Tuesday, 28 December 2010

Getting a job...

At the moment I'm a temp, essentially an all-round dogsbody employed via a recruitment agency to work in an office on a short-term basis. This works out for me in the sense that it's some short-term paid employment that I was able to take up straight away, and it works for the company in question because they have their vacancy filled whilst they look to hire an individual on a permanent basis. It's hardly inspiring stuff but needs must and all that.

What has been interesting, however, is the company's approach to the recruitment process. I've already been ruled out of the picture because I let slip early on that I have several tertiary qualifications, and this discrimination is arbitrarily applied to the surprisingly numerous CVs dropping through the letterbox every day. If the applicant is a university graduate their application is filed straight into the bin; ditto if their home address is deemed too far from the place of work, a distance I’ve worked out to be around the 10-mile mark. When this process is discussed amongst ourselves the same reason is always given; "Why on earth would a university leaver want a minimum wage job?", as if the current economic recession is simply a figment of our collective imaginations.

I've always had a suspicion that the opaque world of employment is prone to unfair practices such as these, borne not only of my own frustrating lack of success at securing interviews but also from the (admittedly anecdotal) experience of friends, family and colleagues alike. That it’s extremely difficult to gain any semblance of feedback from so many companies gives the impression that it is nepotism and sheer luck that dictates the chance of success.

Recruiters, for their part, will argue that they get huge numbers of applicants for every position they advertise and that giving feedback to all and sundry would simply take too long and be a prohibitively costly exercise to boot. In some cases this will, of course, be a perfectly reasonable excuse.

But what is grossly unfair is for employers to apply entirely arbitrary and thoroughly discriminatory practices to the recruitment process. If they wish to reduce the number of applicants they receive they should simply – and openly - restrict the qualifying criteria. Anything else is just a complete waste of everyone’s time.

1 comment:

Andy Porter said...

Take–up window cleaning young man – I thoroughly recommend it. You are your own boss, working cash–in–hand, charge what you like with local travel opportunities and other ‘perks’. I myself have build business empires on the back of other people’s filth. You will not only feel good yourself, but you will also help to give other people a brighter outlook on life.