This whole thing is giving me a mighty ick feeling after this morning. Allow me to get it off my chest and I think this group can understand the whole thing better than most.
As I've shared before, I'm quite fortunate to be in a senior level leadership position where I work. I've also mentioned before that I managed a team that is predominantly women and women from different backgrounds, countries and ages. It is a group that I would go to the mat for ad infinitum. Any who, one of the things that managing this many women, plus a lot of the work I've done here and through IC on empathy, I now see things a bit differently than I once did.
Long story short, I served as the interim head of a division from Sep 2022 to Mar 2023, when a boss was hired for me. I've only got to spend the last two months getting to know this guy and I really like him. He is close to retirement age, already coming in to this role in his mid 60s and has stepped in to be a great mentor and help. No complaints really, as my mentor with this company, who prior to this was my direct boss, he went out and hired someone who could in the short term be my mentor and get me ready when the day to go back and not be interim, but the long term head of the division comes around.
Recently, one of my managers came to me to tell me that her right hand gal in the department is moving back to Puerto Rico as her husband's Federal Government Job is sending them back there. Now, I was asked if I support her working remotely from PR, and knowing what I know about this woman and her work, I was all for it. We worked through the situation with legal and human resources and end of the story, this woman will be resigning from her job and we will convert her to a contractor doing the same job on a temporary basis, but we will be looking for a full-time replacement, as her job has a lot of remote elements, but not all of them can be done remotely, so we need to have someone local in the role.
So, why I'm feeling so ick today, since we had the meetings about this with Legal and HR last Friday, I didn't get a chance to talk to my boss and bring him up to speed on this situation until this morning. Later in the morning, he forwards me a resume, asking me to consider someone that he worked with previously. I open the resume and this is the same resume that he sent to myself and two other colleagues about a week or so ago. One colleague of mine with whom I'm close, he and I chuckled that this resume was A) in one of the default MS Word templates which itself is not an issue, but it does indicate we have an inexperienced job seeker and B) the candidate is a younger woman from Colombia originally (that isn't atypical in Miami/South Florida), but the thing we were laughing at was how she wrote English as a skill and had four words misspelled on her resume...Again, a person being bilingual is not uncommon and in fact, is really the standard for hiring around here. The role that we are hiring requires a number of years of technical expertise and preferably some relevant experience in doing the job as well as a lot of technical writing, so spelling errors on your resume isn't a good look and C) Looking at the dates on the resume, this young woman graduated college in 2022, so again, not a lot of experience. Suffice to say, this woman wouldn't qualify for the job, but I did as a courtesy, pass the resume along to my hiring manager. It wasn't 10 minutes before she came to my office and asked me if my boss was serious with this resume.
I explained to her manager that my boss shared this resume and was helping. She was the one who threw this out there, "I bet he was sleeping with her at his last job and wants to find a way to help her out!" I have to admit, this was a possibility that I had not considered at all. For context, my manager has been with the company for years, she is closer to my mother's age than mine, she has taught me a lot about being a leader, even though I'm almost 25 years her junior and her boss. She then proceeded to look up this candidates name on LinkedIn and later Instagram. Yep. My boss isn't recommending her to work here because of her years of experience and skills...that much is 100% sure.
I feel ick because this is a guy that I have really come to admire in the short couple of months I've known him. He seems to check off a lot of the boxes that I think are relevant for a mentor and as we've gotten to know each other, he has spoken quite highly about his plans to retire and of course his wife, whom is also Colombian. Not sure that is relevant, but I don't know how old his wife is, as there are strangely no photos of his wife in his office, but this really ick feeling came over me that if nothing else, a guy in his mid 60s shouldn't be looking to hire someone who is in her early 20s. Given that this is the second time in less that two weeks that he shared this resume with us as someone he highly recommends. He has shared other resumes of folks who have a lot of experience and would fit in our company, but this is the first one where it feels like ick, and it took a female colleague pointing out the "old boy club" and how "men" hire that forced me to look at this more critically. I think that ick feeling is because I now suspect that he has a wife that he has spoken to me about a number of times and how much he admires and loves her....and I can't help but get that thought out of my head with him sharing the resume of this young lady a couple of times now.