RE: Hiring Publications Managers

Subject: RE: Hiring Publications Managers
From: "Dick Margulis " <margulis -at- mail -dot- fiam -dot- net>
To: "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Wed, 6 Feb 2002 09:05:03 -0500

Maybe, Jim.

But the reaction of Annamarie and some others to Kelley's perceived "tone" (whatever that means in ascii text) is a reminder that we have to try to write so as not to me misunderstood.

I get caught often enough in the I-don't-like-your-tone trap that I've become a little more sensitive to it. Perhaps Kelley would have done better to say, "this is a permanent position, not a contract position," rather than "contractors need not apply."

That would have focused on the real need (someone interested in a "permanent" job) rather than an artificial screen (someone with a history of "permanent" jobs). It would have reduced BOTH the false negatives AND the false positives.

The logical fallacy in disregarding false negatives is something I encountered in very real terms in another context, the siting of a landfill. I made a roomful of engineers and politicians actually use their brains for a few minutes while I explained the problem, and by the time I was done, they finally realized that their precious $650,000 siting study was a pile of solid waste that they had to redo from scratch.


Jim Shaeffer wrote:

>The points below are valid _but_ most hiring managers need
>to make cuts before the applicant gets to the candidate stage.
>There is no time to ask everybody about everything. You have
>to find filters that let you put most of the resumes on the
>'don't bother' pile.
>This is a case where a false negative (rejecting a good
>candidate) is less costly than a false positive (hiring a bad

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