Wednesday, 22 July 2015

La Cour des Miracles

It is always dangerous to analyse reality after the validity of one's ideas and not facts.

Confronted with the mismatch between desires and facts, men often turn to scapegoating or denial.

Baron von Trotta has always thought that a society where what one sees cannot be discussed, to be decadent beyond repair.

Words like "deregulated labour market", "right to work across the EU", "merit assessed by skills only, not nationality" are nice to hear. But they become void when, confronted with reality, we repeat them as dogmas that prevent us from questioning if there is some truth behind those words.

Let us take as an example recruitment agencies.

They are supposed to help companies find the best candidates, and vice versa.

What is the reality, though?

In so-called international cities, qualified professionals get calls almost weekly with proposals for jobs.
A naive person might think: "finally my value has been discovered", and hurriedly books time for a phone interview. If, in some cases, there is a real interest in the person approached, a more experienced person quickly realizes that this is not always the case:

  • Recruiters need to present a given amount of good CVs to hiring managers, and often they contact candidates whom they know have no real chance, for that purpose; masking job locations; proposing unrealistic salaries; deforming the job description are tactics used to entice potential candidates and make them accept to be part of the recruitment process.
  • Some job offers are only aimed at getting information about undetected recruitment needs, or at building a candidate database; the unsuspecting professional volunteering information that others will use to their benefit.
  • In some extreme cases, candidates are blackmailed to provide information about  other jobs and interviews they are being considered for, with the purpose of stealing the contract by proposing further candidates; the unsuspected job seeker being rejected.
  • Once the selected CVs have been sent to the hiring manager, she makes her choice and the real selection process can begin; often those rejected will not hear anything from the recruiter, whose only aim was to save face in front of the hiring manager and his own bosses by proposing reasonably suited candidates.

Surprisingly, these often illegal practices are rarely evoked in the media, and one wonders why there is no official body to regulate practices by recruitment agencies and enforce ethics in the profession.

The job market looks more and more like a true "patio de Monipodio" from the immortal novela ejemplar by Cervantes, "Rinconete y Cortadillo", where fools are exploited, and the cunning fill up their pockets, at the expense of other people's dreams.

A kind of post-modern Cour des Miracles.

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