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Feb 20 2013

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Employment Frustration

interviewingIt amazes me that the stock market is reaching highs that we haven’t reached since 2007, before the recession. Yet, people are still out of work, or working 2 or 3 menial jobs to make up for what they lost. You would think the companies that downsized would be hiring again, since the economy is rebounding and making money, but they are not.  Most are only collecting applications, looking for that ideal candidate that can do everything at the lowest wage, while over-working their current employees. I realize rebounding from a major recession is going to be slow going, but you would think we would be further ahead by now, especially, if the stock market is reaching all time highs. I’m tired of hearing how the stock market is reaching highs while most of us are still struggling financially; and for those who lost their retirement fund in this recession, hearing about how the stock market is rebounding only adds salt to the wound. There has got to be a better way!

I think part of the problem is the way we pick and choose candidates. Job hiring and interviewing today has become a joke. The perfect way to find work and fill a position would be to apply for the position online, forego the in-person interview (this includes Skype), and have all positions filled within 7 days. This process would eliminate all bias from the process and actually fill positions in a timely manner – a win-win situation. The first person who had the credentials listed for the position and could fill 100% of the job description would get the job, and credentials would be judged by typed résumé, cover letter, references, and telephone interview only. Any falsification would result in an automatic fine.

That would be the ideal way to get a job, but things don’t work that way, do they? There are a lot of unethical interviewing techniques that are becoming the norm. Here are 3 examples: (1) Employers are asking for personal information (sex, age, and ethnic background) even though it’s illegal, but they get around it by listing them in a multiple choice layout and in a category called “optional” on the electronic application. However, they make it impossible to submit the application unless that area is completed. (2) Age discrimination – the phone interview goes great and you set the appointment date and time. However, once you get there and they realize you’re over 50, they let you sit in the waiting room past your appointed time, while interviewing younger candidates scheduled after you for 20-30 minutes at a time. When they finally call you in, they only give you 10 minutes in the actual interview before dismissing you. (3) Employers are keeping positions open for 1 ½ – 2 years. They interview and accept applications but have no intention of filling the position, and then say they are in the process of hiring. (4) Employers are asking for personal passwords to social networking sites. I really dislike this one. Since when does your facebook or twitter site effect how you do your job?

In my opinion, employers are asking for too much personal information, and if you tell them you’re not comfortable giving out that information, especially passwords, they tell you “then we can’t offer you the job.” They don’t want the candidate to embarrass the company. Since when did it become the employer’s responsibility for our personal lives and behavior? I thought we were all responsible for our own actions. Employers should only be responsible for the employee while they are on company time and on company grounds. It shouldn’t matter if the employee was injured while taking the bus to work, attends a New Year party and put pictures of it on facebook, helps at a nursing home, delivers pizzas on their days off, or plans on starting a family. That’s why we have flex schedules, vacations, and sick time. Besides, many people can work remotely today. We should not have to sacrifice our lives and our dignity just to get a job. There has got to be a better way!

 

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