You need to know stuff…

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(Decided to expand upon this posting http://www.jadedtech.com/2009/04/16/it-running-out-of-ideasfollowup/ )

I am seriously questioning some business recruiting practices.  I seriously wonder about these big companies that seemed to be afflicted with a ‘dumbed down’ HR staff. It’s like the IQ level of HR has dropped in direct proportion to the economy. Some examples:

At one interview for a basic tech support position, not a single word was offered about the position itself. You’d think that I wouldn’t have to ask about ‘what will I be doing’ because we all know the postings rarely accurately describe the job. They tend to be overly general and ‘duties as assigned’ so that they can nail you with any old thing they think of on the fly. So in past times, every interview I went to, I was told about the position except this last interview. How annoying.

Example #2. Same interview, they mentioned a second interview.  That’s fine and normal when you are interviewing quite a few candidates. They also hinted at a 3rd interview?! Ok, you know this is just a tech support position. Not some CEO or Department Manager level. See, these guys posted anonymously on Craigslist (not really out of the ordinary) but then emailed out of the blue asking me to fill out their questionnaire. I could only have assumed it was the same company as they never mentioned the CL add. Fine, filled out the questionnaire(this is considered the 1st level of screening). Then they call me for an interview (as described above, 2nd level of screening). Then they want a 2nd/3rd interview(3rd and 4th level of screening). Geeze. To top that all off, all the questions I was asked were “tell me about a time when…”. It’s like they have no idea how to interview people or assess someone’s skills.

Example #3. Admin Assistants love to state the obvious. I’ve seen this one posting show up on this recruiting site 3 times now. (I applied to it twice already). So I call them up to find out what they are really looking for (their so-called ‘requirements’ list is ungodly huge, more below). First, navigating through their phone system wasted 5 mins of time, I ended up in the company directory and could not get out. I call back, and get an admin assistant. So I tell her that I’d like to talk to someone about a posting I saw. I give her the job number and she proceeds to tell me how to apply! Not only is this condescending, it completely ignores my request. WTF!? I then tell her I’ve applied to it twice already and want to know more about what the company is really looking for. “Oh I can’t tell you anything about that, I’m an administrative assistant.” DUH! That is why I said at the beginning that “I’d like to talk to someone about this position.”! She then transfers me to one of the Recruiters voice mail (of course they aren’t in at the moment…) and I leave a message.  Dumb, dumb, dumb. While this may be stereotypical, I bet she’s blonde too.

Example #4. Job postings that don’t say anything. Seriously, how can someone apply when the job posting doesn’t say much more than “You need to know stuff.” Here’s a direct example:

Qualifications:
1. University degree and/or 3 years related industry experience
2. Excellent facilitation skills to both internal and external stakeholders
3. Knowledge of organizational systems as they impact other studies and projects
4. Demonstrated ability to work in a collaborative practice model with an interdisciplinary team
5. Relevant industry experience in order to provide leadership to project teams in provision of voice & data telecommunication processes
6. Current knowledge and experience with quality improvement processes

So, seeing this is a “Computer Technician – Telecommunications” position, from a large and supposedly respectable, corporation, what are they looking for?? Does anyone even vaguely see any sort of ‘technical requirement’ in that list? “Facilitation skills”, “collaborative practice”, ‘relevant industry experience”(Umm, if you told me what KIND of experience, maybe I could tell you…), ‘Quality Improvement process” (Is that KAIZAN? ISO?? What???).

Example #5. Don’t ask for the world of skills! Really! Learn to create a brief and to-the-point job posting. I really do seriously question companies to list everythign under the sun for requirements.

“Windows, Linux, Unix, OS/2, JavaOS, Hardware, Networking software, Networking hardware, Networking security , Intranet, Internet, Servers, Applications – desktop, Security software, Word processing software, Presentation software, Mail server software, HTML editing software, Data analysis , Database software”

I think they didn’t leave out a single Operating System except VMS.  If they had, I wold have immediately broken out my VT100 Terminal and showed up ready for work! Some may look at the list and say “That ain’t so bad…”, allow me to post up their ‘specific skills list’:

“Maintain, troubleshoot and administer the use of local area networks (LANs), wide area networks (WANs), mainframe networks and computer workstations and peripheral equipment, Evaluate and install computer hardware, networking software and operating system software, Operate master consoles to monitor the performance of computer systems and networks and to co-ordinate access and use of computer networks, Load computer tapes and disks and install software and printer paper and forms, Provide problem-solving services to network users, Implement data, software and hardware security procedures, Perform routine network start up and close down and maintain control records, Perform data backups and disaster recovery operations, Install, maintain, troubleshoot and upgrade web-server hardware and software, Set up local area networks and connections to the internet, Implement network traffic and security monitoring software, and optimize server performance, Modify web pages, applets and scripts, Research and apply meta-data to web sites and register web sites with search engines, Respond to requests for help and information from web site visitors and web site designers, Perform web-server backup and recovery operations”

Seriously people….about the only thing I think missing is SASI certification. (Goolge that one you geeks…)

For those of you who read this and are in a position to hire people, learn how to post a job posting. It serves no one, least of the companies, to post up requirements that only God him/herself has, nor does it help anyone to say ‘you need to know stuff’ with zero details and nothing but generalities.

Here’s my resume for the ‘need to know stuff’:

Skills:
– Knows stuff

After the recent futility of applying to jobs, this radical departure from “diagnosed connectivity issues with various network tools” to “can fix stuff” can only help because so far, nothing else has help on my resume recently. Ugh.

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3 Responses to “You need to know stuff…”

  1. The Jaded Tech Says:

    Thanks…sums up a lot actually 🙂

  2. The Jaded Tech Says:

    Thanks….more to come.

  3. The Jaded Tech Says:

    Thanks, its fun and I think everyone needs a good outlet for their inner voice.

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