Wednesday, July 03, 2013

The Dysfunctional Labor Market

If there's one "surprise" benefit I wasn't expecting when I clocked out and started to enjoy the decline, it was the sheer amount of effort, time, and resources I saved by never having to apply for a job again.  And not just the chronological time, but also the fact I don't have to deal with the bi-polar, passive-aggressive, psychotic traits of the labor market.

For example, I met a guy at the Liberty Mastermind Symposium who works at Miles Franklin, a precious metals dealer.  He realized I had advertising potential.  I realized his product was aligned with my audience and in what was no more than a 1 minute conversation, we had already concluded business and are likely to start setting them up as an advertiser.

Another example, Ed over at Ranger Self Defense.  For him and me to conduct business took all of two e-mails.  Him asking me to put ads on my site and me saying "sure."

Contrast this with negotiating for employment with a modern day employer.

First there's the "initial call."

Then the screening interview.

Then the 3 weeks that go by when they said they'd get back to you in 1.

Then you give up.

A month later they call for a second screening interview.

Then set a time for a phone interview with the hiring manager next week.

Oops, can we make it the week after.

Then another 2 weeks.

Then the in person interview.

Then the "panel" interview.

And when it's all said and done you've spent the equivalent of 3 weeks of full time work dealing with these inefficient, private-sector bureaucratic, morons only not to get the job.

The latest bank I worked at was so inefficient, that it took them 3 months to finally get around to making a decision.  I remember them setting up their 4th phone interview during which I purposely ensured to be drinking a martini when they called because of all their dicking around. 

Regardless, this article highlights and outlines how the situation is not improving.  So much so that it's just more straws on the camel's back to abandon "traditional" employment.  And I believe it has gotten to that point, especially for impatient and standard-holding people such as myself.  And you must understand how powerful a statement that is.

It is EASIER for you to just not go to college, pick up a skill or a trade, and start a business from scratch

than it is to

go to college, rely on the economies to scale of the traditional labor market, spend all the time sending out resumes, etc. etc.

In otherwords, the system has become so corrupted, so dysfunctional it is no longer efficient.  A 19 year old sole proprietor stands a higher chance at making more money eeking out some niche or morsel of a market than he/she does wasting their lives and sanity dealing with the HR ditzes, progressive credentialism, compliance, 4 hour meetings, and sociopathic bosses that plague corporate America.  You stand a better shot at being a freaking blogger than becoming a "valued employee" as an accountant at a Fortune 500 company.

So you all go to college.  You all go to those "networking events."  You all force yourself to act interested as the recruited comes to school to promise one of the 600 of you a job.  You get your bachelors, then masters, the CPE certifications.  Oh, and by god, you enjoy that commute.  The rest of us are going to the internet, meeting up with people who don't have time for corporate schmoozing bullshit, want to get the shit done, and make some money.  Our system may not be as glorious, but we'll be the ones waking up at 10AM and pulling down the real money and not having to talk to a therapist because of the psychotic mental environment of modern day corporate employers.


Phil Galt said...

One thing I am learning the hard way: Dealing with a big corporation does provide you with access to more resources. For example, one job we are bidding for will take about $10K in equipment and software. I can either purchase it myself, and deal with maintenance, depreciation, ect, or I can go to the mega-corp that has this in their lab (where curiously enough no one is using it).

Just so we are clear, I am looking for good deals on said equipment.

Quartermain said...

More truth and honesty in this article than all the business sections of modern day newspapers put together.

RJ said...

I think the article link is wrong.

adiaforon said...

And this process hasn't stopped since the first time I went for my first job ever, back in 1988. Then, all I had to do was fill out an application, talk to the head guy, answer a few questions, and then report to work the following week.

Mind you, I was 17 years old at the time and this was at a supermarket bagging groceries. But, the process wasn't automated and so much easier to complete.

I wonder what it's like nowadays to apply for a job at Target, etc. Though the application process is automated, there still is HR to contend with.

Anonymous said...

It's obvious evidence of the feminizing of the corporate world. They demonstrate both unrealistic hypergamy and hamster-based thinking in their hiring processes.

1. They set high standards way out of balance to what they offer in return.

2. They insist applicants jump through numerous hoops, and treat each one with disdain and dishonesty. Right off the bat, this will turn off some of the most exceptional candidates, but the corporation cares not. They have a "process."

3. They turn down multiple excellent applicants for only meeting 9 out of 10 of their arbitrary standards. They will often burn out their current workforce / lose out on opportunities in search of the "right one."

4. They reject talented candidates for being socially awkward or not scoring P.C. "diversity" points. They love mediocre candidates for being charismatic extroverts or for scoring P.C. "diversity" points. Rarely have any of these candidates actually talked to the top hiring manager at this point. This sorting process is still in HR or middle management.

Unfortunately, the economy has allowed companies to do this stuff and still get solid employees because people are willing to settle for less. But companies that do this will never get the best and brightest, and even the solid people they do hire probably won't stick for long.

In the end, though, the hypergamous HR hamster will throw up their hands and go "Where have all the good employees gone!?!!?!" Top management is either clueless about what is going on or would rather keep the beehive humming than shake stuff up.

ScottH said...

Synopsis: Learn how to do shit; hire people who have done shit:

Bruce said...

Hmmm, I guess I'm just lucky. 3 years ago (you remeber the great economy and all the jobs then?), I decided that I needed to leave the sucky company I worked for that had liked to me about their culture and what they wanted me to do. So I talked it over with my wife, and I reviewed job openings around the country that seemed interesting. I'm a chemical engineer with a broad and deep resume and a well cultivated network. I submitted 14 resumes over less than 5 months. I got 6 phone interviews within 3 weeks of sending the app, did 5 on-sites around the country within 3 weeks of the phone interview (I turned down a 6th because I'd accepted job), had 1 job posting cancelled (what a loser company!), and 3 offers within 1 week of the on-site. 2 the same day, for exactly the same salary (a 22% raise over what I was making at the time). Not bad for a middle-aged guy, but then I am an engineer with just the right experience. Minimal wait times, no hassels except for airport security.

Anonymous said...

"The Dysfunctional Labor Market"

Gee, Cappy, I tought that markets were always efficient.

I know you want to blame the government over this but ...

Could it be that it was a very bad idea right from the beginning to repackage work into employment and force workers to go through the job market ?

Sparky said...

Whenever you do not allow yourself to be honest with yourself about both what you want and need, dysfunction always follows. Whenever you read about a company interviewing lots of people for one or two positions, it is a good indication that they are not being honest with themselves, and/or do not know what they are doing and/or HR is involved.

Ask yourself, (and the Captain's post is a good clue), how many people you should you aim to interview for a given position? If you answered any number more than one, you are doing it wrong.

How many modern day do not follow this rule? Too many. And like sheep, they point to the others who also don't do follow it as a reason (read excuse) for it.

People who are serious about getting shit done and done right make sure to do their homework, get their ducks in a row and make it happen. Dilly-dallying wastes their time.

Quartermain said...

I went through the exact B.S. you described for a couple of jobs I had.

One was for the Des Moines Register (an idiot sheet not worth the paper it's printed on) and the Embassy Suites.

Neither job was worth having and both had very high turn over rates.

Herb Nowell said...

I would only deal directly with hiring managers. If the hiring manager is not allowed to hire without HR in the process I don't want to work there.

That's what I love about this job. I went from sending a resume directly to the group to having an offer in about two weeks. In between we had:

1. Knowledge test of the skill set.
2. Phone interview with two potential coworkers (in fact, they are my team lead and another member of the current team).
3. Programming test.
4. Being flown from Texas to Georgia for a full day of interviews, second programming test, and code review.

The longest wait was setting up the air travel in #4.

In fact, it was longer from getting the offer to starting. It was AFTER I got the offer that HR got involved and that's when things slowed down. Still, the group told HR "we have hired him with this salary and benefits package, make it so" without HR involved prior. That was great.