December 8, 2023

“You need to smile more”


Partner at Hirewell. #3 Ranked Sarcastic Commenter on LinkedIn.

On Fridays I’ll share stories from my mailbag. DM’s open lol.

“I have feedback for you. On Zoom calls you look like you don’t want to be here. You need to smile more.”

That was given to a contact of mine. An internal recruiter. From her manager, the head of HR.

The feedback itself came from an internal colleague. A hiring manager.

A few things to note:

1. Absolutely no mention of actual job performance in the conversation. Crickets on that.

2. I’ll lob the gender hand grenade into this. In order of appearance: female, female, male. 

I’ll be shocked if you couldn’t guess the first and third.

3. The HR manager didn’t stop to think “maybe the real problem is the hiring manager and that’s the person I need to address.” The only thing worse than an office jerk is a system that can’t recognize one.

Because everyone likes a happy ending: My contact did get a new job offer this week. She was already looking because this interaction wasn’t an outlier, but the norm.

Moral of the story: No one wants to work with a jerk. If you can’t retain people in a down market, what do you think is going to happen when it rebounds?

Partner at Hirewell. #3 Ranked Sarcastic Commenter on LinkedIn.

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