Too Many Jobs?!?!?!?!?

Subject: Too Many Jobs?!?!?!?!?
From: Maurice King <benadam -at- CYBERDUDE -dot- COM>
Date: Thu, 3 Dec 1998 09:44:47 -0500

I've heard all too many people say that there's a surplus of jobs and not enough people. Only one problem: I don't believe it, nor do I feel any sympathy for the companies who whine that they can't find good people. Chances are they're not finding good people because their employee recruiting tactics stink!

In the short time I've been back in the U.S., I've experienced such ridiculous situations that it's no wonder to me that companies are hard up. Take a look at this roster:

The company that has plenty of "hot jobs" but waits two months before reviewing resumes, and then starts a process that drags on for six months, at which point the hiring managers go ballistic if a candidate drops out from sheer despair or from having received an offer that he/she knows is for real.
The company that hires contractors sight-unseen without even checking to see if their experience and knowledge mesh gears with the requirements of the jobs they have open.
The company that hires people for one job and then discovers, after the hiring, that they needed people with an entirely different set of skills for an entirely different type of position.
The company that "hibernates" after an interviewing process and calls back six months or more later.
The company that talks big but doesn't deliver; the benefits turn out not to exist, the working conditions turn out not to be favorable -- you can hum the rest.
The company that claims to want employees but is generally abusive towards them after they come on.
The company that details the requirements of a position for a candidate, only to bring him/her on for something totally unrelated later and then accuses the former-candidate-now-employee of having misrepresented his/her qualifications in the interviewing process.
The company that says after an interview, "We'll give you a call in three days; if we don't, call us," and then talks to the candidate as if he/she had never been there.

Pardon me if I don't go on.

I'm sure there's plenty going on behind the scenes, but I really don't feel the slightest bit of sympathy for the companies who end up short staffed. No company promises employment until retirement any more, so when the tables are turned, companies let people go without warning. In the end, every person has to act as if he/she were his/her own boss and to behave as if self-employed, even if he/she is going for a salaried position, because self-reliance is the only job security left today. A person who can't do the job alone might as well look for another line of work, because chances are it will be necessary in the future; that's just the reality of today.

I know that I've networked to make contacts with companies, but I've also learned to squelch my enthusiasm because most companies talk more than they deliver. It's also not out of line to demand EVERYTHING in writing nowadays, because every person stands a good chance of having to litigate or at least to threaten litigation against an employer that defaults. It's tragic, in my opinion, but there's no denying the fact that whatever work ethic used to exist is now only a vague memory.

Another topic that has always baffled me is relocation. Once I relocated with a major computing company to another location and, to my utter astonishment, discovered that the company fully expected me to relocate without missing a day of work, not even on moving day! I only asked to take off moving day, and the conditions of my employment agreement specified that if I were to fail to relocate within six months of hiring, my employ would be terminated immediately. However, when I took the day off to move, my manager called me to tell me that company rules specifically stated that no new hire was entitled to take a day off for any reason whatsoever unless he/she had completed six months of employ in the company! As he told me, the company regulations were that I should be dismissed, but he would let me off "this one time." I see this as nothing more than an intimidation tactic. Fate had destined that this manager would get the boot two months later, and a month after that, the s!
ite was closed for good. In effect, I had relocated to be unemployed; fortunately, however, I was well equipped to freelance, and I had plenty of connections, so I didn't even feel the loss financially.

I'm still keeping eyes and ears open for a great job, preferably on the West Coast, but I've learned not to be deceived by elegant propaganda. It's not arrogant to be fussy; it's actually a way of minimizing risks. I learned that through harsh experience.

- Maury

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