Job Stuff 46

This is more or less a newsletter for job seekers like myself.  I try to find good job search strategies, bad job search strategies, pure BS and job related articles every week.  So far I’ve never run short.  Please pass this around. I’m not doing this for any reason other than the desire to help and communicate with other job seekers.  If you have any good links or stories, especially stories please comment.  If you want the story private, just put that in the comment and I will trash it and  not let it post.

“Fear is the new greed.”  That’s how this great piece starts.

Fear is the new greed. And catching a dose of it is more life threatening to more people than any terrorist or viral epidemic.

Tomorrow’s UK referendum about staying in or leaving the EU has been dominating the media now for what seems like forever. Watching media interviews with the public on this topic reminded me of an old truth – many people fear change and the unknown more than anything else. Most people will stick with a terrible spouse, a toxic employer and a collapsing career rather than face up to the unknown. Their default is to stick with what they know, even to the point of it harming them.

Banks know this human failing well and even have a name for it and make a great deal of money from it. They call it customer inertia. It’s what stops customers switching to another bank even when they are really unhappy about their current one.

And this fear is becoming the norm for organisational behaviours too. Risk management has become a profession which has expanded its death grip from sensible steps to mitigate calamity to an all-pervasive mind set which hampers any organisation seeking to do the sorts of things they aspire to yet often fail to successfully implement. Risk avoidance has become a surrogate for good practice.

Things like becoming agile. Being flexible and responsive. Being customer centric. The reason these management buzzwords cause me to retch every time I hear them, isn’t because they are unworthy aspirations, it’s because so few people who espouse them actually practice them, or have even figured out a way to make them a reality instead of a pipedream.

And nowhere is this commitment to mediocrity more prevalent than in the decisions around hiring people. The whole sorry process has (not unlike the EU) taken on a life of its own. It has grown from a sensible desire to avoid hiring totally unsuitable people for jobs, into an over-rigid and over-specified set of requirements which mean hardly anyone can meet such demanding criteria.

This is why so many vacancies remain unfilled. It’s why employers claim they cannot find the people they seek. HR and hiring managers are so terrified that they might make a bad decision that they make no decision. So the post remains unfilled often for months, because no-one suitable can be found (allegedly). In the meantime, the organisation limps on, other employees carry extra burdens, and the whole environment becomes more toxic, more pressured and less productive.

Yet these thousands of person shaped holes are not because no-one can be found. It’s because the specifications and requirements are so extensive that almost no-one could meet them. In my career I have interviewed and hired hundreds of people and watched their careers develop. The thing I learned from this was that an average person can outperform a superstar every time if they are provided with a good environment. Put a superstar in a poor environment and the reverse happens.

And the responsibility for creating a good environment is down to employers not employees. Some employers know this and work hard at it. Too many abdicate responsibility and pass the buck for their failures to their employees.

The wrong person, that bad hire, isn’t the poor sod you just hired, it’s the monster you create with your fear, fear of understanding, fear of compromise, fear to let people grow. If you are having a bad hire issues, look in the mirror, because the problem isn’t them, it’s you, you and your fear.

Was he stupid to explain his requirements, no.  But now that the recruiter is asking for free work, he should either ask to a real commitment or pull the plug.  Frankly the mere fact that they are doing this crap means that he should pull the plug.

Outsourcing your recruiting?  The people you hire are the future of your business. Do you really want to trust somebody with no skin in the game for that?

When job ads were funny.

Video from Cincinnati Mill.

A lot of buzzwords, but what it comes down to things, they are not working.
 I think that you can’t start by using buzzwords and acronyms. That’s just papering over the real problems. Which are that the poor job seeker gets treated like crap and knows it. The ATS screens them out, the HR people act like people in the DMV and Hiring Managers seem determined to verbally torture you if you actually get to the interview. That’s the realty of what today’s hiring has become. When your system is dysfunctional, it’s only going to hire dysfunctional people.

What older workers bring to the table.

Life doesn’t go as planned.

Liz again.  The horrible truth about “passive” candidates.
These days, employer representative and in-house recruiters pick up the phone and call unsuspecting working people to say “Want to come and work for our company?” nearly as often as third-party recruiters do.
This is just another example of just how dysfunctional the whole hiring mess is.

Of course recruiters need every advantage they can get. For their clients.
I’ve been told by former employers to not ask or tell fellow workers what I or they make. Frankly I didn’t care. And I trusted them, but we all, correctly considered that stuff private. So I’m expected to trust a recruiter who I don’t know with information that they can and will use to their advantage in the name of “transparency?”     This discussion shows up so frequently and recruiters argue so forcefully, if poorly that the “have to have salary information” that there must be something big in it for them.

Mike Rowe in National Review.

How to answer the salary expectations question.  Ask for what you are worth.

The hell created by toxic individuals.
Been there, done that.  It’s especially bad when the toxic person runs the place.  The biggest problem is that the toxicity spreads, flowing down hill.

The Job Stuff Series.

Job Stuff 45.

Job Stuff 44.

Job Stuff 43.

Job Stuff 42.

Job Stuff 41.

Job Stuff 40.

Job Stuff 39.

Job Stuff 38.

Job Stuff 37.

Job Stuff 36.

Job Stuff 35.

Job Stuff 34.

Job Stuff 33

Job Stuff 32

Job Stuff 31

Job Stuff 30.

Job Stuff 29.

Job Stuff 29

Job Stuff 28.

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Job Stuff 27.

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Job Stuff 26.

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