I just completed the hiring process to fill an administrative position. No mater how many years I have been in business, I can’t seem to embrace this activity as anything but hopeless.
I understand the process from an academic standpoint, but when the humans get involved, things seem to go sideways. After the résumés come in, I have to sort them out. Okay, so how do you do that? It wouldn’t be so bad if there were only a few to look at, but when we placed an ad to fill the position, I started to feel like Harry Potter being invited to Hogwarts. The résumés came in by regular mail. They came by email. They were hand-delivered. They came over the fax, and they just kept coming. They would have come over the transom if we had one.
So I started with education, and everyone had too much of it. Administrative jobs just don’t need a full college degree, but maybe it does indicate the ability to finish what you start. Most of these degrees are in the “would you like fries with that” disciplines, which makes you wonder what they were thinking in the first place. I understand that you are in love with pre-Revolutionary French literature, but didn’t it occur to you that there wasn’t a big demand for it in the marketplace?
So I moved on to skills and noticed immediately that everyone has excellent phone skills. Not just good or decent phone skills, but excellent. How would you know, and what does it mean? Was there a class I missed? Near as I can tell, it’s a rating you give to yourself. If that’s not true, then there must be a test. If you can answer the phone and tell people where you are and who you are, you get a C. If you can remember who called and what they wanted, you get a B. If you can forward the call to the proper person, you get a B+, but you only get excellent if you can conference call six phones lines at once, and I don’t know anyone who can do that.
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