A View from the Top: Should I go around HR?


Like most staff functions, HR can be an organizational punching bag sometimes. In the worse of circumstances the Human Resources representative may be unprepared for the interview, uninformed about the specifics of the job or so overworked that they are rushing candidates through the process. In addition, LinkedIn and other job search support sites strongly encourage candidates to find ways to “work around HR” or to “use the backdoor to find open jobs” or to “avoid the HR black box”. Such advice fails to recognize the realities of employment process at larger organizations.

With thousands of resumes under review, large organizations have learned that it is essential for candidates to move through a formal, step-by-step HR staffing process, beginning with having their application or resume screened by Applicant Management Software (which will be covered in more detail in a future blog).

Thus, in most large companies if you are able to arrange an interview with a line manager you can expect that most of the time they will meet with you for a courtesy interview, and will then submit your information to HR for screening and submission into the typical process. (Insert hyperlink to blog #3) at “courtesy interview, highlighted in red above).

A great strategy is to apply through normal HR channels, while simultaneously looking to see if there are opportunities to meet with direct hiring managers. If you are lucky enough to do so, simply let the hiring manager know that you understand how things work. Try saying something such as “I know that there is a hiring process here, and I don’t want to be seen as someone who is pushy or who routinely engages in end runs. However, I know that there will be many applicants and I want to make sure that everyone knows how very interested I am in working for XYZ organization.”   Then, step back and see where the discussion goes.

You are encouraged to send questions directly to me at e.walker@bentley.edu or to visit me at 310 Adamian. Or simply bookmark this blog which will occur on a regular basis. In our next blog which will be released during the week of 10/20/14, we’ll discuss how to see yourself as a bundle of skills. Have a good minibreak!

By Elaine Walker
Elaine Walker Lecturer Elaine Walker