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Why I can't hire anyone

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Kennah Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Nov-23-11 02:35 AM
Original message
Why I can't hire anyone
I will issue a tears alert because I cried about this Monday night and again Tuesday morning.

So I started my new IT gig with the state a few weeks ago, and my boss told the client in essence, "Take him and do what you will with him." Client has been getting substandard service for a couple of years, so the bar is low for me to succeed, and I wanted to learn from them what they do so I can be more effective at solving problems for them. Client is another office within the state agency.

One of the first things the client had me do was participate in an interview panel. Client is hiring for a couple of positions, and they are way understaffed. 22 people responded and applied for 1 job. It's entry level with the only requirement being a 4 year degree, but the money isn't bad. They are going to have to step up and deliver and it won't be a cake walk. 4 didn't complete the app, so they got tossed, and I try to tell myself they got a call for a job paying double and just sent an incomplete app. We interviewed 18 people in 2 days.

7 months on unemployment, and you develop a real sense of being able to size up other people on unemployment and detect when there is more to someone's story but they just don't wanna share. They are homeless, losing their home, family breakup, whatever. It's almost a "disaster civility" that one acquires. Beyond being unemployed, there's something painful, you really don't wanna share it, or aren't ready to at that time, so one doesn't press for details and make people uncomfortable.

I was quickly sizing people up and seeing a lot of ageism RIFs, which in and of itself was painful to see. At times, I was just hoping for some piece of good news in their life, and "my wife is retired" was about the best I got. Still, I saw people who had real skills, valuable skills, trying to mold themselves into a position, and sometimes they weren't a very good fit.

Realistically, the client could hire 5 or 6 people, really put them to good use, and the talent pool was very skilled and diverse. One could easily pick out 5 or 6 of the strongest of the applicants we saw who would bring different skills to the table and who would complement each other and make for an extremely effective group, rather than one with a huge backlog of work that slips further and further behind each month.

2 of the candidates really jumped out in my mind causing me to wonder, "Why are they applying for this job?" We didn't ask, and apparently the state prohibits us from asking, but we can't stop people from talking. Both volunteered why.

One took time off from work to take care of his sister who suffered a lot of mental and physical health issues. She passed away earlier this year, and while there was clearly pain he also seemed to really have a peace that she wasn't suffering and was in a better place.

Second one wanted to find work with regular work hours. His 10 year old daughter suffers from a condition from which she will likely die before she is 20. He just wants a regular hour job so he can spend as much time with his daughter as he can, while he still has her. Not sure, but it sounded like he had already left the previous job to take care of and be with his daughter.

During the process, I managed to remain detacted and objective. A couple of candidates were strong frontrunners, but on the second day one emerged who really led the pack. She was the one most of us recommended.

The father losing his 10 year old daughter would definitely have been in my top 5 or 6 because of his unique skillset, but not a top 2 or 3. Nevertheless, the hiring manager chose 3 or 4 to call references and he was one of those selected. Objectively, he wasn't the best candidate, but subjectively I want him to get the job.

Having 3 healthy kids, I'm about as far removed from giving a rat's ass over losing our house as the East is from the West. A Bible reference from an agnostic hopefully doesn't diminish it.

Listening to GOP candidates tell people without jobs to blame themselves, or refer to Occupy protestors as dirty hippies who should get a job, one wonders how one can become so far removed from reality.
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DesertFlower Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Nov-23-11 03:14 AM
Response to Original message
1. K&R. nt
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JFN1 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Nov-23-11 03:37 AM
Response to Original message
2. Hits hard, and doesn't let up.
Its almost like survivor's guilt; if you have a heart and give a shit about others, it really hurts to see people suffering from this economy, when we all KNOW they do not have to be suffering...and it hurts to know that some of our fellow humans are not just allowing it, they are actively working to make it even worse.

Great post, really brings it home...
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Withywindle Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Nov-23-11 03:50 AM
Response to Original message
3. What's an ageism RIF? n/t
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Kennah Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Nov-23-11 04:21 AM
Response to Reply #3
4. RIF = Reduction In Force, or layoff
Both private and public sector, I'm seeing the average age of applicants clearly indicating older workers are out of a job and applying.
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Withywindle Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Nov-23-11 04:24 AM
Response to Reply #4
6. Ah, of course, thanks.
I'm kinda there right now (at the ripe old age of 42). Should have known.
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area51 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Nov-23-11 04:21 AM
Response to Reply #3
5. I think it's "ageism reduction in force". n/t
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Thor_MN Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Nov-23-11 06:35 AM
Response to Original message
7. One only has to go a little farther to see the GOP intent on jobless/OWS
Those filthy, theiving jobless/OWS!!! They probably spread diseases... We should make the sew a patch on their coats...

The GOP wants a scapegoat for the problems of the day. If they can establish the meme of the jobless/OWS being the cause of the bad economy, they are absolved of the destruction they have caused....
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