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Re: Suit-ism, youth-ism

by tunaboy (Curate)
on Jul 25, 2003 at 16:55 UTC ( #277907=note: print w/ replies, xml ) Need Help??


in reply to Suit-ism, youth-ism

Judging someone on anything other than their "intrinsic value" is in some cases a form of laziness and in other cases a form of incompetence. Sometimes it is false laziness, but other times it might be necessary laziness. In a perfect world it would not happen, but we do not live in that world.

If you are in charge of filling a position and you get 100 applications with time to only interview 10, how are you going to whittle them down? By using "superficial" criteria because you don't have time for anything else. Criteria such as does the applicant have a degree or not.

An even more extreme example happened in my home town a few years ago. A radio station had so many applications for a job posting they reduced the number they had to read by throwing the applications out a second story window and only looking at the ones that landed in a box on the ground below. At the time this story was used as an example of how bad the job market was in the town.

In face to face situations, however, judging someone by outward appearances is IMHO an example of false laziness. Doing so indicates you are either too lazy to try and make a fair assesment of the person or you are incapable of doing so (due to your own lack of ability). It is supposition on my part, but I would guess that there are managers judging technical people on their appearance (ie dress and age) because the manager is incapable of judging actual technical merit (and does not want to admit that).

My $0.02.


Comment on Re: Suit-ism, youth-ism
Re: Re: Suit-ism, youth-ism
by chaoticset (Chaplain) on Jul 28, 2003 at 04:57 UTC


    If you are in charge of filling a position and you get 100 applications with time to only interview 10, how are you going to whittle them down? By using "superficial" criteria because you don't have time for anything else. Criteria such as does the applicant have a degree or not.
    I'm glad you asked that. I've been thinking about that. Yes, you'll have to use superficiality because you've been given a task in a much shorter timeframe than you should have. So what? Don't do the normal thing -- you'll get normal social whores. Get interesting. Don't give them the chance to 'make a good impression'. Look through the 10 Most Wanted list, eliminate anybody with a name that matches someone on it. First or last.

    Being arbitrary may seem worse than being superficial, but I would guess the odds are better that you'll find useful employees this way. You might arbitrarily filter someone who's good, but who out of the social whores will guess that you're using their names, or the sum of all the numbers on the resume, to eliminate them? None. They know all the other tricks. There's no way for them to fix you dropping the resumes from a building, or wallpapering with them and using darts. It just can't be done.

    If interviewing were always done by the people who would be coworkers and one manager, and the HR process were essentially random (and I can imagine automating the random process right now, and I suspect you could imagine it too), you'd end up with something fair, even if it's not ideal. Instead, you end up with useless people coming from HR to be interviewed by two or three people who are supposedly smart enough to make important decisions, but probably don't know how to (read people|do the job|make coffee), much less ask useful questions.

    -----------------------
    You are what you think.

      I like the idea of being arbitrary as opposed to superficial.

      Personally, I would prefer knowing that the reason I did not get an interview was because of truly (or even pseudo) random selection criteria. It would still suck if I thought I was right for the job but it would be a little more bearable than knowing I didn't get an interview because someone didn't like my haircut or because I didn't fill my resume with buzzwords.

        Superficial can be a better bet for an employer.

        Filtering recruits just because they have a degree, or are J2EE certified may be superficial. You'll probably exclude some good candidates. However, you're still likely to end up with a pool of potential recruits with a slightly higher average skill level.

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