Re: Hiring Practices (was: Re: Inventing verbs)

Subject: Re: Hiring Practices (was: Re: Inventing verbs)
From: Kelley <kwalker2 -at- gte -dot- net>
To: "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Wed, 06 Feb 2002 13:36:38 -0500

At 09:18 AM 2/6/02 -0800, Bruce Byfield wrote:

I'd like to think that the discussion might also encourage list-members who hire to examine how they do the task.

People who hire have a huge incentive to examine it already: they are putting their own or someone else's money directly on the line. They suffer the consequences of making a bad decision.

One thing that emerges from recent discussions is that hiring provides all of us (including me) with a tempting opportunity to exalt our personal preferences into principles of selection, justifying them and surrounding them with a false objectivity. This habit is very human, but it can work against us. At times, it can mean that we miss some of the best job candidates.

This is very true. But I hope you weren't directing this my way since I said from the get-go that I don't imagine the process to be anything but subjective and that, in the end, it is a crap shoot. It is alchemy, it can't be absolutely scientized. We can't eliminate risk; we can only manage it.

I will not get hired in many places because I have an advanced degree. So what? It's not a personal insult. People have those views because they believe that I will be unhappy with something that's not intellectually challenging enough. My current CEO was concerned that I'd leave him after I finished the degree. I didn't, I liked it far too much.

As someone who's mopped floors and sweated over a cook's grill, I laugh to be categorized by three lousy letters. Why do they have these views, I think, particularly since only 1% of the population gets a PostHoleDigger? How could one have any reasonable experience with employing these folks if it's more than likely they've never worked with them?

Well, they have very real concerns about whether I'm a good investment and 'fit' within the org. They may even think like this: "A navel gazing, arm-chair theorizing, absent-minded professor will just be too much effort to train. Fugghedaboudit. And, besides, must be a loser anyway since he didn't make it in academia."

Doesn't bother me. My job is to mitigate those concerns as best I can. I also recognize that there are quite likely many other people who are just as good as I am.

The employment process is a crap shoot for all involved. Candidates and employers obsess about the little things because they want to have control over something that isn't entirely in their control. But the process can't be scientized beyond the most rudimentary of algorithms. I don't pretend otherwise, whether I'm hiring or looking for work. Instead, I make decisions with the best information I have available: self-awareness as to what I want to achieve and how to get there, recognizging there are many paths and taking responsibility for the one I've chosen.


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Hiring Practices (was: Re: Inventing verbs): From: Bruce Byfield

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