Thursday, September 13, 2012

Fight the HR Power

From our Canadian Agent in the Field and I want you youth to pay attention to this.

Dear Mr. BOB,

I was going to apply for the job of RFP proposal writer, but I got about 
halfway through your absolutely retarded human resources survey, 
( and gave up.

I can only tolerate a limited amount of this kind of drivel, which 
likely makes me a poor match for this job, and for your agency.

If you're interested in discovering candidates with genuine experience 
and a useful skillset, this is not the way to discover them.

Yours truly,

Now I want you youth to pay attention.  I know you have student debts. I  know you have dreams of working hard and becoming the best at what you do. And I know you want to find an employer and give it your best in the hopes they reward you with a promotion and additional income.

However, your dreams and desires are NOT worth the humility, shame, and mockery that is required today by most employers.  Namely the BS you have to go through to demean yourself in front of what can be described as nothing more than power-tripping HR bastards in the mere hopes that you maybe, possibly, hopefully get that precious little interview. 

The above e-mail comes from a more-than-talented  individual who is capable of doing not only the job he was interested in, but his would-be boss' job.  When he applied he was requested to spend 75 minutes of his precious life filling out questions.  Questions that have nothing to do with the job and are nothing more than a myriad of hurdles created by the psychotic HR matrix to create themselves "make work" to make it seem like they are relevant to the hiring process. 

Now, again, I know you want to do well.  But inevitably you need to have self-respect.  And it is here that HR and its minions have crossed the line and you (youth as a collective) need to stand up for yourselves and draw the line.  Additionally, without such guidance, you will be condemned to spend more time applying for jobs than you did getting your degree, so please heed this advice.

1.  Don't think for a second it is you that should be "grateful" for being able to have the "honor" to work for these schleps.  This is a two way street sold to you as a one way street.  COMPANIES NEED EMPLOYEES JUST AS MUCH AS EMPLOYEES NEED JOBS.  However, because of the lousy economy employers think they can just lord jobs over the masses and make you little pawns dance (and I have heard more than one HR lady say "well, with 9% unemployment we can just choose whoever we want").  Frankly, fuck them.  If they're going to engage in such trivial antics and make you dance for a job, to hell with them.  First, you wouldn't want to work for a company that is that psychologically twisted.  And second, for once, the socialist government policies can actually help you.  Collect a government check before working for these assholes.  If you don't believe me that they're being trivial, please click on the link above and then click the "next" button in the bottom right.  Start taking the quiz, step back and ask yourself the question, "how pathetic and sad is it they're asking me such questions?"

2.  If you don't think HR has a power-trip problem, ask yourself another question - what gall does it take to ask for your facebook password?  And forget facebook passwords, who looks people up on Google?  What you don't understand is that the people who are in positions of power in HR are old fogeys.  They don't realize that a fair amount of your private/social life is on the internet.  It was never intended to be your business life and no doubt you keep your personal and business lives separate. But the old farts in the corporate world lack the intellectual honesty to leave your personal life out of their hiring decision.  And so they deem it their territory and right to invade your personal life.

Why would you tolerate this?  Why would you work for such a firm?

Yes, they are the ones offering the job. But you are the one offering your labor.  And until the HR rep allows you to investigate her/his personal life to the level of "The Firm" then they should not be asking of you the same.  Besides, any forward thinking employer would realize their future is with the youth and the youth have a fair amount of their social lives on the internet and thus, their social lives are none of the employer's god damned business.

3.  Understand you stand a better shot at finding employment REFUSING to interview with companies that require HR interviews and going directly to the hiring manager.  The HR personnel usually conducting the interview is going to be a 20 something female who has NO CLUE about what your field is or the job you're applying for and is going to ask asinine questions.  Your time is better spent refusing such interviews and applying for additional jobs.

4.  Speaking of applying for other jobs.  Don't bother filling in Taleo or Brass Ring resumes.  You know the companies that require you upload or e-mail your resume, but then also require you re-enter that exact same data into their special little "application template."  You can send out 20 more resumes to more competent and professional employers in that time if you don't bother with such hurdles.  If they HR department is so lazy they can't bother reading through resumes and rely on "parsing" technology simply looking for key words, they weren't going to hire you anyway.

5.  And finally, attitude.  You may think the above e-mail would ban the applicant from ever getting a job.  Quite the contrary.  It's been my experience that I've gotten more job offers or interview offers where I've been direct, blunt, even insubordinate and said, "No, I'm not interviewing with HR" or "No, I'm not filling out this application" or "No, here's my resume, if you don't like it, fine, but I'm not filling out your brass ring."  I even got two jobs from me cursing saying, "If you're another piece of shit little community bank that can't get its act together, then I'm not interested."  You must treat HR like you would women (because, well, they are pretty much one and the same).  Be strong and frankly, treat them like crap.  You'll get a better response than being supplicant and confirmatory.  And at least you'll find a job/employer that jives better with your personality.

In short, the lesson is simply this - HR and employers have in large become so arrogant that they can start demanding requirements that are not just insulting, but invade your personal lives.  That has crossed a line.  You can either choose to hold the line and tell them to pound sand or become supplicant, jump through all their hoops, waste away what finite little time you have on this planet, and, (in the rare instance they hire your) work a sucky job that YOU KNEW WOULD BE SUCKY because only sucky employers employ such sucky hiring tactics.

HR needs to be obsoleted.  And the only way that is going to happen is when employees and applicants start standing up for themselves like our hero above and starve employers out of their labor.  I don't care what the unemployment rate is, I don't care if you have to accept government money, there is a line and HR has crossed it.  Please have a modicum of self-respect and refuse to apply for positions that require HR interviews and such inane surveys.

This has been a PSA from your beloved Captain.


Anonymous said...

Captain, can't say I always agree with you, but in this regard I'm 100% with you.

The whole Brass/Taleo thing...just say no. No company has ever hired anyone that way, at least for any job you want.

Facebook password: leaving aside my white hot hatred of that site, if they ask, the answer is "no" but you can phrase it more nicely as "once you give me yours, your boss's & your company's and I can evaluate whether you are a security risk, and I will consider it"

Though you might wish to consider what sort of arrogant organization even thinks it appropriate to ask this.

Arguing back... I like it, if you are polite and dealing with a manager not and HR flak. If the manager likes you for the position they will appreciate you taking offense to the BS.

(I know a 50yo engineer who was told by some HR flak (after he had been told he had the job), that corporate policy was that he only got one week vacation until he had X years seniority as if he were some green hire. He said "I'm sorry, that will not do, I'm sure you can match my previous 3 weeks. No?" No. "good bye" and walked out the door. 24hours later he gets a call from the head of HR saying "there had been a mistake" and a bit of negotiation later he "mysteriously" had 3 weeks again.

Mayberry said...

I would add "don't work for peanuts" to that list as well. I had a guy just today offer me a rather suckish job for 12 bucks an hour. I told him I wouldn't piss on him for 12 bucks an hour.

Anonymous said...

captain, u mad

SM777 said...

I concur that this "survey" is make work BS for the HR ditzes. What is really good about it is that a person can somewhat con these fools if a job is really needed. All one has to do is ask the question "What answer would the perfect corporate drone give?" Is it that easy to get a decent job in Canada? (I think I saw Canada somewhere as a reference)

I believe the best mindset to have is to consider the HR ditzes as "marks" in a con game. If one is unemployed and has the time, why not? Just brush up on your acting skills.

I noticed that there is a middle option answer for these questions. This is good, because one can perform the sitting on the fence stance if the "right" answer is hard to guess.

Finally, I know that tests like this are complete bull____. What I really, truly find surprising is that there are morons out there who are stupid enough to invest in companies like this. I mean, wow! HR Depts. are moneypits best avoided yet incompetent corp. managers use them on a daily basis. I can understand companies on the govt. dole using HR Depts. (Like Gov. Motors/GM; Chrysler, the TARP banks, etc).

Fortunately, there are still dynamic companies, which are competently run, and which are still hiring. They're just not in the USA anymore.

A good example of a free market businessman is Mr. Durante in the TV Series "Hell On Wheels". He doesn't care about one's "personality". He doesn't care about what an employee does on his personal time. Whores, tobacco, gambling, guns, whooopeee! It's all OK with him as long as the work gets done in a proper and timely manner. I am surprised that this is a mainstream media program (AMC) and that it glorifies the free market in this manner.

Get this, in the series, the local whores only charge a dollar. But it's a one ounce silver coin. Precious metal, another item the mainstream media considers to be a vice!

kakola said...

A long time ago, after floating along for several years in jobs that lasted an average of two to three years each, I arrived at a big company that had an HR department. The HR head was generally dismissive of me, telling me I was a drifter and wouldn't be there in five years. I regarded that as a challenge and stayed for 9 1/2, which was really about 6 years too long, especially as they had a burgeoning HR department which became more and more obstreperous as time went on. When I got mad enough I quit and went on to smaller companies that paid better and had less in the way of HR interference. The long term company is no longer around, but the questionnaire you've linked to shows that the HR folks they employed still are. (are you reading this Becky?) I filled the questionnaire out in the traditional way - left, right, left, right, left. I was hoping I could send it off to someone who thought they were important but it didn't seem to work that way. Too bad.

Think I'll go and play golf tomorrow.

Anonymous said...

This is why I work manual labour jobs. No office, no HR (I am currently hired directly by the boss), no paperwork, no illusion of a future, feel great at the end of the day and because my brain hasn't been spent poring over useless documents my brain power is still untapped for that day so I can spend the afternoon (since I start early and beat the morning traffic) working on my dreams.
I was dux of my school and almost went the PhD route and after HR ditzes wouldn't hire me I said to hell with them and the corporate world. Best decision I ever made.

Carnivore said...

Ja, it's pretty disgusting what HR departments have become. From my 3 decades of experience in engineering, I watched as the 'Personnel Dept.' morphed into HR.

Back in the day, (80's to early 90's), the Personnel Dept. collected paper resumes that were snail-mailed in (that's all there was), sorted them according to the job type (engineering, management, manufacturing, etc.) and put them in binders. If you had an opening, you'd spend some time in Personnel, browsing resumes to find some candidates. Personnel then arranged the interviews, handled making offers and brought the new employee in the first day, explaining the health plan, procedures, etc.

Thanks mainly to the government and judges who awarded ridiculous amounts of cash, Personnel turned into the HR monster we have today. Instead of just promoting a secretary to now handle the work in Personnel, HR people now have their own credentials and the dept. has a large budget which is milked by outside consultants and the like. Every year, new changes are rolled out, just for the heck of it, to make it look as if these parasites are actually doing something.

drama said...

I had a similar type experience recently.

I wrote about it here.

I was turned down on the basis of a phone interview. No actual analysis of my work ability in it just pure BS.

Andrew said...

I've got a Mutually Assured Destruction level response to the FB password request that I would love to try out on an HR drone.

"I'm afraid I can't give you that. I may or may not have made lifestyle, religious, or political decisions that would place me as a protected class in the eyes of the Federal Government. If I were to give you that password, and I were refused the job, I would be forced to assume it was a discriminatory decision based on the contents of my private Facebook profile. This will provide me grounds to file as suit with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. I maintain a retired prosecutor for the US Attorney's office on retainer. Do you want that password?"

kurt9 said...

I've only taken one of these tests in my past. It was for a technical sales job in the semiconductor industry.

I found the test asked questions that had very little relationship to the job I was applying for.

Some of the questions ask whether you like working with kids or old people as compared to, say, doing engineering or mechanical work. Since technical sales involves dealing with one's "peers" (e.g. technical and professional people in their 30's to 50's), working with kids or old people involves personal skills that has nothing to do with any kind of professional work, including technical sales.

I was told the test was to measure how extroverted I was. I said that I have moved several time in my life, including places with completely different cultures (e.g. Japan, Malaysia) and was able to create a new life for myself with new friends and activities. If that is not extroversion, then extroversion is a meaningless concept.

Nevertheless, I got dinged out of the job based on this test. The hiring managers wanted to hire me. But the HR lady did not. It did not matter in the end because the company was located in the Bay Area (I am not) and they would not have been willing to pay for my relocation. What makes it even more stupid is that the manufacturing was in Japan, but all of the customers I would have been calling on were in places like Texas and other states, but none of them being in the Bay Area.

In other words, they wanted to me to relocate at my own expense to what was probably the most expensive place to live in the U.S., only to work out of an office that was not located near the manufacturing plant nor any of the customers.

Talk about screwed up bureaucratic thinking.

I will tell you that most companies using these kind of candidate screening techniques have screwed up corporate cultures and, thus, are not good places to work anyways.

SM777 said...

Hi kurt9,

With that in mind, can you imagine anyone investing/purchasing the stock of a company run in that manner? That is why, were it not for the hyperinflation (dollar depreciation) that the US is going through right now, the stock market would actually be around 2,500 points. Of course, a lot of these companies will lie about their earnings to continue their con of the shareholders. Have you seen the price/earnings ratio of some of these major companies? It's outright fraudulent.

I know of a company, based in OH, in which none of the managers, even at the supervisor level, are employees. It's a well known firm which I will not name. However, they are all self-employed contractors. They receive 1099's every year, not W-2's. "Affirmative action" and gender/race quotas do not apply to them at this level, and it appears to positively impact their bottom line. There is not much HR can do about them since they are not employees, but contractors. The line people, (admin. assts., phone staff, etc.) are a different matter.

Anonymous said...


Herr Wilson said...

THE Worst job interview question ever:

"Have you painted before? If you had a choice would you do the trim or use the roller."

Obviously, the question was trying to find out if I was detail oriented or not. Oh...And this was after she was digging her ears with her pinky and looking at what she had dug out.

Maybe the appropriate answer should have been:

"Why don't you paint my behind with your tongue?"

Jones said...

Captain --

I'm holding out hope that the Internet winds up making "Human Resources" obsolete.


As someone who outsources to limited companies and vice versa, I want to see people with a clue, more than a little skill, and enough attitude that says things will get done regardless of obstacles. I don't care about degrees -- they're often "free play" as long as you stay in the system in many countries.

When I find out some of the names of the people who are or will be involved, I want the Google Ministry of Truth to show me either nothing at all or some very, very good instances where they've said funny, insightful, or brutally honest things.

If I find nothing at all, I know I'm dealing with someone who can keep his mouth shut. (I say his -- I mean his. I observe the water cooler traffic and do not grade it on a curve in a "gender-appropriate" way.)

I do concur with the television show "White Collar" -- the best reputation often is no reputation. Silence is often strong. Silence often has a considerable pair of balls, or at least a measurable level of backbone.

If I find something that shows I'm not dealing with a Plug-Compatible Human Computing Object, especially if that something shows that person has had to deal with Really Difficult Things, then we might talk.

I've experienced four hour "interviews" that ended with my telling the HR bitch that I'm not interested in her company anymore because it can't get to the point. I got away from this by dealing with people who can get to the point.

A company led by its HR and its crappy hires basically tells me it's "safe" for paper-pushing imbeciles, not people who get things done, who advance our billing rates, who make deals and who share in innovations. It tells me it's a "battery farm" like in "The Matrix".

Unfortunately, unlike the Matrix "battery farm", you can't flush HR because they stop up the pipes. :-)

Anonymous said...

Jut FYI, asking for another person's Facebook login credentials is a violation of Facebook's Terms of Service (TOS).

"You will not solicit login information or access an account belonging to someone else."