Re: Hiring Practices

Subject: Re: Hiring Practices
From: Jerry Kindall <kindall -at- MANUAL -dot- COM>
Date: Thu, 3 Apr 1997 11:46:48 -0500

Beth Mazur wrote:

>Given this, I suspect that searching the net as part of the hiring
>process is not remotely illegal (unless it leads a manager to discriminate
>against a member of a protected class). Of course the ethics of searching
>the net as part of hiring practice is a completely different discussion.

Regardless of its legality, it seems completely ethical to me. People seem
to want the benefits of unlimited freedom of expression and self-publishing
available on the Internet, without taking responsibility for the
consequences of what they publish.

Is refraining from hiring a tech writer because they mentioned on their Web
page that they aspire to be a novelist unfair? Probably. But that's the
big fat hairy world for you. We all know the world isn't fair, and those
of us who have been paying attention realize that attempting to legislate
it into fairness has proven to be an exercise in futility.

For everyone who doesn't hire you because you want to write a novel,
there's someone else who doesn't care, and maybe even someone who will hire
you BECAUSE of that. OK, so you won't get that job writing a yet another
anonymous manual for some big corporate monolith, but you might get the job
writing background material for a new interactive game. Which is more
interesting to you?

The face you present the world is the face they will see when hiring you.
If you want to get "creative"-type jobs, you should put your best
"creative" face forward. If you want a dull, corporate job, you should
strive to be as dull as possible. You cannot separate your Web/Internet
persona from the real you and expect potential employers to guess what
they're really getting. Should someone hire you because you have fooled
them into thinking you're the type of person they want for the job?

More to the point, do you look at a job as a privilege your employer is
giving to you -- or do you look at your talent as a valuable resource you
have deigned to share with your employer for a price commensurate with its

If you look at things the first way, then you'll be upset when a potential
employer passes over you for another candidate for some reason that seems
to you trivial and irrelevant. If you look at things the second way,
though, you'll be glad those dorks didn't bother you with that trivial and
irrelevant job offer. You didn't want to work for them anyway.

And I'd much rather be in the second frame of mind.

Jerry Kindall (on the PowerBook)
Manual Labor "We Wrote the Book!"
kindall -at- manual -dot- com -

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