Tuesday, April 12

jobs and recruitment in the UK

Spotted a job advertised by Office Angels today that highlights the hypocrisy and incompetence in the UK working environment. Many employers these days go for surface quality and lists of requirements rather than true in depth quality. The other thing that is important is a ridiculous name for the position you are advertising. So now someone that develops a web site can be called an 'engineer' and any job can have the word technician or executive tagged onto the end.

Anyway, admittedly my language abilities are not the best, but when an employer requests that the applicant should have excellent communication skills, one would expect the advert to reflect this requirement.

I don't think this Office Angels sentence for an IT Support position in Basingstoke satisfies the advertisers own requirement:

"Good communication skills is also extremely important and you are dealing with them on the phones all day."

Who is them?
How many skills?
Who are these communication skills?
Why do they have to be dealt with on the phones?
How many phones is the person responsible for?
10, 2, 50?

This isn't unusual. Employers of all types run adverts with bloated expectations which not only exceed the potential candidates abilities but also exceed the advertisers own competence. I recently had an interview at a big employer, lets call it organisation X. I was lucky to get an interview. Why?

Well because the HR department of Organisation X failed to send out any interview invitations for the position. When it came to the day of the interviews, no one turned up (including me!). So the manager responsible had to phone up every candidate, asking why they hadn't attended the interview. Once it was clear that the fault was with the employer, a new date was set for the interviews.

This same employer had the usual list of requirements, excellent this and excellent that. Of course part of the problem is that the internet has taken over the job hunting market. Employers no longer send out replies to every application, so the applicant doesn't get worried about not receiving any communication about the job they just applied for. The result is that when things go wrong, no one has a clue why. There is a good reason why traditional two way communication was established. It was to establish a process that minimised errors, the same principles apply today whether using the internet or traditional post. If someone applies for a job, that application should be acknowledged. It just isn't good enough to say 'if you don't hear from us within 5 days, assume you have not been successful', this breaks all the rules of reliable communications. The very same principles that allow the internet to work in the first place.

Things are bad enough with so many pointless jobs being advertised, but it is made worse by the fact that we have so many incompetent recruitment systems, dominated by internet companies that are themselves pointless.

BTW apologies for bad grammar and spelling mistakes, but it isn't me that is making ridiculous lists of requirements when advertising for a job. I suggest you sort out your own house before requesting your new recruit to sort out theirs.

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