boss trampling down in the land his subordinateJob seekers tend to have a certain “fear” of recruiters and hiring managers, and I mean fear in the reverence and respect contexts. These types of people have the power to drastically affect their professional lives, i.e. making the decision to hire an applicant or not. So, with their roles comes a certain level of respect, a certain level of understanding that you must conduct yourself this way in a recruiter’s presence or you should never do that when dealing with a hiring manager.

Like the job search, there are certain do’s and don’t’s when dealing with recruiters and hiring managers, and most (if not all) job seekers don’t want to step out of line. Yet, there comes a time (or few times) when it’s not only okay to go over a recruiter’s head, but necessary.

Take this recent (and inspired by true events) example:

Dave applies for a job at the gas station Circle K and is called back for an interview. Dave completes the interview and is informed he will have to purchase a food handlers card plus take the food handlers test online. Dave is also informed that next week he will meet with the district manager to continue along in the hiring process.

Unfortunately (as life so often interrupts our great plans), Dave’s wife becomes ill and is hospitalized. Dave informs the hiring manager of this unfortunate event, to which the recruiter assures him he will reschedule the meeting.

A week later (once his wife is released), Dave prepares to take the food handlers test. He calls the hiring manager just to inform him he is about to take the test, and the hiring manager sounds elated saying his next step will be to meet with the district manager. Just two minutes later, Dave realizes he needs a code from the company to complete the test, so he calls the hiring manager again. This time, the manager informs Dave that he won’t be having a meeting (or continuing in the hiring process) because he failed to show up for last week’s meeting.

Dave is not only frustrated but confused. First the hiring manager told him he would reschedule the meeting. He allowed Dave to purchase a food handlers card and prepare to take the test thinking everything was okay. Yet, the hiring manager turns around and tells Dave he’s no longer being considered for the position.

What is Dave to do?

This true story is a perfect example of when a job seeker needs to go over a recruiter’s head to someone with a higher level of authority. The recruiter/hiring manager was dishonest and treated Dave unfairly and this issue shouldn’t go unresolved.

If you, like Dave, ever find yourself wondering whether or not you need to contact someone above a recruiter/hiring manager, be aware of the following red flags:

  • No callbacks: If a recruiter or hiring manager has scheduled a time for you two to talk yet he/she fails to call or show up, you may want to alert someone over this person. This is especially true if this “failure” is consistent. Not adhering to set meeting schedules and/or callbacks shows that the recruiter/hiring manager is either dishonest and/or unprofessional and this type of behavior needs to be reported.
  • Disrespectful: Yes, recruiters have the power to hire you, and yes, you want to be on your Ps and Qs with them at all times, but everyone deserves to be respected. Don’t allow a recruiter or hiring manager to talk down to you, question your character or call you a liar. Don’t allow a recruiter to make you feel inferior. You need to immediately speak with this person’s supervisor or manager to alert him/her to the actions of this employee.
  • Dishonest: Any type of dishonesty needs to be addressed with a higher level of authority because it shows the recruiter’s lack of professionalism and character. Like Dave’s situation, the hiring manager told him he would reschedule Dave’s meeting because his wife was in the hospital. Yet, the next week he turned around and dismissed Dave from the hiring process for not showing up to the supposed-to-be-rescheduled-meeting. The hiring manager was dishonest, and that needed to be handled by his supervisor.

Dave was seemingly at the mercy of the hiring manager. He had dismissed him from the hiring process, so what could Dave do about it. Although he knew it was unfair, Dave just had to count it as a loss, right? Wrong.

Like Dave, there are certain cases where you need to go above a recruiter and seek justice. And like Dave, if you do, you could get a second chance to complete the hiring process after speaking directly with the district manager.

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in Career Advice]