Tuesday, March 18, 2014

The "You Are Fired" Syndrome: Are We Really Hiring Based on Skills and Knowledge?

Hiring the Right One?
I don’t know if this thing really started with Donald Trump and his “You’re fired” reality show, or it simply happened that the show ignited in me this feeling that we are developing, whether we realize it or not, an inadequate way to assess professional competencies of the people showing up for job interviews.

But ever since then we’ve been able to witness how this kind of “characters”, whether real or fictional, enjoy significant visibility in the media, and they even get to be very popular through the shows they broadcast, where people, whom only wish to have better opportunities in their lives, are put through ridiculous and not-dignifying situations.

This last week I really had enough with it when I read in a local newspaper about Clio Almansa and her case, in the article entitled "Qué tan lejos estás dispuesto a ir para conseguir el trabajo?" ( I'll leave the link below. Sorry it’s in Spanish. No translation available yet).

Clio is a 22 years old young woman who underwent a stupid and humiliating test during a recruitment process, which costed her a back injury, and a temporary leave right after being hired for the job.

Thanks God, and the Internet, her case has achieved a strong visibility and hopefully would become an important call to deep reflection for entrepreneurs like you and me. At least I would like it to.

What is this monster we're creating?


What name can we give to that arrogant, cocky, almost pervert character who doesn’t have any kind of limits when simply releases all things that come to his mind  on a person who is simply looking for an opportunity to get a decent job and make a living?


Is it really necessary to take the person to the limit of their dignity to see what they can do or how will react?


It is one thing to conduct a recruiting interview in a way that allows you to discover the talents and not so visible competencies of a person, asking the right questions, performing different evaluation and corresponding tests, and it’s another thing - and an entirely different one - to turn the selection process itself in a “match to death” struggle between the candidates, based on your understanding that the person who needs the job the most, will be the one most willing to stoop to get it.


Behind you there are fifty others like you willing to do anything to get this job.


That way you’ll never find any valuable thing!

Quite the opposite, it appears to me it all has simply become an unnecessary and not-dignifying power demonstration. It's just like telling the candidate: "I have the job opening, you are the one in the need of it, so..."

We all know the current economic situation forces people to accept working conditions that, in other circumstances, they wouldn’t even dare to consider. I have it clear because I’ve been through it myself.

However, I think it's a good time (or should be) to banish certain flawed and unproductive practices we have been infected with.


An employee with poor working conditions, will never reach its maximum potential nor talk positively about your company.


Watching a TV show a few days ago, I heard about the case of a disabled person who has a full- time job, from 10 pm to 6 am, with a part-time contract and being paid only € 400 per month. Unbelievable, isn’t it?!

Well, I was as surprised as you might be now: handicapped, full shift, at night, not collecting overtime, 400 euros per month (and not to even talk about the legality of her 8 hours per day, part time contract)

Where are we going?

What is there then for our kids, and for their kids?


And this is a point about which I invite you to ponder: How do you feel about raising your kids, struggling so much and making every effort to give them the best education possible, so that tomorrow they go through situations like those experienced by Clio? Does it make you feel good?

To suddenly realize you’re sending your kids to college so they can be chosen for jobs, not for how valuable they are as professionals, but instead for how far they willing to go to satisfy the misery of their recruiters and be hired for the job?

I don’t feel any good about it, to put it simple.


Professional competencies should be measured by the person’s ability to efficiently do the job, not by how hard they need it.


And I want this to be my contribution to a subject that, day after day, is affecting more and more people, some of them closer to me than other. From this little space on the world wide web, I sincerely invite you to think a little bit about this: Are you really hiring the best candidates for the job? Or are you being carried away by these grotesque characters that appear in the media?

Below you will find the link to watch the video "The Candidate”, a program launched by Heineken as part of their recruitment process, which shows you one way to measure the reaction of candidates when confronted with unexpected situations. PLEASE NOTE: Those are unexpected situations, not humiliating as the one lived by Clio Almansa and many other people.


Heineken - "The Candidate"




Articles I recommend you to read:
Qué tan lejos estás dispuesto a ir para conseguir el trabajo? (Sorry, no translation available)

Related posts in this blog :
Working for Free: When , why and for how long?
The Hammerblow is Free: The Real Value of Knowledge.




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