Forums

Some background:

I've been in position for six months. One of my directs moved and took a job in another division of the company. One of her direct reports expressed an interest in the position. I interviewed her, along with other internal candidates.

Based on background, experience, and past results, I'm offering the position to someone else. While I'm comfortable with my decision, I am struggling with how to approach the previous manager's direct.

Do I owe the the previous manager's direct an explanation? I value the person's contributions, but know she needs more time in her position before being promoted. Our relationship hasn't had time to develop, so I want to make sure I present this to her appropriately.

Any ideas would be appreciated.

scm2423's picture

Just be honest! You say "Our relationship hasn't had time to develop", this is the perfect opportunity. Rather than skirt around this issue, be honest and caring. Would you want to be treated any other way? Also offer help or suggestions on what the candidate needs to do to be in a better situation for the next opportunity.

HMac's picture

[quote="sromley"]Do I owe the the previous manager's direct an explanation? I value the person's contributions, but know she needs more time in her position before being promoted.[/quote]

Yes!

Especially if you want to develop her.

Two points to consider:

* The news won't be a surprise to her. So don't expect it to be a shock.

* I differ with the previous advice, if what I read into it is the suggestion that you explain that your relationship hasn't yet developed as the reason for not advancing her. No! You should explain your decision on the basis of the other candidate's better fit/experience, not on any perceived lacking of this candidate. Also, the decision ought to be made on the basis of suitability for the job, not on whether you've developed a relationship with them or not (that's dangerous territory - can be misread as favoritism).

You have the chance to show your new direct that you promote people fairly, on the basis of merit. And you can show your interest in further developing her, so she'll rise too. In the long run, this can be a "Good News" conversation.

-Hugh

TomW's picture

[quote="HMac"]* I differ with the previous advice, if what I read into it is the suggestion that you explain that your relationship hasn't yet developed as the reason for not advancing her. No! [/quote]

I read that the same way at first. (Gee, HMac and I thought the same thing, who could have imagined?)

I think what scm2423 meant was more along the lines of "You have stated that your relationship hasn't developed yet and this could be an opportunity to talk to the person more, developing that relationship", not an instruction to say to the candidate "Our relationship has not developed yet".

kklogic's picture

I agree with Tom and Hugh. Shocking!

"You're a terrific member of the team and I value your contribution. Joe is a better fit for this current position, but I think you're primed to move up in the future. I'd like us to work together on x, y and z so you can be ready for the next one."

scm2423's picture

When I reread my post I see where the misunderstanding came from. "You say our relationship ..." should have been "you said our ...". Of course I wouldn't let a undeveloped relationship hold someone back.

sromley's picture

Hold your horses. Let me be clear...

[quote]Based on background, experience, and past results, I'm offering the position to someone else.[/quote]

I hope this makes it clear that I am promoting someone else based on objective criteria. I mentioned my lack of a developed relationship because it makes the conversation more difficult in my opinion. Thanks for the responses.

TomW's picture

[quote="sromley"]Hold your horses. Let me be clear...

[quote]Based on background, experience, and past results, I'm offering the position to someone else.[/quote]

I hope this makes it clear that I am promoting someone else based on objective criteria. I mentioned my lack of a developed relationship because it makes the conversation more difficult in my opinion. Thanks for the responses.[/quote]

I think we all got that. It was the other poster we all stumbled over!

I think you're right. The lack of a relationship can make it harder to tell someone they didn't get a promotion. The hard part is for this person not to resent the person who did get the job.