With innovative new products. And sales. At least Agilent’s ATS doesn’t seem to select for talents that improve those things and nobody really looks for any alternatives. This is a perfect example as to how the way companies use their ATS systems and how HR departments are screening people out is hurting how the actual business gets done.
The other day I applied for a job through the Agilent ATS system. Here’s the job description This is dated 01/12/16, which become important later:
R&D Mechanical Engineer – LC/MS Instruments Description: In this position as a Mechanical Engineer in the LC/MS Hardware R&D Group, you will be part of an extraordinary multidisciplinary team dedicated and focused on creating great Mass Spectrometers for Life Science markets.
We have an opportunity in our R&D team for a very talented, creative and dedicated Mechanical Engineer to design and analyze scientific instrumentation with the primary application in LCMS analyses. You will work in one of the most technically interesting and stimulating R&D environments. Your colleges are very talented and experience Engineers and Scientists. Together we make industry leading innovative Mass Spectrometers. It’s fun, rewarding and fast paced covering wide array domains of Engineering, Physics and Chemistry.
Qualifications: – Requires a BS degree in Mechanical Engineering or equivalent
– Proficiency with 3D CAD design is a must. Experience with Creo Solid Designer is highly desirable.
– Ability to properly tolerance drawings and analyze tolerance stack up of parts and assemblies
– Must have hands on experience with designing and building prototype assemblies.
– Ability to read and understand mechanical prints and specifications.
– High degree of mechanical aptitude and hands-on ability, attention to detail.
– Good written and verbal communications skills.
– Entails the ability for a hands-on attitude in developing and troubleshooting own work.
– Must have excellent communication skills with ability to work cooperatively in a project team environment.
– Previous experience in mass spectrometry instrument design would be advantageous but not a requisite.
Now lets look at the requirements here after the BSME. You can check my resume in the about section to see how close I fit. I couldn’t be much closer if I had written the job description from my resume. But even perfect fits get flushed by ATS systems.
First is experience with Creo Solid Designer, or as it’s actually called Creo Elements Direct.
Now this Cad package has an interesting history. It’s the descendant, like Agilent, of the HP family. The package first started out being called ME30 and ran on HP Apollo workstations. After that the Product name was changed to Solid Designer and the product line was sold to PTC sometime in the early 2000’s. While the software was a good CAD program and easy to use it had a fairly limited user base because of the way HP marketed it. I doubt that there are 4000 active seats in the US. So anybody having used this software is fairly unlikely. Well I have used the software and liked it, so I’m one of those few. I also used the drafting package Me10 for ten years or so as well.
Ability to tolerance drawings. Well I’ve done thousands of them, so that’s a given.
Must have hands on experience building stuff.
Now I made this video for the Adam Savage Inventern contest. I noticed some editing mistakes, but I think it shows that I know my way around tools.
Considering that I was working from my own prints I think that we can take it for granted that I can read prints.
As for good written skills, well I write this blog. As good verbal skills see the video. You should also know that for five summers or I volunteered at my local Swich Tower Musuem presenting about railroad signals and railroad history to a variety of people and groups including young children. You really learn how to present when you are trying to hold the attention of a ten year old.
As for designing Mass Specs, well here’s one.
I did the guts in 7 months.
Now date January 12, I got the usual email:
Thank you for applying for the R&D Mechanical Engineer – LC/MS Instruments position, requisition number xxxxxxxx.
We’ve reviewed your application and have narrowed our search to candidates whose background and experience more closely meet the position requirements. We encourage you to continue to visit our jobs web site at http://www.agilent.com/go/jobs to apply for other positions that may interest you. Also, don’t forget to register for “Job Agent” to receive notifications for Agilent opportunities that match your interests.
We wish you success in your efforts to identify employment opportunities.
No discussions, no calls, just this. Now I don’t know if this ever crossed the hiring manager’s desk, but you would think that having mass spec experience would have lit some buttons.
Now I’m betting that the HR person never actually sent this on. I got flushed simply because I was too old, lived far away or out of work too long. In any case, the HR person took the easy way out. Something that’s happening across almost every industry at great cost to the companies in products not developed and innovation that’s not happening.
Now why is that costing Agilent money. Well I worked on the designs of mass spectrometers for five years, working my way from ECNs to parts to doing designs based on other’s work. That’s 10,000 hours of experience on the cutting edge with ever higher levels of responsibility.
Now none of the stuff I worked on represented any ideas of my own, but that doesn’t mean that I didn’t have any. By time I was laid off, I had quite a few ideas I wanted to chase and I’ve had some since. Ideas that involve improved production methods, better parts of the machines and new sources. Ideas that could be worth a good chunk of money. But institutionally Agilent is far away from the old go getter days of HP and can’t be bothered to look beyond the superficial.
Now I actually interviewed with Agilent for this job about three years ago and the interview went well, but the job was suddenly put on hold. I might follow up on that, but I’m not sure that I want to, because Agilent has become just another of those companies more concerned with bureaucratic superficiality and not with finding talent that can make them big money. But then I’m the worst candidate. And apparently the job still isn’t filled.