Job offers

Should job offers be made by phone or e-mail? columnist Alison Green answers questions about labor and management issues – all from how to deal with a micromanaging boss how to talk to someone on your team on body odor.

Here’s a roundup of answers to four questions from readers.

Should I make job offers by phone or e-mail?

I’m leading a team and just emailed a candidate making a job offer. After sending the email (my usual practice) I was curious and googled “email jobs” which led me to articles stating that the practice was a bad idea and recommending phone calls instead. I was wondering if you were okay. To me, these days, non-prearranged phone calls seem increasingly rare. I can’t remember the last time I called someone in a business context without setting a time to talk first. And emailing someone to set up a call to make an offer – well, it sounds like torture to keep someone waiting to hear what you have to say.

How about a personal email from the hiring manager, expressing enthusiasm and outlining basic terms (salary, reporting structure) and offering to chat over the phone to follow up if the candidate has any questions or wishes to know more ?

Phone calls are still the norm for job postings for a reason. You want to be able to pitch the job and express your enthusiasm for bringing the person on board, as well as get a first feel for their response. Also, if you send it by email, you don’t know if the email was even received (or if it got lost, or if the person is away and doesn’t check their email). emails for several days or so).

To be clear, you would always follow up the phone call with a written offer so that the candidate has all the details in writing.

You’re right that unscheduled phone calls are becoming rarer for a lot of people — but they haven’t completely gone away, especially in work settings, and that’s a situation where they’re still commonly used. Alternatively, you can email them asking if they have 15 minutes to talk the next day or the next two days (and feel free to suggest good news).

My employee thanks the colleagues she is friends with too much

I manage a small office of 10 employees. Employees are separated into very specific cliques, and while there are never big issues, it’s clear who’s on which team, even though I’ve worked hard to unify the office.

One employee, Veronica, has gotten into the habit of thanking her friends too much when they do something useful at work. For example, I asked an employee to change lunch hours on a Friday to allow Veronica to attend a webinar and the employee agreed. Veronica made a point of announcing loud and clear to the office that she would buy lunch for this employee as a thank you. On the one hand, it’s super caring and it’s nice when your colleagues appreciate your help. On the other hand, employees outside of Veronica’s clique have made similar efforts to be helpful, and they’re getting a quick “Thank you!” This kind of thing happens regularly with the people Veronica considers her “buddies” at work.

Am I overthinking this? I know I can’t tell people who they can buy lunch from, but I’m afraid excessive praise for acts that are really just employees doing their jobs can be polarizing when it’s only directed to some people. I know it would be a much bigger problem if I as a manager did this, but is it still a problem? If yes, how can I fix it? Veronica is an excellent employee; I just don’t want this behavior to further divide the office

As long as Veronica thanks everyone who helps her and doesn’t treat some of them rudely, I’ll leave that alone. I understand where your concern comes from, but it’s normal that she is more expansive with the people she is personally closer to. If she was being rude to others you would need to address that, but if it’s just that she’s being overly nice to some I would consider that a personal quirk and not something you need to intervene on. (The exception would be if she does it in a way that really offends someone. For example, if two co-workers did her the exact same favor in the same week and she publicly celebrated one and not the other, you could privately point out to him that the disparity probably didn’t feel right and might make people who get the short end of the stick less likely to help him in the future.)

The other thing that might be relevant here: Does Veronica want to move into a leadership role or otherwise take on more responsibility over time? If so, you might point out to her that this kind of blatant favoritism will make it difficult for her to be promoted, because to gain a position of authority over others, she must appear impartial. This is true even if she is not aiming for a management position; it would be hard to move her to even an informal position as a team leader if people don’t think she will treat them fairly.

pumping etiquette in an office with a crop of opening doors

I recently returned to the office from maternity leave and I pump several times a day. My office is conservative, but has a wide open culture, and few offices have locks; it is customary for people entering to knock briefly on the door (open or closed) and then simply walk in without waiting for an answer. Several times colleagues knocked and tried to open the door (sometimes several times in a row) while I was pumping. By the time I free myself from the pump, they are often gone. But ignoring the knocks seems rude, posting signs on his office door (especially about something so personal) seems out of place with the office culture, and I have too many co-workers to have conversations in mind. one-on-one to fix it. So far no one has worried about not being able to reach me if needed, but I would like a polite and professional way to notify my co-workers without making a big deal out of it.

I’ll go get the sign on your door. It is not necessary to say “Hello. I am expressing breast milk”; he could simply say, “Please do not disturb.” If you think your team will wonder about this, you can talk to them about it, but I think it’s the best of all the imperfect options – for everyone, including you. Your pumping time shouldn’t be interrupted (you certainly don’t need to get out of the pump and answer the door), and it’s more courteous to just let people know you’re unavailable than to make them hit and wait and uncertain.

What should I say to networking contacts I don’t have a lot of connections with?

I unwittingly did some casual networking on Twitter and got referrals for a few people to contact on LinkedIn. Unfortunately, I don’t think I’m really qualified to work with either of them. I hate letting potential connections get lost or ignoring someone who has been generous enough to try to help me network. But I also hate showing up at someone’s door with no real qualifications, like I’m expecting a huge favor just because I was referred by someone they know.

The only thing I can think of doing is sending them a message on LinkedIn acknowledging that I don’t think I’m currently qualified to work with them and asking if they had a minute to share the steps I could take to become qualified. Would that be OK? Is there a better way to use connections without looking ridiculous or presumptuous

Do you really want to know and would love to tune in? And isn’t there another obvious way to get this information? If the answer to both of these questions is yes, then yes, you can. But if the answer to either question is no, and you’re just asking these things because you think you should use the connection somehow, don’t – that’s will probably see and it will be annoying for contacts. In this case, I would spend more time thinking about what exactly you want from these people (and what you can reasonably expect). It’s okay if it’s just “Jane Smith suggested I contact you because X. I realize that my background isn’t quite what you need for the roles you’re trying to fill, but I would like to connect on LinkedIn since I am hoping to do Y in the future.” (Note that this doesn’t take their time; don’t ask for it unless you can clearly explain why you want it.)

Also, contacts sometimes refer you to people you just won’t make sense with. It’s okay to decide it happened here, if it really did. (If that’s true, and if the person who referred you is more than just a Twitter acquaintance, go back and explain it so they don’t wonder why you never followed up on their This will also give them a chance to say, “No, actually, I thought she would be a great person to do X for you”, and maybe X is something you hadn’t thought of. .)

Would you like to submit your own question? Send it to [email protected].

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