Saturday, January 30, 2010

Job Search Struggles and Arrogant Employers

Just look  (Click here) at the nerve of the Human Resource (HR) of P&G to submit a job description that only a code breaker can decipher. God have mercy on the soul who gets invited for the interview.  If a smart person was chosen as the goat for this interview, the conversation may develop into something like this:

HR: Do you have experience with POB and SPOA?

Smart Interviewee (SI): (SI is perplexed and has rejected any prospects of getting the job. At least she tries to extract some humour out of the situation) Yes, of course! Is it similar to the PORP system currently utilized by your competitor?

HR: (baffled) err...yeah. So how many MCS/LCS projects did you undertake in your previous job? What were the key KPIs?

SI: I succeed to implement the CBS platform in five MCS/LCS projects. They key KPIs were PI, PBT, EBIT, and NOPAT.

HR: Aha! Great, seems like you will be perfect for this challenging role of MRM in the CBD-TIR department.

SI: (SI thinks, “What in the world is wrong with this HR lady?” But slowly growing in confidence that she might actually get the job, SI decides to play along.) Well, thanks. It is really nice of you to say that.

This can go on for a while, but some interviewees are not as smart as our Smart Interviewee. The following interview is a 100% real story. The victim: yours truly. In this recent interview that I attended, the interviewer was the COO of a mid-size company. I prefer to call him: Jackass. Here are some of the excerpts from the gory meeting:

Jackass: We need someone with reasonable work experience for this role. How many years do you have?

Me: As you can see in my resume (which Jackass should have), I have four years of work experience and two years of research experience as a graduate student.

Jackass: Ah, you seem to be overqualified for this position. I am not sure if this experience is relevant at all.

Me: uh, OK.

Jackass: Tell me how you make your decisions?

Me: Being a scientist and an engineer, I am naturally data centric in my decision making process. But, in business environments, where lack of data is not uncommon, I believe my pattern recognition, methodical approach, and logical frameworks will be quite useful to make superior decisions.

Jackass: I don’t think so. You see, you are too analytical. We need someone who is intuitive for this position. Decisions must be made without data.

Me: Sounds like gambling to me. Anyway, do you have any more questions about my experience?

Jackass: Tell me about your leadership experience.

Me: (After going through a well rehearsed script) As you can see, I have demonstrated leadership and teamwork skills through my participation and accomplishments at both work and outside the job.

Jackass: This is all good. But, I feel there is something missing. You see, we are not looking for the “best qualified” person for this role. What we are looking for is the “best fit”.

Me: What are looking for in the “best fit”?

Jackass: This definition is pretty liquid right now. It is subjected to alteration based on case by case basis.

Me: (Exhausted by this tomfoolery) Well, please let me know about the outcome of this interview then. I appreciate your time and interest. (What I actually wanted to say was this “Why don’t you shove the chair up your backend as I can barely differentiate between your front and the backside”)

This is an insane environment for anyone to find a job. First, employers seek for relevant experience. Then cometh the skills set, especially the soft skills. Last but not the least, “fit” is the nightmare word for any interviewee. An evil word that can dash any hopes of getting a/the job. I hope the bloodbath in the job market is over soon. It is plainly ridiculous when HR of employers utilize arbitrary parameters to judge a candidate as described in the above narrative.

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