through it on paper when showing my work, but I would get a number mixed up and flipped and then the outcome would be wrong. I still struggle with phone numbers.

          1. Felicia*

            All of the visual-spatial stuff was true for me, and so as teh mental math for the most part. Another thing that’s hard for me in math is reading numbers in the right order. So if a number is 4596 I’ll read it as 4956 or something. Thats why I dial phone number wrong a lot even if I’m staring right at them.

      2. ThursdaysGeek*

        Wait, so adding 2 and 3 and getting 6, or having to add a column of numbers several times until you get the same answer twice is not just a personal problem?! On the other hand, I always got good grades in the math classes, although I didn’t always really understand.

        1. Chinook*

          “Wait, so adding 2 and 3 and getting 6, or having to add a column of numbers several times until you get the same answer twice is not just a personal problem?!”

          Absolutely. I didn’t know this until my first job in an office and then, when I worked on my B.Ed. and we role played students, I would go out of my way to show this LD in a math lesson. More people need to be aware of it as an issue.

          As a a side note, I know that the majority of those with dyslexia are boys, so I wonder if the majority of those with dyscalcula are girls and if this is part of the reason for the myth that girls don’t like math. The link doesn’t work here at work, so I am curious to see if they talk about it in their research.

  12. Meredith*

    #2 – Two weeks ago, I attended the wedding of a friend, who met her now-husband while donating plasma. He was the guy who staffed her donation process. I have no idea if they broke any rules by starting to date. Is there a way you could start going to a different plasma center?

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