Friday, August 30, 2013

Finding a job is a lot harder than having a job

Derek Karnes
434-242-xxxx (c)
August 30, 2013

Xx Xx
President and CEO XX Company
XX Company
XX xx xx
Fairfield, Connecticut 06828-0001

Dear Mr. Xx:

I am writing to raise to your attention my recent (almost) hiring experience with XX Company.

I applied to XX Company for an Enterprise Architect position, a role that XX had been trying to fill for quite a while, and a role for which, to me, was exactly what I was looking for. After the application process I went through the Recruiter screening, then the Hiring Manager phone screen, both of which went really well.

I took a day of vacation to complete the first set of face-to-face interviews with other architects, then another day of vacation a few weeks later for the face-to-face interview with the hiring manager.

At this point I was entertaining other interviews from perspective employers, and had several strong leads, which was lucky, because the day came when I was laid off (due to budget cuts) from my previous employer. But luck was strong with me and I received a verbal offer from XX that same day.

Now I had a quandary; I had put a down payment on a vacation house back in January when my job was secure, and now I’m facing a new job and have to decide whether to cancel this rental or work out a longer-than-normal-two-weeks start date with my new manager. I talk to the XX hiring manager and we decide my starting date to be in four weeks due to his travel schedule. This solves my quandary; I can still go on vacation and will start XX the day after I get back, refreshed and ready. I pay the thousands of dollars for the vacation rental.

I get the written offer, accept it, and do all the things required by it – reams of paperwork, travel to the drug testing center, etc. I cancel all my pending interviews, write a dozen emails to potential leads thanking them for their interest and let them know I’m off the market.

I go on vacation, spending a bit more than I normally would have because I have a fat wallet from my severance pay, and a job starting on Monday.

On Wednesday before I start, I get a call from HR that they can’t find record of my college degree. I explain this is normal; I stated on my application that I don’t have a degree. I mentioned it to the recruiter. I mentioned it to the hiring manager. I mentioned it to people I interviewed with. The Human Resources person confirms my application is factual. I start to panic and contact the hiring manager, who assures me we’ll work it out, and the recruiter who says we’re still “100%”; he’ll just have to write a new job request without the degree requirement and have me apply to it; a mere formality.

The next day, two business days before I’m supposed to start, a different Human Resources person calls me and says XX is rescinding the offer. My request to speak to her supervisor is ignored. She says the degree requirement is firm, and that XX is using the background check clause to rescind my offer, even though the background check revealed nothing interesting.

I’m now entering my second month of unemployment, having lost dozens of leads, wasted a month of severance pay, and most importantly, lost a month of job search time.

If you deem 18 years of professional experience more important than a degree based on defunct programming languages, I ask that you help to rectify this situation.


Derek Karnes
IT Architect, Technical Leader, and Software Engineer