Social Question

meagan's avatar

Should hiring be based on networking or experience?

Asked by meagan (4650points) June 18th, 2010

I’ve been applying for the same job at a hospital for probably six months now. I’m qualified, and honestly have no clue why I haven’t gotten a call. The online applications are kind of sketchy and don’t always send through. Its for an admissions rep. in a Hospital and the turn around rate for employees is outstanding, so there is always an application online.

But recently a friend of mine tells me that she got an interview for the same position. All because she knows several people that work in this department. She doesn’t have half of the experience that I do, and shes already been interviewed. Shes been polite about the entire situation, telling me that shes brought me up to the interviewer and her friends, telling me that she’ll help me get hired if they hire her, etc. But still…

Is this fair? Should companies be allowed to hire people because of networking? Shouldn’t the job go to the qualified applicant?

I do wish the best for my friend, but I feel like I’m kind of being punished for not knowing the “right people”.

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12 Answers

aprilsimnel's avatar

One thing you learn quickly in the work world: people hire those they believe/know they can get along with (after all, you have to work with them 8+ hours a day), and whom someone on staff knows and can personally vouch for. Most tasks on any given job can be learnt, if they’re not too specialised. The person hiring has to make a decision: go with Applicant A, for whom a trusted employee can vouch, or Applicant B, who seems qualified but no one knows them personally or can vouch for character and fitting in with the company culture.

What makes it hard is when there are circumstances where different groups of people do not know each other as friends or colleagues or schoolmates, and in that way does certain forms of discrimination continue.

Sure, it backfires all the time, a lot of times incompetent people are hired, but this is how it works presently.

Who do you know at that hospital, or know someone who knows someone there? Go set up an informational interview with that person!

ItsAHabit's avatar

Unfortunately, many jobs are really filled before the job description goes out because it’s a formality required. This is unfortunate because the best candidate might not already be known and gets bypassed for a” known quantity.”

meagan's avatar

@aprilsimnel It really isn’t very fair. I don’t know anyone that works at this hospital, but this friend of mine was able to get the interviewer’s personal phone number and call him up.
She also just told me that she has a drug charge. But shes going to work in a hospital? This is all very frustrating. She has another friend that is head of admissions, so she will probably get the job.

It’d be nice to get a great job in this economy, and to know that I’m not getting it because I don’t know these people is hard.

Dr_Lawrence's avatar

I believe that hiring should be based on merit but the fact is, most of the time it isn’t.
Keep searching and eventually someone will recognize you are what they need and they will hire you.

ETpro's avatar

All too often it ain’t what you know it’s who you know. Be of good cheer. Having the inside track, your friend will probably get hired and once she does, you’ll fall in love with the system because then you’ll have advocates on the inside. :-)

Seaofclouds's avatar

Another thing to consider is that companies are looking to save as much as possible. If they have two applicants that they feel could both do the job, the one with the most experience isn’t necessarily a shoe in because often they can get away with paying the one with less experience less money.

Haleth's avatar

“A friend of mine was able to get the interviewer’s personal phone number and call him up.”

From their perspective, your friend probably looks like she cares more about getting this job. There’s so much competition for jobs right now that a lot of people are applying to any job they could possibly qualify for, not just jobs they really want. Filling out an online job application doesn’t show that you’re motivated to get this job, even if you fill it out more than once. You should call the hospital and ask for the interviewer’s contact information, then at least send him an e-mail telling him why you’re qualified and why you want this job.

Right now a lot of people are applying for summer jobs at my store. What we really need is a self-motivated person with good sales skills. Of all the people who have applied, only a few people have called back, and even then it’s only to “check on their application.” A call like that is a little better than not calling, but it’s formulaic and doesn’t give us any new information. All that does is say, “Go back and look again at the information I’ve already given you. Will you hire me now?” which is kind of presumptuous and not very persuasive. I’d love for someone to call up and explain why they really want the job, and make a case about why we should hire them. Doing that would show that they have the qualities we’re looking for.

Another thing about online applications is that they don’t always go right to the person who will interview you. You may have to make a few phone calls to find out who you should really be talking to.

jerv's avatar

Personally, I feel it should be based on experience.

However, it seems that skills at oral sex get more employment opportunities than even world-class competence. Networking doesn’t enter into it; it’s not who you know, it’s who you blow.

No wonder I was unemployed for so long….

meagan's avatar

@jerv A+ answer. haha

meagan's avatar

@ETpro Youre right. Every time that she mentions she job she always comments on helping me out. Shes really being very nice about the entire situation, it just kind of leaves a bad taste in my mouth. I wish I could get the job from my experience and qualifications instead of “networking”.

@Haleth I don’t know. I would feel like this would be harassing. I’ve exchanged emails with the staff a few times about this, but nothing is ever resolved. And calling someone’s personal number shouldn’t ever be an option. It sounds so unprofessional to me. I appreciate your help, though. :)

Seaofclouds's avatar

@meagan Did you ask your friend for the person’s number so you can call them yourself? Why would calling the person that is actually responsible for hiring you be unprofessional? Most times you can call the information desk at the hospital and just ask for a certain person and they will transfer you to their extension.

ETpro's avatar

@meagan Good luck getting hired.

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