It’s five answers to five questions. Here we go…
1. Are ads that target “recent college grads” age discrimination?
I am job-searching and keep seeing some really great jobs that I qualify for, posted by this same staffing company on job boards. ALL of the positions require a 4-year degree and most specify the applicant must be a recent college grad. I have actually seen this company go as far as to specify “must have had great grades in high school” or they sometimes ask for a specific college GPA. The ads will emphasize 2-3 times within the description that you must be a recent college grad. I actually applied for a position anyway, leaving off college dates on my resume and was contacted by a recruiter. She wrapped up the phone screen quickly when she learned that I had completed college 20 years ago. The fact I had strong experience in the industry for which she was recruiting seemed a moot point.
It’s is obvious to me they want 22-24-year-old applicants only. Isn’t this age discrimination? And if this is not age discrimination, can it really be considered a good hiring practice?
There’s nothing illegal about requiring a particular GPA since that doesn’t screen out people over a certain age, but a preference (or requirement) for recent college grads does violate federal laws against age discrimination.
In fact, the EEOC says clearly: “It is illegal for an employer to publish a job advertisement that shows a preference for or discourages someone from applying for a job because of his or her race, color, religion, sex (including pregnancy), national origin, age (40 or older), disability or genetic information. For example, a help-wanted ad that seeks ‘females’ or ‘recent college graduates’ may discourage men and people over 40 from applying and may violate the law.” More here.
2. Job application wants me to list contact info for friends who can verify my activities
Currently I am searching for jobs in the air travel industry as a flight attendant. While in the process of filling out an application for one company, in the Employment Gap Explanation section while listing my job history, it asked that I explain any employment gaps of one month or more. That’s all fine and good. But the fine print went on that I must list the name, address and phone number of the person(s) that can verify my activities during those times of unemployment. The kicker is they can’t be relatives!
I can understand their reasoning for asking that, as they have to be concerned about terrorism, but I can’t be the only one who thinks it’s just plain ridiculous! How can I explain a 6 month period of unemployment after I graduated college and I lived at home with my family during that time, while friends were still in school or out of town? I also don’t feel comfortable offering such personal information about my friends and acquaintances to the company, either. Am I overreacting?
That’s weird as hell. If it’s a security requirement and you want the job, I suppose you have to comply, just as you’d be giving similar information about family and friends for a security clearance. But yes, it’s bizarre.
3. Can I ask my old company about the results of a project I did?
I just left the company where I was working without a job in my field because the work environment was not healthy. I currently have a part-time job that pays well, so I’m not worried about the bills for a couple months at least. Before leaving, a person from another department told me about a challenge that they were having in their day-to-day work. Before I left, I finished implementing the solution to that challenge. I was the owner of that project and my manager knows that I worked really hard on it. However, I was not able to witness firsthand the results that the solution generated.
I now want to send an email asking if the results were positive or negative to the person who initially had the challenge. Even though it would be better for me to have numbers to evaluate the possible success rate, I understand that this person as a current member of the organization might need to keep the numbers confidential and might only be able to give me a general sense of the success rate. Do you think that I should send this email? I am also not sure how my former manager might take this if the person forwards the email to my manager? Should I cc my former manager on the email?
I don’t see anything wrong with reaching out and saying that you’ve been thinking about the project you did and wondering how it turned out for them. It’s unlikely that they’re going to respond to a casual inquiry like that with hard numbers though, so if that’s what you really want (for resume purposes), I think you’ll need to ask directly if it’s something they’d be willing to share and explain why you’re asking. I’d do that in a second email, though, once you hear back about how it went generally. No need to put them on the spot with that question if the first answer is “it hasn’t made a difference yet,” “it’s too early to tell,” or “it caused our network server to catch fire.”
I don’t think there’s any need to cc your former manager on the email, unless she’s in a particular position to answer the question too.
4. Will a job offer come from HR or from the hiring manager?
Will the hiring manager set up a meeting to offer me the job or will HR make the offer? I’m asking because the hiring manager sent an email to set up a meeting later in the week to talk about the job interview… but I thought HR would call or email me?
It totally depends on the employer. There’s no one playbook that every employer uses for this stuff. That said, in most cases, job offers are made over the phone, not in face-to-face meetings. That doesn’t mean that absolutely no one sets up a face-to-face meeting for it, but that’s a fairly unusual approach.
As for who makes job offers, smart managers make their own, because they want the chance to sell the candidate on the job and to have a personal connection. But plenty of managers let HR do it for them.
5. What does it mean when an employer takes down a job posting and hasn’t called my references?
What does it mean when a prospective employer takes down a job posting?
A hiring manager asked for my references but my references never got a phone call. Is this bad news?
Taking down a job posting can mean all sorts of things: They filled the job, they’re no longer accepting new applications but are still interviewing, they’re about to make an offer, they’re confident that they’ll hire someone from the current pool of candidates, the job ad expired from the site and no one noticed, they wanted to make a change to the job posting so took down the old one and haven’t put the new one up yet, or loads of other possibilities. You can’t know from the outside, and it’s pointless to try to read into it.
On the references issue, it’s possible that the manager hasn’t called your references yet but still plans to, or that she’s one of those managers who asks for references because she knows she’s supposed to but doesn’t always call them, or that they plan to make an offer to someone else (but might call your references if that falls through). Again, no way to know, and your best bet is to just move on and focus on other jobs until/unless you hear something from this employer.
job application wants me to list contact info for my friends, ads that target “recent college grads,” and more was originally published by Alison Green on Ask a Manager.