You can’t get the staff these days

And I’ve now discovered why it’s so difficult to get good staff these days – HR departments (Personnel) are universally shit.

In my experience their entire raison d’êtra is to act as a barrier between candidates and jobs; consequently they are staffed by a combination of authoritarian harridans and vapid jobsworths. As the role of these departments is nebulous at best they are constantly striving to justify their existence by instituting new demands on applicants and existing staff so that they are not forgotten about.

Since I’m now “in the market” I’ve been dealing with a number of HR departments and a shocking new trend has emerged. Rather than send your carefully formatted CV (resume) you have to retype it into their awkwardly designed, utterly inadequate web forms and send your CV.

You then have to wait while some HR monkey scans your responses for the presence of keywords in your responses that match those in the job requirement. Of course, being totally unaware of what the words actually mean, they can’t recognise synonyms or related skills and so you don’t even get the hiring department looking at your resume.

Throughout the entire process the candidates are treated as though they are the fortunate recipients of a chance at the cup, rather than the people who could solve the problems of the department that needs them.

How much simpler would it be if the departments did their own hiring ?

But, far worse than HR departments are recruiting companies. Every member of staff in every recruitment company could be replaced by a very simple perl script. I find this particularly ironic because yesterday a recruiter was “testing my technical knowledge of perl” by asking me questions and hoping that my wording of the answers matched whatever was on his screen. Have you ever tried to explain a back-reference to someone who doesn’t know what a regular expression is ? He called them “reejixps” for Hicks’ sake. This job hunt is going to take a while…


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