Discussion: December 8, 2009 Ask The Headhunter Newsletter
A reader asks:
I’m an award-winning sales rep. I’m also a woman. I applied for a job at a company whose #2 sales rep is female. After interviewing with the head of sales, I contacted the HR person to follow up. She dismissed me, saying, “We’ve found men do this job better.” I wish I’d recorded the call. I checked and found out the woman who is #2 was hired by a previous sales manager, not the current one. I want to call him or the HR person to tell them they’re making a mistake. How should I say it?
How to Say It: I wouldn’t waste time with an HR person who made a statement that suggests the company violates employment law. But don’t assume the head of sales is just as corrupt. When there’s an obstacle, go around. But don’t call the manager.
I’d call the #2 sales rep. Introduce yourself, then say: “I’ve heard great things about you from headhunters I know. Like you, I’m very successful in sales. Can I ask your advice? Should I consider a job at your company?”
If the answer is yes, she’ll share more advice about getting a job there. My suspicion is she’ll tell you something else — maybe even ask you for advice about finding a better employer.
That’s my advice. What would you tell this reader — and what would you do in this situation?