Dealing with rude people when applying for positions

  1. 4
    I have worked in the same hospital for 3 years. There is a certain department within my hospital that I have wanted to work in since I first was employed on this hospital in a different specialization.

    A few months ago, a position finally appeared for the unit that I have been aiming for. I applied, even shadowed in the unit during my own free time to get a feel for it, and have been waiting for 3 months to hear back. That is fine; I understand the hiring process can be protracted and that interviews take time to be set up. But I was never once contacted by the manager to at least interview in spite of my existing qualifications. What do you suggest I can do at this point to improve my chances?

    I left a polite message on the answering tape of the recruiter who takes care of screening hires for the unit. I very politely asked what I could to to strengthen myself as an applicant, asked what the manager was looking for in applicants. I received a voicemail back stating that it was not appropriate to call about this and that if the manager was interested, I would be informed.

    Uhm, excuse me? I didn't pester HR and demand an interview. I *asked* what advice the manager had in case I didn't get interviewed this time. How am I supposed to know what the manager is looking for if she doesn't (1) post more than a little vague, canned paragraph about the position which is copy and pasted from every other position on the website or (2) she meets with me and explains a little bit about the position and what she needs.

    Does anyone want to weigh in? Am I just crazy for wondering what the manager wants so that I could strengthen my application for next time a posting for the department appears, if not for this one? You would think they would want people who are trying to improve their qualifications based on the needs of the positions.
    Last edit by RNdynamic on Jul 10, '13
    Joe V, Hygiene Queen, SoldierNurse22, and 1 other like this.
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  3. 32 Comments so far...

  4. 3
    If you applied and were allowed to shadow on your own time I'm confused as to why the hospital/unit would've allowed that if you were not being considered.
    Most HR's are simply a clearing house..they have little, if any idea, what a manger wants and other than connecting the dots of getting applicants to managers I don't think the HR dept. can do anything other than set up interviews, extend job offers and take on the new hires for paperwork, orientation. So, really, you asked the wrong person and I'm surprised the HR person even responded.
    For space often times the descriptions of jobs are a simple overview - rarely, if ever, is one greatly detailed - it's basically what unit, what hours, etc.
    My advice since you work in the hospital is go back to the unit, talk w/the person you shadowed with if possible, asking what his/her skills are and if you are comfortable do directly to the manager. As you will read on here, many times nurses go around HR to get the hiring manager of the unit they want. Do NOT tell the person you shadowed or the manager of the unit you think the HR person was rude, etc. Simply tell them how interested you are, you see the position is still posted, remind them you shadowed and take it from there.
    psu_213, GrnTea, and Kooky Korky like this.
  5. 6
    I really don't see rudeness in this scenario. HR is a conduit to provide a pool of qualified applicants for consideration. Their job is to find applicants with a defined set of objective qualifications (x education, x years of experience in x type of unit, etc.) and possibly screen for some desirable personal qualities as defined by the organization. Except in times of severe shortage of applicants, there is no need for them to individually/personally coach applicants.

    Do you know for sure whether or not this position has actually been filled? Priorities and budget issues can change in a flash.

    Consider, too, that unit management took advantage of your shadow day to observe you, and for whatever reason, decided not to pursue the interview process with you. It's not an insult - just thanks, but no thanks.
    psu_213, GrnTea, dishes, and 3 others like this.
  6. 2
    I so agree with Altra, I don't understand why you thought this was rude and in a hospital HR does exactly that finds qualifications and gives management the leads. Its not up to them to do the actual hiring, just the paperwork if you are hired and lots of times they don't have personal relationships with everyone. You needed to ask the manager that question.
    psu_213 and llg like this.
  7. 2
    As some previous posters have stated, they are HR: they process the paperwork. They are NOT professional career coaches.

    It would be nice if your employer provided a career coach for you, but very few do. As others have suggested, talk to the manager and ask for some feedback, once again expressing your desire to someday work in her department. That may help you the next time they have a position open and you apply.

    You might also seek a mentor to help coach you in your career development (assuming you don't want to invest in a professional career coach). Find someone who "knows the ropes" of your facility and develop a relationship with them. Such a person could be a good "sounding board" for you and have some insight to offer.

    Good luck to you.
    psu_213 and dishes like this.
  8. 4
    OP: Get to know some of the nurses on the floor if you want an answer as to what will make you a strong candidate. They know what nurses get hired and which ones do not. It may not be as logical as being an outstanding/skilled/experienced nurse. You may have to be the kind of nurse that spends his/her free time hanging out with the nurses on the unit (I worked on one unit that was this way).

    If you are rejected and made it far enough to get an interview, at that time you can talk to the manager and ask him/her to provide constructive criticism. Otherwise, you will need to find a roundabout way to find out why you were not hired. To do this, you must get to know the nurses on that floor. Through them, you will find out who is hired and what that person may possess... He/she may be the sibling or best friend of a nurse that already works the floor. In fact, many times the best candidate is the one that is known as oppose to an outsider.

    BTW, one more point.... If you happen to be of value to your manager, it does not matter that there is no nursing shortage and that your hospital has a policy that will allow you to transfer now; some managers (actually many more then we would like to think) will sabotage a nurse's chances of transfer when he/she wants to keep him/her on their own floor. I have seen this occur countless times when I worked bedside. In fact, the only nurses I saw freely transfer were the nurses with bad reputations. In order for them to receive a transfer, their manager would lean away from the truth to make a transfer happen. Thus, consider that you might get rejected because you are a good nurse, your manager loves you, and tells the other managers to keep his/her hands off. Good luck.
    Last edit by MBARNBSN on Jul 11, '13
    Not_A_Hat_Person, Kimbsntobe, GrnTea, and 1 other like this.
  9. 0
    The shadow I set up with an assistant manager by direct contact. I had not wished to apply at that time; I was shadowing in many units so I could figure out what I wanted. I doubt the manager even knew I shadowed or if she did, knew who I was.

    I did email the main manager of the department in order to ask what she was looking for. Unfortunately that email was ignored.
    Last edit by RNdynamic on Jul 11, '13
  10. 0
    HR is sometimes more like a roadblock than a conduit.

    She should not assume that anyone observed her and ruled her out when she shadowed.

    She should go talk to the hiring manager personally; just sort of happen to run into her.
  11. 4
    I'm on your side OP. I think it was rude. You aren't an outside candidate. You are an internal applicant looking for constructive criticism to improve yourself.

    Isn't it the job of a good workplace to offer professional opportunities for growth and improvement?
    HMAmara, Smiley06, avaloncar, and 1 other like this.
  12. 1
    That came across a little rude to me as well, but I suppose it all depends on the delivery. Either way, you were barking up the wrong tree. I would not hesitate to contact the manager directly, especially since you have already shadowed there. Make sure he/she knows how interested you are. I would maybe even just send an email - let them know how interested you are, that you submitted your application X months ago, how much you loved your shadowing experience, and ask if they are still hiring. Just keep it short and to the point. That is a really long time to wait to hear back after submitting an application. If you really want to work on this floor, I would take action ASAP. Even if they're not hiring - the manager will then know you're interested, and if you are NOT what they're looking for you can find out what you need to do. In my experience, managers appreciate that kind of initiative. Good luck!
    Smiley06 likes this.


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