Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Dear Hiring Manager

Dear Potential Employer,

Please do not advertise for a job you want to fill two months from now. Most people looking for jobs need a new job pretty quickly. Haven't you ever noticed that by the time you offer the job to the person you REALLY want, they've already gotten a job? And yes, we can tell when we weren't your first choice.

Please do not tell me you "want to get someone hired as soon as possible" and then not contact me for a month.

Please don't tell me that the job doesn't hinge on the psych tests you've given me to take. I know better.

Please don't have me take a bunch of tests when you really aren't interested in me. Please understand that the testing makes me nervous and how I do on a typing test is not reflective of my typing skill. I've typed nearly every work day for the past 20 years and for at least the last 15 or so, I've typed copiously on my computer at home every night. Also, stop using tests that ask me to do things I would never do in a real job.

Please have the courtesy to at least send me a form letter when you aren't going to give me the job. I've submitted about 115 applications to a local employer for 115 different positions and have 115 rejection letters...so, I know it can't take much time to whip one out. Heck, email me a form notice... at least then I won't be waiting for you to make a decision.

Please don't have an internal candidate all picked out and use me to fill some stupid HR quota. Give the job to the person you were going to give the job to anyways. That'll also save your internal candidate weeks of agonizing over whether they are going to get the new position.

Please don't ask for a recounting of every single job I've ever had. I'm like a mutual fund... past performance is not an adequate measure of potential future performance. My personality has changed alot in the last 6 months, nevermind from a decade and a half ago.

Please don't automatically assume the worst about me. I've been laid off alot. Not fired, not terminated for cause, not quit because I just felt like it. There are many companies I've worked for that don't even exist anymore, so you won't be able to call them for a reference.

Please, for the love of God, don't make me sign a release that says you can talk to anyone you want about anything you want. I generally get along well with people, but you are always going to find SOMEONE who didn't think I was the greatest thing since they put rootbeer in bottles. Stop looking so hard for that person, ok? Additionally, people tend to remember bad things more easily because they had an emotional response to it.

Realize that you get what you pay for. Just because you CAN hire someone right out of high school for $8 an hour doesn't mean that you SHOULD. Yes, those kids do need jobs, but you are going to end up going through six or eight of them before you finally realize that you need someone with experience and people with experience can't work for $8 an hour (we don't live with our parents anymore... we have bills to pay)

Please don't think that you can call a job "receptionist" and expect to pay "receptionist" wages when what you really want is an Executive Assistant (who does about 3 times the work of a "receptionist")

Don't think that just because someone has a degree that they're smarter than someone with 15+ years of experience. A degree just means they could pay for college and remember things long enough to pass tests. And, think about it, how intelligent is it to take out $50, 000 in student loans and then go to work as an Administrative Assistant? With what Admins are paid, it will take their entire working life to pay off those student loans.

Don't have a policy that new hires don't get any paid time off for a year. Especially when someone has been out of work for a while, we'll take the job anyhow and then, six months later when we catch the flu, we'll come to work and get everyone sick because we don't have any paid time off to take and went into debt when we were out of work so can't afford to take an unpaid day off. Honestly, it really is more cost effective to give people PTO in that first year (you will have much more loyal employees and ones who are able to be more considerate of their co-workers and keep their germs at home).

Lastly, please always give an employee their birthday off as a paid holiday. Trust me. This is a GOOD idea.

Thank you for your time and consideration,

Your potential new employee

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