I was recently speaking with an old friend who has been out of work for almost two years. This person has an incredible employment record, proven success, and outstanding references. Unfortunately, he fell victim to our downsizing economic collapse. His last employer is no longer on the planet, so his last employer does not exist, except in the memories of those thousands of employees who also lost their jobs along with my friend.
He is growing frustrated in his job search. His unemployment had run out so he decided to try an experiment after reading one of those articles, written by some recruiting Guru that said “if you’ve been out of work for over a year, you’re not hirable.” He sent in two resumes to a company hiring for a senior Human Resources Manager position and on one he listed he was still employed by that company that had gone out of business and the other he used his real resume, but with a different name. Guess which resume got the phone call about setting up an interview in two days? Yeah, the one that said he was still employed to a company that no longer existed.
Next he decided to apply for another position using two resumes (different names) but on the resume that said he was out of work for over a year, he beefed up the resume. Where it asked for Bachelors, he put Master’s degree. Where it asked for five years, he put 10. Guess which resume got the call for the interview? Yep, the young sounding recruiter told my friend that they were impressed with his very basic resume and wanted to interview him if he could take time away from his job.
Now this is where I have to voice and have voiced my opinion with companies out there. I previously published an article about the benefits of hiring overqualified people right now. joltleft.com/workplace-issues-in-seattle/education-vs-experie…
It’s a win win if you invest into these veterans of the workforce. I mean what you have to lose except opportunities to make your company and business better. I mean if you could purchase a Porsche or Lexus for the price of a small compact car, wouldn’t you do that? If you could pay the price of going to the local zoo but get an African Expedition, wouldn’t you do that?
The conspiracy theorist inside that part of my brain that I try not to use, may say this is all part of some diabolical plan to further the republican cause and destroy President Obama’s stimulus plan. But I really believe the problem is with the economy crashing, businesses kept the employees that cost them the least amount of money. They moved people around to do multiple administrative positions. This is a huge problem in the Human Resources field. The boss’s executive assistant, who may be great at handling the affairs for the boss, now is also in charge of the Human Resources functions of the company.
“I mean how hard is it to hire someone?” “You have an interview, if you’re impressed with them, you hire them.” We don’t need an HR Professional. Or, this was the former H.R. Manager/Director’s assistant and we kept this person to run the HR Department that we downsized. They have just enough knowledge to make them dangerous. This person is normally, younger and or has little experience in Human Resources functions or laws, but likes to talk to people so they should be great at interviewing people. Now don’t get me wrong, I am not bashing young people here. But you know exactly what I am talking about. It’s the person who got a job as a receptionist because they like to talk to people. No college, spent more time in high school involved in other items than studying now they are responsible for maintaining federal, state, and local employment laws, best practices, and company policies.
Never mind that they probably don’t understand the Federal or State hiring laws. How hard can it be? An example, is it ok to ask someone if they are married? Seems pretty harmless, I mean that way you can see if they will fit into the group of people they are going to be working with because they are all single and as part of their team building go out on Friday nights and tear up the town. Or are you asking because you want to find out if they are married and you really want someone who has no commitments or distractions from working the 70 hours a week you hope to get out of them? Or is it because you think they are hot and want to or hope they will ask your out later?
So how old are you? What’s the harm with asking that? I mean, were going to find out when we hire you because you’re going to have to give us your photo i.d.? We just want to see how old you are because it will help us fit you into the right work group. I mean, just because you look in your thirties, does not mean you might not be in your forties. We would hate to put you with those old folks who are more worried about getting their job done than partying after work. Or maybe we want to know because if your older than 40, you might be the one who uses our health benefits too much and causes them to increase, so hiring young people helps keep our medical insurnace benefits cost down.
Do you go to church? What is wrong with that? I mean were all Christians here and we just want to know if you’re like minded as we are so maybe you can join our prayer group at lunch and we can continue to praise God in our way. Are we all Christians? Are Lutherans the same as Methodists or Mormons? Are Catholics the same as Holy Rollers or Pentecostalism ? And are all of us Christians? What about the practitioners of Hebrew, Gnostic, Hindi, Sikh, Islam, Zoroastrianism, Wiccan, Buddhism, or any other belief? What if your just one of those atheists who doesn’t believe in anything, heaven forbid? You don’t believe someone might discriminate against someone from another faith? Especially one that might be extremely mis-understood or have social stigmas against them, like wives of legitimate polygamists not the child molesting ones?
Your company needs to invest in professional recruiters or Knowledgeable Human Resources Processionals as you hire and grow your company. There are many recruiting companies out there, but take the time to go meet their recruiting teams. They will send a mature representative out to your company to meet with you, but what are they using as their hiring team back in their office? Is it the seasoned workforce professional or the kid who is working on finishing their associate’s degree in something and hopes to be something someday? Again, not picking on the young, but experience comes with time.
Also, do not follow these outdated and archaic hiring practices that say, “if the person has not worked in over a year, don’t hire them.” Remember, were into the fourth year of a recession. We still have over 6 million American’s out of work and more getting ready to join them with the closing of NASA and other businesses and who knows with what is going to happen in our future.
Hire the person based on their experience, not the dates on their resume. Hire the person based on the needs of the job and also don’t be so scripted in your interview process and job description to pass up on a golden opportunity. Yes, this overqualified person may leave you once the economy recovers, but they may not. Either way, you have gotten an opportunity to drive a Lamborghini at work, instead of a Gremlin.