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Old 08-21-2014, 03:53 AM   #1
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Default An ugly truth about hiring

I know a lot of people are out of work right now and some folks are desperate and want a chance, any chance, they can get to prove themselves.

I had a couple of positions open up. Technical but entry level and something we can teach most anyone to learn if they aren't scared of a computer. This is more complicated than writing emails but not so complex that you have to turn into some kind of wannabe hacker.

Well, as usual we received a pretty wide range of resumes and it was a good batch. I think I had at least a phone conversation with every person who submitted.

Here's the thing. In almost every case except one, they were unemployed. Some folks had families they needed to feed, some people had moved to Texas in hopes of finding work here and savings are running out, some people had graduated college and were desperate to find something before student loans kicked in. Cars had broken down, rent is due, money is tight, family is in the hospital, you name it and these people were going through it. Everyone has a sad story and everyone needs that job.

I had TWO positions.

Where it sucks is that I can't pick the two best sob stories. Hell, in some cases I think we may have had a 5 way tie. If I chose on worse circumstances I still don't have enough jobs. Then I'm out of work because my boss is going to want to know why I didn't hire the best qualified applicant, so I couldn't do that if I wanted to.

Yeah, I don't want to do it that way anyway because as bad as I feel for these people I already have employees who look to me to keep them employed. Destabilizing the team with bad hires will not add value to us as a group. If the one over-confident douchebag with rich parents was the most qualified (they aren't) then I have to hire them.

Part of the reason I'm posting this is because, yeah, I feel guilty about it. I hate it. Reality sucks. I have a responsibility to my family, my team, and my employer and all of those have to come before a stranger on the street. I hope to make some of them team members in the near future, but I cannot rescue them all.

Some of them, which may be some of you for all I know, will be upset. They'll despair and say "Why not me? Why did I get passed over?" Just the nature of the competition. We interviewed a lot of good people and where I could I passed along a resume or two to other teams. It's the suckiest of reality shows where the losers don't get a thing for playing except for some wasted time and gas. However, it is also not personal.

I've been there. I've been desperate and unemployed. I sympathize, but it also doesn't mean a damn thing. I know what it feels like and I know it sucks. I can't save them all. I wish I could.

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Old 08-21-2014, 04:08 AM   #2
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Old 08-21-2014, 04:10 AM   #3
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I would pay no mind to the sad stories on the resume's. A resume is not the place to disclose your current financial woes. Interview the people that gave you professional reason to take a closer look. All you can do is employ the person that has the most potential to be an asset to your company.

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Old 08-21-2014, 04:19 AM   #4
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I would pay no mind to the sad stories on the resume's. A resume is not the place to disclose your current financial woes. Interview the people that gave you professional reason to take a closer look. All you can do is employ the person that has the most potential to be an asset to your company.
Fortunately, these aren't resumes. Usually comes up on the phone or in the face-to-face. We've brought in quite a few and I can't think of anyone who didn't at least get a phone call. It was a good batch of resumes and most of the candidates were pretty good. Ironic that makes it harder.

I'm sure a few will think I'm a heartless bastard. I'll live with it.

If I show that I care, and I do, it might give them false hope. I wonder what some of them think when they mention their circumstance and barely get a nod from me. Never brought up my problems in an interview so I was never in a place to judge.

This adult responsibility thing? Sucks.
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Old 08-21-2014, 04:31 AM   #5
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Keep working your butt off for a paycheck and you will become less considerate of the blame and excuses people have for their misfortune.

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Old 08-21-2014, 06:56 AM   #6
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Fortunately, these aren't resumes. Usually comes up on the phone or in the face-to-face. We've brought in quite a few and I can't think of anyone who didn't at least get a phone call. It was a good batch of resumes and most of the candidates were pretty good. Ironic that makes it harder.

I'm sure a few will think I'm a heartless bastard. I'll live with it.

If I show that I care, and I do, it might give them false hope. I wonder what some of them think when they mention their circumstance and barely get a nod from me. Never brought up my problems in an interview so I was never in a place to judge.

This adult responsibility thing? Sucks.
I can't recall ever telling a potential employer I was in bad financial shape. I can recall saying I was doing better than I really was doing. I wanted to appear that I was doing OK and couldn't be hired for peanuts.
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Old 08-21-2014, 07:15 AM   #7
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CJ,

I'm completely in agreement with you. A job interview is not the place to expose your financial problems. It's not the potential employers problem that my rent is due or my car is out of gas. Besides, a potential employee should be Impressing you with what he can do for your team and your company. If he's whining about his problems, he'll probably turn out to be self-centered during his employment.

If I were you, I'd pick the two best candidates based on who you feel would be the biggest asset to your company and your team. They are the most likely to work as a part of the team and do their best to distinguish themselves as valuable employees and by association, you. You are not a charity and you are not in this position to "save" people. Do the best for your employer by finding him the two best employees out there and you'll all be happy with the choice.

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Old 08-21-2014, 09:30 AM   #8
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I always hired the ones who said they wanted work, not a job.

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Old 08-21-2014, 09:33 AM   #9
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A resume does not tell ethics, personality, or level of common sense.

Develop a test using job descriptions and the company employee manual.
The questions can but don't have to be multiply choice or have yes/no answers.

Sometimes, I would rather have someone who will work well with others and can be taught over a college grad or someone who knows the subject already.

If the job calls for an electrical technician, then test on circuits. If the job is using spreadsheets, then ask for formulas to format cells. Ask how the applicant would handle a situation.

The task of selection may not be easy, but the weeding out the incorrect applicant can be interesting and rewarding.

As a side note, I like to start a question with "How do you ....?". When their response starts with "You ....", that is not the one I'm looking for. I want the one who responds with "I ....."
That tells you a lot about the person.

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Old 08-21-2014, 09:53 AM   #10
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It's never easy. Remember you cannot be all things to all people. Your job is to find the best match between applicant and job opening.

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