Friday, 24 July 2015

The accidental manager

Not long ago a huge corporation expanding their operations in Prague, Czech Republic, was desperate to hire English speakers. Many positions were available but not enough candidates with the minimum skills required were attainable. In a bold effort, HR decided to go to a job fair with the hope to find some much needed skilled applicants that would fulfill the requirements of the hiring managers.

D. was in Prague for different reasons: he was a sax player and loved to play music in any venue available. He was American, middle aged, with an adventurous spirit. Money coming from concerts was not enough to keep a reasonable life standard so he decided to go with a friend to that same job fair. His intention was to find some part-time work that would not interfere with his music and his gigs. They stopped at the corporation stand and heard the HR clerks talking about the positions that were available. D. was not very interested but his friend urged him to pay attention to some of the jobs offered.
The keen eye of the HR lady spotted D.’s lack of interest, so she decided to act boldly: ” Hey there, I know that these are mostly entry level positions but would you be interested in a team manager job offer?”. D. had no experience in managing anyone or anybody but the thought of doing it was a pleasant one (besides that, it would end his money troubles). He had no CV with him but an interview was agreed for the next day. He was hired and started to work the following week. D. didn’t last long in the job (music was his life and that position interfered with his main activity) so after little more than a month he decided to leave. His experience as a manager was, therefore, a short one.
In sharp contrast with this small narrative, how many of you, dear readers, have nowadays applied to that job offer that seems to be a perfect match to your profile and got a negative answer or none at all? How many received that famous template that says “Your skills don’t match the specific requirements for the position”? You then read again the job description and cannot find a discrepancy between your skills and what is requested. To add insult to injury, the company re-posts the same position a few weeks later, indicating no suitable candidate has been found. You end up not knowing what to think about the whole thing…
You see, dear reader, the only common aspect between both situations is randomness: either the recruitment is stupidly easy or it falls beyond any capacity of comprehension. In both cases, companies suffer and potential candidates even more, since they don’t know what to expect. Maybe it’s time to let the skilled people apply for the jobs that they are capable of doing and let the sax players do their music. For that to happen we only need some competency and professionalism. It’s not much to ask, is it?

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