Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Takes Longer to Find the Perfect Employee Than Train a Noob

It has happened at least, LEAST 5 times now where either I've applied for a job that I would need training in, or have had a recruiter call me up asking me if I know anybody with a very rare skill set.  In all instances I asked,

"are they willing to spend the 2 weeks to train me/him/her in?"

And in all instances the answer was,

"no, they need somebody to hit the ground running."

Sure enough I would get a call from a recruiter looking for that same rare skill set or see the same job in the want ads a month or two later.

The idiocy doesn't end.


Anonymous said...

Just guessing but I suspect the 'HR ladies' can't get credit for a good hire under their robotically keyword/skill/credential/years-of-experience based metrics if they let the team hire someone who isn't a 100% match and needs like half a day to familiarize themselves with the in-house software.

KurtP said...

I'm happy to teach anyone who wants to learn what I do.
But if you act like I'm wasting your time trying to show you a better way to do things and operate equipment the right way...enjoy being in the bottom of that ditch for the next 40 years.

The boss and I had a talk with the Vatos over a month ago about calling in when they'll be late (a weekly occurrence) and f*cking listening when someone tells them something.

But- hey, enjoy the *blank* man telling you what to do until you can't do it anymore. I'd have fired them a month ago, but the boss hates firing people, and won't even wright them up....

KurtP said...

Sorry, that was the wrong right...

Anonymous said...

I've been playing this game a long time, and as an experiment I started creating fake resumes using common names (dismantling the Google search option). I would create the perfect job candidate for the ad (mostly newspaper or government, sometimes Craigslist). When answering online ads or newspaper ads not from craigslist, I almost never got a response.

My theory is these ads are legal theatre. The company or hiring manager already has someone they intend to give the job to. Which doesn't bother me, but I normally follow up with those companies (keep track of everything with an excel file) to look for an opening that their internal candidate presumably left, and find nothing. Either they eliminated the position or its responsibilities were covered by other employees. No matter what, there is no real expansion of employment going on.

I like the Captain's ideas regarding the connection between the HR checklist and women's attitude toward dating, and I think this plays a role too. It's happened more than once where I created the perfect resume, work history and cover letter and didn't get anything but a rejection letter, then a few months later I see the position is still unfilled. I really don't get that. (What makes my experiment work is my parents own rental property that I can use for my own address; if they're figuring out my scam just doing a Google search, I'd be shocked).

I can't comprehend it. I really can't.

Amy said...

Thing is, even if you have a highly specialized or obscure skill set, there is still a period of time needed to adjust yourself to your new boss's expectations, the new corporate culture, new co-workers, new settings...employers act as though they can just hire a bunch of autopilots to perform tasks, not humans.

Lanterne Rouge said...

They can't train their own staff. They haven't got the experienced staff (moved into executive positions / retired / outsourced) and the junior staff are making it up as they go along or covering the gap that they're trying to fill.
Besides, if you let department heads do on-the-job training, there'd be no need for certification. Then where would HR be? Next thing you know the dept heads could handle their own hiring and HR would be back to being clerks.

Terry Smith said...

Weirdly, IT, the world's most advanced industry, practices the worlds oldest procurement method, hunting/gathering.

That is, they pick up what is already there - they have not advanced to 'agriculture' yet...

Donald Knuth said that one person in 50 has the brain wiring to do computers.

This is a trait, not a behaviour, that is, it cannot be taught, the way basketball coaches say you cannot teach a man to be seven feet tall.

What the industry should do is filter for these gifted individuals and train them. They do not.

Instead, they leave the individuals education and experience to chance and attempt to poach those with proven excellence.

Their yield would be much higher if they practised some methodology in this.

IT is dumb.

Anonymous said...

""are they willing to spend the 2 weeks to train me/him/her in?"

And in all instances the answer was,

"no, they need somebody to hit the ground running."

- The really dumb part of that is that unless that really rare skill set is 100% portable, that it probably takes a couple of weeks for the experienced guy to learn enough about that companies specific "stuff" to be really effective anyway.

Dave said...

Training noobs might work if you could first give them an aptitude test to weed out the imbeciles. But aptitude tests have a "racially disparate impact", so they're illegal.

So yes, it takes longer to find that perfect employee, but when you do, he's probably not going to sue you, at least if he's an able-bodied, non-Hispanic, straight, Christian, American-born white man under age 40.

American employers are responding rationally to government regulation, just like Chinese shopkeepers:


Chris said...

I've seen (or interviewed) for quite a few positions that require 5-10 unique skill sets (that I have) and keep an eye on the company afterwards (Google alerts).

As most of this has to do with design and internet marketing, it's easy to see when they've done something that moves in that direction. In almost all cases, there is nothing to show that they've actually hired anyone with the skills they were looking for.

It's really mind boggling- but I chalk it up to a lot of desperate people willing to blow smoke and 'fake it until they make it'. Unfortunately they never really do.

Anonymous said...

Depending on the skill, it could take 6 months to 2 years to make someone come up to speed in the skill your searching for to the level you want. The person might not be able to perform the skill ever despite your best efforts, and they may leave for many many reasons in the middle of your training. You may have a business need that also can't wait for the year it might be need to train someone.

So rather take a risk on something that may never pan out, they rather pay more and get the sure thing.

Pulp Herb said...

@Terry Smith
"Instead, they leave the individuals education and experience to chance and attempt to poach those with proven excellence.

Their yield would be much higher if they practised some methodology in this.

IT is dumb."

Not to mention other fields want those 1 in 50 as well because the same wiring is an advantage in other ways. I'm a quant which isn't technically IT but programming is a big part of my day.

So, they're poaching from IT while non-IT is poaching them.

Omega Male 2012 said...

Obviously somewhere in an alternate universe, there is a polar opposite of this blog named, "Crusader of Credentialism"

JC said...

A lot of companies are being stupid, but labor laws and legal liability make things harder as well.

If a company might be hit with a discrimination lawsuit or whatever by a disgruntled former employee, they're going to spend more resources trying to get the "perfect" candidate rather than hiring and trying people out.

Least that's how it is in Australia. I'd love to walk into an engineering office and say I'll work for free for a couple of weeks so I can prove myself, but that would be illegal.

Anonymous said...

Some of these HAVE to be fraudulent job postings, the job having already gone to an H1-B employee.

This post shows how to spot one:


Captain Capitalism said...

Omega Male,

You just nailed it.

I now know what my purpose in life is.

To run into "Crusader Credentialism" in a dark alley and beat the f&cking shit out of him.

Dance...dance to the radio said...

I've been up for jobs in the past where I was told that I was not the most qualified candidate.
They told me that they were going to offer the other guy the job.
That guy turned it down because he said he wouldn't get out of bed for the kind of money they were paying, so I got it.

In another case, they gave the job to my more experienced job hopping friend who lasted a year and a half before he jumped ship ahead of being shown the door. He's had a half a dozen jobs since then always with the same result.

In the next, my boss, who was on his way out himself, passed me over and hired an incompetent as a middle finger to his boss. That guy lasted a year and a half before he got shown the door. (Hint: When your business is feeding people in business meetings at noon, it is not the best time to disappear for a prayer session.)

Finally, after being passed over a couple of times I got it.
I lasted six years, more than my predecessors combined.
I could have stayed there longer, but I really wanted to sing.
No, I didn't.
I wanted to be an engineer, instead, and went back to school.

Mark Adams said...

The only reason the process looks so, for lack of a better word, $%*@ed up is that you're not looking at it from the perspective of a baby boomer. If you only hire people who are already that exact job, logically there are only two places that they can come from: your own company or your competitors. In either case, the only people you're going to have in your eligible talent pool are people who have no company loyalty, which means:

(a) there's no obligation of loyalty to them (if as a boomer or a 23 year-old girl you're even capable of parsing that idea as a coherent thought), and

(b) there's a much better chance, compared to a 30 year-old single guy who has 45 years ahead of him in the workforce, that the chronic job-hopper won't stick around long enough to vest in your pension. Make a point of only hiring late-50s, early-60s married folks, who are just treading water until Social Security kicks in, and will put up with whatever deplorable conditions you get your kicks imposing for a couple years, and you're set with an inexhaustible lode of short-term success.