Tired of One-Sided Interviews?

checkersIf you are in the market for new employment, you may have noticed a trend lately that has made the selection process a bit one-sided.  The applicant and the employer should be taking time during the interview process to jointly evaluate that the fit is mutual.  Yet if the actual interview process is one-sided, then the applicant is cut out of the process or worse yet brought into it late.

Applicants create online profiles and post resumes to advertise their experience and capabilities, and potential employers can review these without the knowledge of the applicant.  At the same time, the employer can post a position and the applicant can evaluate the company and begin to look at the advertised role for a potential interest.  So in many ways there is a certain level playing field before people actually connect with each other.

However, once the recruiter contacts the potential applicant, or the applicant completes the application, the shift begins and the company is in control of the process.  While an applicant can ask questions during an interview, what happens when assessments are used before interviews to weed out data driven undesirables?

Companies that have online applications have learned to use screening questions to see if the individual has the required knowledge to even be applying for the job.  Personally I think these are a great idea, because they eliminate the people who just complete every application they can get their hands on.  But I also think that if you are moving on with my application because of my background and the answers to the screening questions, then you owe me a brief introductory conversation.

Recently I completed a lengthy application to a position that was titled and sounded like a match for my experience.  I spent a lot of time with the application, and was pleasantly surprised to receive an email that I was being asked to complete an assessment.  Well I passed the first assessment, was asked to complete a second, passed it, and was then asked to complete a third.  When I was notified I had passed the third one and was ready for number four, I asked how many were there to go?  Dead silence.

I began the fourth assessment and started to wonder about what appeared to be 4 different assessments, and what I was really interviewing for.  I examined the job description again, compared it to what the assessments were testing and realized I had read too much into the description and it was not the kind of work I wanted to do.  I emailed the recruiter and asked that my name be removed from the list and why.  If she and I had talked briefly about the role after the application was approved, it would have ended there instead of wasting everyone’s time for the past 6 weeks.

If the employer wants to have complete control over the interview process, then they need to accept that they may be working with someone who will never land up accepting an offer for their opening.  This seems to be a waste of time, but maybe efficiency is not the primary motivator.  Are you tired of one-sided interviews?

Do You Need To Be Replaced?

fired  No one will ever enjoy hearing the words “You’re Fired” and that is why we have come up with softer terms to let someone leave their employment.  But although you may not enjoy hearing the words, maybe your performance lately deserves the action of terminating your employment.

With so many competent people out looking for work, it is amazing that more employed people never ask themselves if they are working up to their potential.  Are you doing a good job for your company?  Are you earning your salary and benefits?  Or do you need to be replaced with someone who will do a better job for the company than you are doing?  Let’s face it, there is always someone more competent that you are that could be hired to replace you.

Yes for those of you that follow my weekly ramblings, I am back on the old road of self-assessment and accountability.  Maybe it is because lately I have been bumping into a lot of people who don’t seem to care about their contributions, earning their paycheck or being accountable.  They seem too preoccupied with their own public relations campaign to see what effect they have on the operation.

Take a General Manager of a restaurant that likes to play mind games with his staff.  He denigrates them publicly, blatantly violates wage and hour laws, and is creating a hostile work environment.  Now while he needs to be fired, where the heck is the Human Resource Director?  Since employees have registered complaints, and he has been asked to intervene, he instead is absent without leave.  He too needs to be replaced.  In the middle of these two wonders, is a brand new regional manager that is catching on to what the GM is doing.  I have faith he will take action, but I wonder if he will be supported by HR.  Whether he is or not, guess who is liable to keep his job?  The incompetent HR Director.

Let’s look at a head of retail banking who requires every hiring, promoting and performance decision to be approved by him before action is taken.  This might be a good idea if there are too many versions of policy being administered, but it takes this person weeks to make decisions.  Not only are individual managers not empowered, the operation is slowed because of staffing issues.  If he wants to manage every detail, then start putting in 12-hour days and get everything done.  Personally, he needs to be coached on how to delegate and trust.  Or maybe he is in over his head and needs to be replaced.

What I want everyone to do is take a moment and ask yourself if you need to be replaced.  Are you doing your very best and yet not doing your job?  Maybe it is time to find a better fit.  However, for those of you that manage others, it is time to start considering replacing incompetent leaders and managers and instead of starting at the bottom of the ladder, start at the top.