I am looking for a job and I've been contacting a senior manager of a firm directly.

He is quite interested by my profile and forwarded my resume to his HR and the person right below him that covers the region I am in (and that I'd like to work for). My understanding is that he would be fine to create a role for me if none found (and I'm interested too about this).

The HR is nice but have been proposing a job that I'm not interested in. I kindly answered by "It sounds like a xxx role and I feel that I might be able to contribute better to the company in other areas".

His last answer: "would it help to perhaps speak with the hiring manager to learn more?"

I don't know what to do. I'm really not willing to take the role and don't want to lose the chance to speak to the regional manager (still not in the loop). Afraid that if I meet the hiring manager for the role proposed the feedback will be negative (as I can't say that I am interested plus not fitting the role).

What would you do?

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    Afraid that if I meet the hiring manager for the role proposed the feedback will be negative Keep in mind that "I liked Goul but they weren't a fit for my opening" is much more likely to be considered positive than negative. I find that having other hiring managers tell me "I liked so-and-so but they didn't have the skills I need" is a great way to get good candidates for my own positions. – dwizum Sep 27 '19 at 14:38

It sounds like the original job you're interested in is no longer available. Either that, or HR is incompetent at matching candidates to jobs.

There are many reasons for this. For example project priorities may have shifted, they may have found a candidate already etc. Since you're already in contact with HR, they're trying to see if other areas may suit you, as it saves them time. None of these things are in your control, so just take it as it is.

It may also be an internal mistake on their side. You can contact the original manager:

I was under the impression that I'd get a role in xxx, but the proposed job is in yyy. Can it be a mistake?

If the answer is no, then you would probably look elsewhere as you've indicated clearly that you're not interested in their proposal.

  • thanks Mandy. Actually my understanding is that the top manager has the power to create roles and so one for me. However the HR seems wanting to push me in a role that he has to fill and not willing that I contact the top manager anymore to discuss the potential new role – Goul Sep 27 '19 at 9:10
  • @Goul But that top manager didn't create a role for you. So as far as I can tell, he just found someone he thought would benefit the company in general. If you feel he wanted you to work for him specifically, call him up and ask about it. – pboss3010 Sep 27 '19 at 12:15
  • I contacted the top manager a week ago only. He forwarded to the HR to handle the case. So my hope was to go back and speak not to the HR (that just would want to feel the openings he has on his plate) but instead talk to the top manager's report that has the power to create a new role for me (I don't fit any of the open positions as such and company would benefit from opening a new role for me). – Goul Sep 28 '19 at 12:58

His last answer: "would it help to perhaps speak with the hiring manager to learn more?" I'm really not willing to take the role and don't want to loose the chance to speak to the regional manager (still not in the loop)

I think you are taking this conversation with the hiring manager as an interview and not a call for seeking information. Depending on the role, functional area and seniority etc, it is not uncommon to have a call with the hiring manager to clear the expectations of the role. This usually helps save time and cost for everyone - you don't have to interview, they don't have to conduct interview, they don't hire someone who may leave early later, and so on.

So, check with the recruiter whether this call with the hiring manager will be a regular non-interview call, and then decide if you can talk / want to reach out to the other manager.

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    Thanks. I was seeing it as a hidden interview but I think you are right, will accept the chat – Goul Sep 28 '19 at 12:56

Practically speaking, an HR department is usually constrained to considering candidates in comparison to a job description one or two levels of interpretation and rewriting removed from actual needs, or even more so in a large company. (In fairness, it sounds like the manager you have been speaking to is also not comparing you to specific openings, but rather to a general sense of the types of work being done in the company overall.)

Given all of this, any opportunity for a conversation with someone managing actual daily work is a good thing, even if that work is only adjacent to that which you actually want to do.

While it is possible that this person might be able to "sell you on the fit" of the specific role identified by HR, the more likely outcome to hope for is that you have a pleasant conversation and come to the mutual agreement that you are an interesting candidate in general, but for a different sort of role. Hopefully, this person then becomes a second informal champion for you within the company, and may forward your resume or casually mention you to a different manager who does have a need for someone with your capabilities, or a budget to staff a "new ideas" role not tied to a specifically identified business need.

One thing you may over time notice in the world of business is that while technical people often want to speak about a specific topic (and avoid sinking time into things unrelated), those in sales and especially independent recruiters often seek connection and conversation without heavy evaluation of the proposed purpose, in the hope that once a conversation is begun, a fit may be identified - or if not immediately then as an idea to be kept in mind and contact to be kept on file in case a possibility is identified in the future. This can be annoying if you are on the receiving end of irrelevant outreach, but if you are the person seeking to do business with a company and they offer conversation, learn from the prime directive of those in the sales role, and accept the opportunity to talk.

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