Thursday, September 12, 2013

Mediocritization, Genericism and the Death of the Individual

Generally speaking, the purpose of my blog is to provide advice for job seekers to assist them in gaining a better result from their efforts. There is a sad trend taking place right under our very eyes. Hiring practices are increasingly discounting that which defines us as people and employees. While hiring processes are evolving and processes becoming more technical in nature, interaction and communication among the parties involved is devolving.
It is ironic that most companies go to great pains to emphasize and trumpet their mission statements that claim their purpose, their mission is to produce things, or provide services meant to help people, improve lives or make the world a better place or whatever high-minded and lofty set of values they claim to stand (or hide) behind. Yet hiring practices that are becoming more and more disconnected from human interaction send a very different message.
Just this morning I spoke with an accomplished professional who shared with me his frustration about the lack of any interaction with a company that was considering him for a director-level marketing position, as though they wanted to minimize their interaction with him as much as possible. His assumptions are not without merit and I never enjoy telling people about what I recognize as the increasing shift to intentionally remove the individual as much as possible from the process of hiring. They won’t tell you that’s their goal, and they may not even personally recognize it, but shifting to more and more digital means of filing and adapting software to the process to save time and money cannot have any other effect. Software tools are handy and helpful but there is not now and never will be a replacement for human interaction. Advocates of these trends claim they are refining and standardizing processes for a more consistent result.
Ironically, I communicate with hiring managers who complain they are seeing hordes of people that more resemble a generic sampling. I contend the reason for this lies in the screening processes that result in most applicants never being actually considered, as a result of the increasing lack of human interaction, leaving out many otherwise good potential employees. Worse yet, believe it or not, I occasionally hear human resource personnel lament about their disdain for having to deal with individuals who seek employment, as though their inquiries are unwelcome distractions. Fortunately, this latter group is a minority but that mindset of sidestepping the individual is emblematic of an unfortunate trend.
So where does this leave you, the reader, who feels the same as I do about hiring processes that dehumanize and discount you from the very moment you seek to apply? Changing times require changing methods and the job market is evolving; evolve with it. My book describes methods of pursuing and finding opportunities, with subsequent suggestions as to how to establish direct contact with hiring managers; in essence I suggest how people can flip the process around, thus setting themselves apart right from the start. Anything I suggest is a result of the same best practices I have been effectively utilizing and adapting for over 20 years. Sadly, a blog format does not allow for more detailed explanation.
I know the job market has tightened, but if you have a good background and have performed well in your job and find yourself getting nowhere in your efforts; do what I do. When I am confronted with companies that don’t recognize the value of what I can deliver in services, when they are fixated on the irrelevant, reluctant to do what will bring them the benefit they seek-- when I find myself talking to the wall, I walk away and find companies that will value what I have to offer and, believe me, they are out there. However, you must be prepared to invest more effort to find them; point-and-click solutions are not always enough. Often in life you get what you give. When times are tough you’ve got to innovate.
Feel free to comment about this post (no registration required)


No comments:

Post a Comment