Jumped Over For Being Hired Full-Time

Question to Ask the Workplace Doctors about being passed by for full-time positions:

I am a Substitute custodian at a very high rated school district for the past 14 months in that time 7 other sub-custodians, some only in the district less than a month and having less experience have been hired over me for full-time positions. What is the recourse if any?

Signed, Frustrated:

Dear Frustrated::

I can imagine how frustrating and disappointing it has been to have others hired when you were expecting a full-time job. We are not attorneys and do not have expertise about such issues, so you may want to consult with an attorney about it. Among the things that might be helpful would be a review of any contract you have that makes promises about hiring. Or, if you think you could show you are not being hired solely because of your age, gender, race, ethnicity or religion, that might be an issue to pursue. We focus on workplace communications and it seems communication is needed in this situation. If you receive performance evaluations look at them to see if there have been comments about any aspect of your work that could give you the answer. In addition, talk to your direct supervisor and ask him for some open and honest advice about why he or she thinks you have been jumped over in this way.

One way to approach that is to ask for this specific type of information: What should you do more of and what should you do less of, in order to be successful at being hired full-time? By giving your supervisor something to respond to in that way, you are more likely to get a useful answer. You don’t want to do anything that jeopardizes your part-time status, but merely asking should not do that. In fact, if you don’t show that extra interest, maybe the view is that you don’t want to change. In the meantime, evaluate yourself every day that you work and see if there might be issues that get in the way of your potential for being hired.

The most common areas of consideration for moving someone from part-time to full-time are: Work performance (good work without errors), ability to get along with others, hygiene and grooming, dependability about being present and on time, willingness to take direction and get along with supervisors, and effective communication in a wide range of situations. There is also the element of getting along well with the person or group who is making the hiring decision. At least, there should be no open animosity and generally good working relationships. The best indicator of what a part-time employee will be like in the future is what they have been like in the past. But, if there are issues that are getting in the way and you know you will not have those problems in the future, talk to your supervisor and see if you can demonstrate to him or her that you can provide them with the work they need in the way it is needed. That’s the bottom line for all hiring decisions. Best wishes to you with this situation. If you have the time and wish to do so, let us know what happens. We’ll be hoping for the best!

Tina Lewis Rowe

Tina Lewis Rowe

Tina had a thirty-three year career in law enforcement, serving with the Denver Police Department from 1969-1994 and was the Presidential United States Marshal for Colorado from 1994-2002. She provides training to law enforcement organizations and private sector groups and does conference presentations related to leadership, workplace communications and customized topics. Her style is inspirational with humor.