Sunday, May 24, 2009

A Criticism of Employers in America - Conclusion

When it comes to the tradition of employer hiring practices in America, there is probably no one reading this that hasn’t been labeled overqualified at some time during their lives. Granted there is some understandable reasoning from the employer’s perspective in this occasional practice, the fact remains that it insults the intelligence as well as creates an unnecessary roadblock in the path of someone seeking a job, a career, or simply a means to survive; people still need to eat, abundant experience and/or education achievement notwithstanding. The resulting logic of being tagged “overqualified” is that perhaps if a job candidate were capable of either dumbing themselves down, suppressing their ambitions, or hiding their education achievements, it would make them more employable.
When all is said and done, American employers need to abandon that logically-devoid dingy called blind adherence and try hopping aboard the good ship Reality. Just because you are unwilling to turn away from the old ways does not by any means mean that they are working. Expecting job hunters in this Save-Every-Buck-I-Can economy to travel excessive distances—on their own dimes—on the off-chance that they may actually be selected for employment is hardly realistic. This economy is affecting everyone…if employees and job hunters have to adapt, so must employers. Just because the current economic reality favors employers doesn’t mean common sense should be abandoned. They should really consider telephone interviews. Unless the prerequisite for a potential job includes sexual favors on the couch in the interviewer’s office, there is nothing that can be done in person that can’t be done over the telephone (and yes, I know that makes entirely too much sense, but then I find most decision-makers lack the critical thinking skills they are often looking for in employees). Insofar as "determining whether a potential candidate has the skills we need," that's what resumes and supporting references checks are for. Interviewing charm can be manufactured, so it behooves an interviewer to be more objective in their assessments of a potential employee.
Also, keep in mind that just because a job candidate has a loose thread on a button or scratches their head is no indication that they will potentially bankrupt an employer’s company. Too many individuals who believe that they are working in the best interests of their companies are way too judgmental. Not everyone is a salesperson, or possesses a salesperson’s persuasiveness, even as it relates to trying to get a prospective employer to consider them for a position. It doesn’t mean they lack confidence…it just means that people are different. Even more so, many lack the insight to “see” the outside-the-box thinker that many employers are often looking for, often mistaking plain-spokeness, uncommon beliefs, or a high-level of self-confidence and intelligence—all traits of self-motivated and innovative thinkers—as not being a “fit for our company.” The scenario is analogous to one of those Hollywood movies where a sophisticated thief has broken into a high-security museum, and is preparing to steal the Crown Jewels or some such item. He/She cannot see the infrared security beams until they adopt the special goggles that allow them to see the beams crisscrossing around the item. Well, looking for an innovative, outside-the-box thinker who could help an employer meet their goals is a lot like those movies. One cannot “see” an innovative person unless using innovative insight (or their old eyes as it were). In simplest terms, it takes a thief to catch a thief. Maybe American employers would be more successful if they would concentrate more on substantive attributes of potential employees, such as academic performance, personal adversities overcome (which demonstrates many positive traits), experiences and references, and leave the “behavior” observations to those more trained to observe such. Furthermore, tests that would actually measure potential job performance as it relates to whatever particular type of job being applied for (and not something that “demonstrates” aptitude or is done simple to “weed out” other similarly qualified individuals) would go a long way toward finding the right individual for an employer.
And lastly, employers could stand to be a little…no, a lot more professional in their dealings with job hunters. The American job hunter’s time is just as valuable as anyone else’s, and the time it takes to put together and send a resume or other job inquiry should be reciprocated; employers owe people interested in working for them the courtesy of response to inquiries, even if it is just a form response such as an automatic reply e-mail. It’s gotten so that those seeking work have become more professional in their endeavors than employers.
It’s understandable that for many American employers, good employers are hard to find, but not quality employees. If more time and effort were actually invested in seeing good potential employees instead of looking for them, perhaps American employers wouldn’t be in the same boat as we consumers and (ex-)employees, looking to survive in an economic downturn that is hurting employee and employer alike. Remember, it was who many chief employers decided to choose to employ that was in part, the cause of this economic downturn.


  1. Generally speaking, women are better listeners & more observant interviewers, but they also have a tendency to be more judgmental...not a good thing for objective thinking.

  2. I totally agree with Me...I'm a woman who works in human resources and you're absolutely right...we can be very judgmental when it comes job candidates. We are just different: Interviewing for men is about the exchange of information-who, what, when, where & why ("just the facts ma'am). Women tend to use conversation as a tool to explain who and what they're about. I don't expect men to change who they are for the sake of an interview. I think women need to understand that dynamic before they are able to be better interviewers.

  3. Finally...I am glad someone put these ideas down in thought!! I've always wondered whether or not employers want good employees, or good "interviewers." Most have their heads up there asses so far that they cannot think outside the box...but always expect to hire someone who CAN actually think outside the box. These are different times and its time these pinheads think beyond tradition and traditional training!!!

  4. I respect what was said, but after seeing (the ethnicity of) whom it had come from, it holds a lot less water. I'm in the same boat - emphasizing perfection in each detail of marketing and presenting myself correctly. High GPA, scholastic honors, recommendation letters - none could secure even an unpaid internship. There should be a point when you it my resume? Is it my social networking site (of which contains no traces of my "off line" persona)? Or is it because they're looking for a blonde with half the qualifications (and likely to ask even fewer questions)? I "feel for ya brah'". But no one cares whether you have a family to care for, or debts of your own to repay....until they're in the same boat as you. Then they'd expect the same or similar compassion they themselves failed to deliver. Until then, you're on the outside looking in.