Dear Jewish Fairy Godmother:
I was in Human Resources for thirty years and was quite good at it. A
friend of a friend asked if I would help with a job search for her new
receptionist/scheduler, a part-time position in her physical therapy
clinic. I agreed to do it, in exchange for a few free sessions and an
exercise plan for my aches and pains. After she posted the position
she told me that one of the applicants was a young woman who had
been dating her son through and since high school (seven years),
whom she really loves and hopes will become her daughter-in-law.
She said we wanted a buffer in case the young woman was not the
right applicant, and to have an interview that would be professional
and objective. I felt a little sandbagged but agreed. Bottom line is that
the young woman presents herself very well, but does not have any of
the technical skills (electronic medical records, Excel, and more) that
the PT requires. In addition, when I called a friend who works where
she does, I heard some things that would give me pause even if she
were well qualified. There are several other, better qualified,
applicants. Do I just aim her their way or tell the whole truth and
nothing but the truth?
Dear Middle Gal:
I think you do what you agreed to do: help the PT identify the best
candidates, and do not include the future daughter-in-law in the mix.
If you have three candidates who are truly more qualified, your job is
easy and you can easily explain your rankings to the PT based on the
requisite experience and skills for the job. You could rank the future
DIL fourth and suggest that she interview her last, after the more
qualified candidates. That allows her the benefit of hearing for herself
what others bring to the table. Then, if she still wants to hire the
future DIL it is her decision and made for non-professional reasons.
Unless what you heard was so egregious that it endangers the health
or safety of the future family, I would back channel to your friend that
there were more qualified applicants and to please keep what she told
you confidential. Seven years is a long time for a mother to inspect a
future daughter-in-law. One conversation should not derail that, even
if she doesn’t get the job.