Monday, July 16, 2007

A good old fashioned rant!

Frequent readers will know that I normally grouse about bad management practices and then whip out a little bit of advice to overcome the bad behavior.... well today is going to be a bit off that track. Today I am going to take a few pot-shots at Job Seekers!

We've all been job seekers before, but there are some ALARMING new trends I see among those who want to work for my company, and many of my fellow HR trolls tell similar tales around the cauldron, so I figured it was time to act.

First, if you want to get a job selling widgets at my company, you better know a lot about my company; exactly what type of widgets we sell, to whom we sell them to and why our widgets are better than the competition's. Honestly, this doesn't require a lot of work on your part - just read our flipping website and you can articulate all that pretty well - even if you don't really understand it. As simple as this sounds I am appalled at the number of candidates who don't even know what our widgets do! Kind of like me applying for a job running a cruise ship and not knowing it's name, size or even where it sails!

Second - I am the HR geek trying to help the Manager identify, qualify, assess and potentially hire you - treating me like a bellhop ain't such a good idea. If you treat me like crud I might imagine you'd treat colleagues and {gasp} even customers that way! There's NO quicker way to earn the dreaded "Thanks, but....NO thanks" letter from me.

Third - Be realistic. You'd be blown away by some of the unrealistic expectations candidates can have. YES - we do want to woo you, but we are NOT going to give you the keys to the castle on the first date. For example, remember that we are in business to make money - demanding half the profits from a new product is not realistic and will set you apart in a VERY BAD WAY! A corollary to that is, if this is your first or second job, please dont expect to make as much as that 20 year vet sitting next to you - we are not paying for longevity, we are paying for experience, not attitude.

Yes, this was a grand old rant, but it's needed!


As and when you start interviewing - remember these basics:
  1. Be prepared - Know all you can know about the company
  2. Treat everyone you deal with in the process as you'd like to be treated. Remember, the HR person you crap on in the interview process may well handle your payroll record some day!
  3. Be realistic about the company, the role and yourself - you may be good, but you are NOT the only person who can do the job - understand that no matter how sexy that job looks, somebody has to do the dirty work..... you will likely get your share of that along the way.


Wally Bock said...

Back in the days when I was a corporate manager and interviewing candidates to work in my part of the company, I had one test I gave almost every applicant. I took the applicant to lunch. It's interesting to watch how people treat the wait staff. If you're rude to them, you'll treat my people like dirt. I don't want that, so I don't want you.

bruce said...

Classic test Wally. I used to do the same with girls I dated in college. A nice person who is mean to the waiter is not a nice person.

Jewel Bracy DeMaio, said...

The third and final point you make about being realistic is critically important. I write executive resumes. Many clients who come to me have decided to end their long, successful careers of entrepreneurship, and for myriad reasons, have decided to re-enter the traditional workforce. I frequently counsel these clients in order to manage their expectations and their attitudes going in. Simply because they ran ABC business for 15 years and made commendable profits year after year, they cannot portray themselves on the resume or the interview as a person who is going to come in and take over the employer's organization. Executives in this situation have to get a realistic handle on who they are, what their role will be, and work within the employer's parameters.

Jewel Bracy DeMaio
Executive Resume Strategist

Tom Gimbel said...

I couldn't agree more with your rant! As a job seeker, even if you are already employed and recruited out, your goal is to impress everyone you meet and make that company want to hire you. If you feel you are worth more than the money you were offered, then everyone you had contact with, from receptionist to hr to hiring manager better be able to say, "He was one hell of a nice guy!" With all things being equal, your inability to relate to management, staff, subordinates and clients is the deal breaker.