Wednesday, April 18

A Safe Working Environment

I reckon I've hired 25 people in the past year. And it appears that the next generation have mastered the art of the professional looking resumé and interview technique.

The women all look the same with shoulder length straight hair, shiny white teeth and a business suit that will be retired once they start working here.

The guys wear their funeral and wedding suit, usually with a shirt that's a neck size smaller than it should be. To coin a phrase from my blogging mate Boff, the guy looks like 10 lb of shit in a 9 lb bag.

Last month the guy nearest the door (we don't have a receptionist) announced that "The girl from yesterday is back for a 2nd interview", it was a different girl.

Per position, I interview 5 or 6 people, and I long to hear someone say something vaguely controversial, or opinionated, or even interesting.

Instead they ask pointed yet ultimately futile questions, while I spin off on tangents, tired of my own voice and re-telling of the company history.

In the past someone once wrote in their cover letter, "I don't know if I can do the job, because you didn't write a good description, but what the hell I'm up for anything" - he bagged an interview.

Years ago, an ex-colleague and a good bloke when asked why he wanted to re-locate said "My bird (girlfriend) just left me and I've nothing better to do." - he re-located.

And back in my London days, someone said "I can see you're the monkey, but I'd like to meet the organ grinder". She got the job.

We just hired an HR manager for the first time. She's great and I think the net result will be fewer boring resumés for me to pick through. But I find myself whispering expletives, or quietly explaining the derivation of "He gets on my tits", so as not to get 'called in' for inappropriate behavior.

My business partner threw me a curve ball today. We're looking for a Project Manager in Shanghai, and through Linked In we can see a photograph of the candidate.

"They all look the same", she said. And just as I was about to roll my eyes in liberal aghast, she revealed that the candidate was originally from the north of England.

It's still racist, but to be fair she has 5 north of England colleagues and we all maintain a somewhat pasty, middle-aged 'northern' look.

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