Tuesday, 17 April 2012

Recruitment Irony

It has always been said that to get a job you need experience, yet to gain experience you need a job.

However, thanks to the vagaries of recruitment and the almost universal dysfunctionality and haplessness of HR, this is only half the story.

Some companies are Degree-mad, their policy being that if you haven’t a University education, they won’t consider you for a job. Now, the thinking here is that if you can make it through college, you then equally have the nous to make it through their company ranks.

To some of these companies, it make no difference that while, yes, you have a degree, your abilities in literacy and numeracy not only leave a lot to be desired, but, for the actual purposes of the job, are virtually non-existent.

Yes, you may have a degree in metallurgy and a degree in animal husbandry, thereby giving you legal right to weld cats, but the fact you have a degree that has nothing to do with either the business itself or the department within that business you are working for, you fit right in as, for example, their marketing research manager. Because of your University education. In non-related subjects.

Subjects that have absolutely nothing to do with what you will be working at.

The other side of the coin is the insistence by many companies that you have “at least three years’ experience” in their sector.

The NHS is particularly notorious for this in terms of marketing recruitment. They are insistent on prior experience. So everyone lies on their CV, and the resultant best liar is hired. Providing they can get their CV in front of the correct one of the 11 recruitment agencies the NHS farms the recruitment process out to and who all advertise it as “my client”. This done at vast expense. And bear in mind there are already overpaid HR managers in place in the NHS that should be doing this job themselves, not paying others to do at vast public expense.

So is this the case with accountancy also?

Not being an accountant, I don’t know!

Is totting up figures, double entry systems and paying invoices not identical in every business? Or am I unaware of some special BACS process to pay a bill that is unique to the NHS?

Then why does the NHS insist on prior experience for marketing?

Writing a press release and sending it out to a journalist, or arranging an annual conference, is the same for every business. The contacts may be different, but the mechanics are exactly the same. And joining the NHS as a marketer would entail the same learning curve as a marketer new to the charity sector. Or to engineering.

I would love an explanation.

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