So someone who puts "used C sharp on projects" gets the same "yes" as someone who describes, in detail, their extensive C# projects at various organizations, large and small.
And, no, we don't even get "5%" for opinion.
The reason is, according to the HR contact who so directed me, almost every hire ends in at least one lawsuit from a candidate not selected, claiming unfair hiring practice.
I can imagine that regardless of your hiring procedure you may get people who feel sour about not being picked and will take some action.
As far as I was aware in most jurisdictions you can reject a candidate for basically any reason you like as long as it isn't related to race , gender or one of the other protected classes.
Rejecting a candidate because their resume is poorly written (suggesting poor communication skills or poor attention to detail) doesn't seem like it should be something which would be controversial and I'd certainly be curious what argument could be made to a court that it should be otherwise?
edit: I worked at another government agency in this same state before, and the hiring procedures were not quite as strict (we could evaluate resumes more holistically), so I think it's probably just this HR department.
The effects of this are very well known...
Instead of hiring the best person for the job, you end up hiring the person who meets the minimum qualifications (which are lowered greatly in the process). Then mediocrity, bureaucracy, and incompetence takes over the place. Further, a system of red-tape is created to hold it all together.
C'mon, you need to think like a bureaucrat: Just add "clear written communication skills" or "Can write details about past projects associated with C#" or whatever level of specificity you need.
Yes, it's a dumbass game.
Requiring strong written English to carry boxes could be considered unfair. But for a job that involves written communication?
Government budgets are so awful for a similar reason. A rigid, bureaucratic process exists so that they can always document a lack of corruption. Of course the result is sometimes silly, like when an agency is short-staffed but buys Aeron chairs for everyone--because there was money left in the equipment budget, but they were not permitted to shift it to the contractor or staff budget.
Here this is extremely common, also when you fire people.
So, if you have insider info, you know that:
First, if people suspect you are black, homosexual or a women from your resume, they don't interview you in first place.
If you DO get to the interview, then it switches, they hire you even if there are better candidates.
This is not so strong, the real problem comes in the firing.
If a company has 20 engineers, and need to fire 3 to reduce costs, they will fire straight white males first, because if they sue for discrimination, the company can easily defend itself (what sane judge would believe that you got fired for being white, straight or male?).
If they REALLY need to fire a black/gay/woman/whatever then they do a mass firing (like, say they are closing the department), and hire back the employees they want.
And most important of all, they do everything they can to make employees don't know about this, because when they do, tensions quickly build up, with white straight males sabotaging or acting passive agressive toward everyone else as a sort of perceived self defense (since they don't want to be fired unfairly).
All of this also apply to disabled persons too, in Brazil your company is obliged to hire 3% of disabled persons if you have more than 2000 employees. Several callcenters operate with 1999 or they comply with the laws by firing abled persons and hiring disabled until they have 3% of disabled so they can hire able persons again (ie: if you have 1999 employees and zero disabled, start firing abled people and replacing them with disabled until you are sure that when reaching 2000 you have 3% of ables).
Again, this create some crazy tensions, with disabled employees getting sabotaged or attacked passively by other employees, that upfront all of them praise the company for being pro-diversity, but behind everyone back want to just keep their jobs.
In the interview we have to ask the same questions of all candidates. So we can't go from their resume and say "tell me about this project X on your resume". Instead we have to ask generic questions, and if they don't refer to their resume projects, that's a problem.
We can do skill tests, as long as they are "objective" and all candidates get the same skill test.
So my approach is basically interview everyone who meets the bare minimum criteria, make sure they bring up relevant resume projects in the interview, and then hit them hard with skill tests, and sort from there. Seems to be an acceptable "work around" to the fairly rigid and heavy HR prescribed hiring process.
Most folks don't realize it, but the phrase above is redundant. Intrinsically, the function of HR is CYA for the company. By the time you have full-blown HR, CYA is present.
One example: Need to fire someone? Trained HR folks will help you navigate the minefield of legalities.
Making a suboptimal recommendation knowing it will harm someone else more than it will harm you. Diffusing responsibility. Inflating estimates. etc etc.
Maybe other people have different experiences, but I've never met an HR person who did one and not the other.
Additionally, good HR strategy includes implementing events, training programs, talent development strategies, etc., so that retention and promotion of existing employees is just as important as recruitment of new ones.
A reasonable KPI, in this case, is turnover (both by volume and by average employee timespan). The ability to find world-class talent by the bucketload is all but wasted if existing employees tend to bounce after 6 months to a year.
This is part of the Innovator's Dilemma--people tend to keep doing what is working "well enough" because they can't be blamed for that, and opportunity cost tends to be invisible unless it's looked for. Meanwhile, a competitor with less to lose is more likely to take the risky bet. If they succeed, they eventully beat the former incumbent.
Edit to add: in the case of hiring, CYA can mean hiring someone who's no different from anyone else currently employed in the company--and therefore perhaps missing an opportunity to create positive change.
Thanks but no thanks.
One of the companies my father owned, he one day went to see something at the police station, and saw open book of wanted criminals, and found half of his employees there, and all of them were in the same criminal group, while inside the company they behaved like if they did not knew each other until they met at the workplace...
But probably I would refuse to take a drug test too. But sometimes companies are between a rock and a hard place.
In a functional working environment, if someone shows up incapacitated, you would show him the door there and then. But in the dysfunctional environment that we are in, if someone shows up incapacitated and kills someone, the company can point to the drug test, claim that they have taken due care when hiring and are off the hook. This needs to stop.
Right, that's exactly the point, you don't need drug tests to find nonfunctional addicts.
I'm pretty far OT here WRT drug testing, but anyway a good HR department should be more than a cover-your-ass paperwork machine.
My father distanced himself a bit from management at the time, since he is the tech guy (he invented all the machines that the factory manufactured), and management was happy to hire locals, so many employees were hired off the street (ie: random unemployed people that reached the door and asked to do blue collar job)
Drug tests are counterproductive, because not only do they not dissuade drug use (empirically), but they push drug users towards drugs like cocaine, which are detectable in drug tests for only two days, instead of drugs like marijuana, which are detectable for several weeks.
The only drug you can really test for effectively is marijuana, and I frankly couldn't care less whether an employee uses marijuana - medicinal or recreational - in his free time, just the same way I don't care whether he drinks alcohol or smokes cigarettes.
Finally, it's nobody's business what an employee of mine chooses to do after work so long as it doesn't impact his work performance. If it does, that's reason enough to fire him right then and there, without any need for a drug test.
I'm also impressed by your assertion that employees will think, "Shit, I can't smoke weed, guess I better start doing coke!" It's like the whole "gateway drugs" thing, except he skips straight to the hard stuff because the gateway isn't available to him.
In my personal experiences, I'd have to agree with Steve and I personally would rather hire someone who has taken LSD vs someone who hasn't. To me it doesn't show irresponsibility- it shows a sense of exploration and creativity.
Exploration? perhaps, but boredom and peer pressure are more likely explanations.
As the author says, that is more or less what to expect when a company grows past a certain size.
It's human nature (not one of the high points of it), or better the nature of mature/large companies.
I'm sure there are exceptions (Google ? Facebook ?) but my personal experiences sort of confirm that.
I'm not saying that it's not possible to "thrive" in such organizations, since they offer plenty of pluses (stability, more time to adapt, resources, mobility, variety), it really depends on one's nature, and on what he is looking for.
However, as I've recently unhappily discovered, our current interview process often suggests just the opposite. As a passive candidate myself, I've actually terminated several interviews for far lesser offenses than what we are guilty of.
Things are improving quickly now that more of us are aware of what has been going on, but I'm now a bit more willing to tolerate other companies' hiring sins than I was before.
My experience (EBRD) was that it was possible to switch from temping (got that through a friend) to contracting to employee (I turned down the last). Friends at the World Bank used a variety of methods to join, but all benefited from talking to professionals inside along the way. These tips are important, but it's far better to have the HR person know that there is existing demand for the applicant.
There are so few exceptions to this it's not worth worrying about.
However, it may be everything that matters for writing a CV - as when you're in the interview, everybody (hopefully) will be looking at you and your real skill description, not the CV.
If you happen to be a contractor working for Volt, Adecco, Robert Half or some other staffing firm, then you are in a different league and are often in a worse position than as an established employee or a truly independent contractor... you might have some basic benefits and 401k, but this is body-shop territory and it's advisable to consider this situation as non-permanent.
I come, I go, I get paid. Simple, without any entanglements.
Source: College career fairs. BigCos come and recruit people in hordes. Around 60-70% of people graduating from UT, Austin went to a BigCo (Google, MS, Amazon etc)
Microsoft and Google and such usually had their own separate events, and I'll grant they were more serious about hiring people, though they mostly seemed to hire people who'd already been their interns.
Thus they are just the filler needed by BigCo to compensate from the continuous braindrain. Once they have the skills and know the ropes, they'll either get promoted or leave for an employer of choice.
Too many engineers on this site live (work) in a bubble. The rest of the labor force doesn't have it quite as good.
Since almost all large companies are doing this, it means you'd have to ignore half of job offers, and the vast majority of people can't afford to be that picky, especially in the current job market.
I've talked to other minority students during my time in undergrad and grad school and it's pretty crazy how many of us are plagued by impostor syndrome. I'm talking about incredibly high performing individuals who are near the top of their field at a prestigious university that don't know if they are there because of their abilities or their skin color.
I think the reality is that these days being a minority is not a "burden", it's an advantage, and an unfair one. It would be better if it was just a non-issue but I guess we're just not there yet.
Being a minority is a long cry from being an advantage. I agree with you that I'd prefer it to be a non issue, but we're definitely not there yet.
Oh, and I'd expect that overall, the distribution of eye color in the tech world would be overall roughly equivalent to to the normal population, yes. And if there were people running around, actively complaining how green eyes give you an unfair advantage while green-eyed people are under-represented, and yet other people telling us how green-eyed people are stupid, couldn't possibly do tech, are a threat to the American Way Of Life(tm), and should in general not be so uppity, then yes, we should look at that.
You might be able to make an argument for the tech workforce reflecting the demographics of people with CS/engineering degrees, but not of the population as a whole.
Leaving eye color aside it's a simple fact that members of some groups are much more likely to go to college than others. Black males, for example, are more likely to go to jail than college. Of those who do go to college relatively few study computer science. Are we supposed to be surprised that there are few black coders? Is my company racist because I don't hire non-existent black computer science graduates? Give me a break. There wasn't a single black person in my CS program in college but there were several East Asians and at least one Indian.
Who are these people who think that companies are racist against blacks and Mexicans but not Indians or Chinese? Ever work in tech? Ever notice how many Indians there are? That's some mighty selective racism.
No, I am not.
> ...couldn't possibly do tech, are a threat to the American Way Of Life(tm), and should in general not be so uppity
So, the analogy then is that some people are saying these kinds of things about minorities. If I can speak frankly: Who says this kind of stuff or thinks that way besides idiots? If someone is still racist in this day and age then there is little hope of changing their thinking. Those kind of people should just be ignored.
That said, I broke my rule the next year, sent in a resume and went through a grueling process to ultimately get hired at a small consulting firm. Breaking my rule was a terrible decision, but fortunately its affects were quick to take effect, and short-lasting.
It was an awful job for me, but the company had a round of layoffs 90 days later that I was caught in.
My foot hit the pavement that day, and I realized it was the best thing that had ever happened to me.
I'm currently at a fast-growing, profitable startup. I got the job by pitching work and writing my own job description. I joined the company as employee #12. Not once did anyone ever ask me for a formal resume. All they cared about were results.
I have a beautiful resume somewhere on my hard drive. But I have even better results that you can see in my actual work.
>if you are a minority, or from an under represented gender it will work to your advantage
This is part of the bizarre myth of black privilege that's been part of the culture since Reagan's race baiting. It's really rarely to your advantage to be black (or even have a name that sounds black), unless the environment you're being hired for is lily-white and has recently had a discrimination-based legal scare.
edit: to be fair to the article - it is describing exactly the time when being black is advantageous in hiring. But to correct the article - at a lot of business, the only time that they hire black people is when their racial balance has been criticized. So overall, any indication that you are black is not going to work well at a company who would be criticized about their racial mix, unless that company's problem is lack of applicants - if it's in Colorado or something.
Try to understand the mindset of the people you expect to be looking at your resume and create something that will get you into the interview room. An example is that the "resume" for my current job was a casual email that didn't include any normal stuff that would be in a resume.
It's a bit of a double standard, but they might have been expecting you to be dressed in a suit anyway. Good luck with the job!
I've encountered this. My current workplace has a notoriously laid back and straight-forward culture. Knowing this, I asked the interviewer who was inviting me to interview if I should dress up, or dress appropriately for the company culture. "I would recommend you dress up a little, and hope it's the last time you have to wear those clothes," was the response.
Showing that you are familiar with the culture into which you're walking is worth a lot in such situations.
Furthermore - whatever reduces the risk of that HR officer losing their job, or that of the manager. You can't get fired for hiring a person with 10 years of experience as opposed to one with 2 years, even if the person with 2 years experience may be a much better employee.
I've never worked anywhere with priorities like this, not even in the Australian Public Service (which certainly has cretinous hiring practices, but not like this). To begin with, most HR departments only lightly filter resumes submitted against a position -- if you get tossed out of the mix by the person in recruiting it's probably for a dumb reason (e.g. your CV lacks a crucial buzzword) but again, not these reasons.
>Why your tech CV sucks. And here's how we can help. By Dominic Connor http://www.theregister.co.uk/2011/11/10/your_cv/
>Think your CV is crap? Your interview skills are worse. Really, why do you even bother... By Dominic Connor http://www.theregister.co.uk/2011/11/17/connor_on_interviews...
I'm wondering if this is a meta statement (where database connection is interpreted as having a real life social connection to someone at the firm you wish to join)