Skip to content Skip to main navigation

Opinion

Canberra insurance broker
of choice since 1985

How lazy is the local HR?

By BimboGeek - 17 April 2013 18

I was getting ready to send out a few resumes and see where they stick.

Once again I’ve encountered the scourge of Canberra: the custom-built employment portal and the mountain of position criteria.

From a UX point of view this seems self-defeating. I understand wanting to take a few steps to weed out unsuitable candidates but how hard can it be to scan the most recent positions and throw a resume in the “to-do pile?”

I’ve hired people. For the best ones, you’re lucky if they even send you their resume. If you throw up barriers they aren’t going to say “Oh, sure, I’ve got an hour to spend on your pedantic essay!” They just move on and send the resume to the next person. For the worst ones, you quickly figure out they can barely speak English because the sentences in their resume exhibit such pathetic syntax or you notice that they have no experience because they haven’t listed anything intelligent on their resume.

Selection criteria are a joke. There are textbooks written about how to convince the Canberra HR idiots that you know how to jump through their hoops and there are services you can hire to help you write the “perfect application” as if your mind-reading abilities (ability to pretend to be what they think they want) are more important than who you are and what you can do.

I already have offers so I can’t be bothered dealing with “You must register an account with this company’s employment website to apply for the only job we’re actually advertising.” I hope the lazy local HR take a good long hard look at themselves.

What’s Your opinion?


Post a comment
Please login to post your comments, or connect with
18 Responses to
How lazy is the local HR?
NoImRight 1:34 pm 17 Apr 13

BimboGeek said :

Mysteryman said :

Was there a purpose to this inane rant? Or did you just feel like spraying your criticism in the general direction of everyone responsible for any form of employment?

Definitely the inane spraying. I don’t generally deal with HR, I deal with business owners and executives who get things done. I’m OK with recruitment agencies though, as they don’t seem to waste much time or energy.

God your awesome.

Pitchka 12:58 pm 17 Apr 13

deejay said :

The problem is, selections in the APS can be contested.

Although very unlikely to be overturned, if the chair and other panel members all agree on the outcome.

I have not heard of anyone winning an appeal in all the years ive worked in the APS.

The unsuccessful applicant needs to prove that he/she is most suitable, this in itself is almost impossible, others have used more creative approaches.

I had a stint in HR at the APSC and have read some of the disputes people had put forward, some would have you scratching your head, others just have you LOL’ing for weeks to come.

EvanJames 12:30 pm 17 Apr 13

deejay said :

The problem is, selections in the APS can be contested. So it isn’t enough just to prove to the people hiring that you’re the right person – you also need to give those hiring the tools to prove it to the APSC and/or unsuccessful appplicants in the case of an appeal. And those people might never meet you to be convinced by your sparkling personality. So there’s no getting around selection criteria, although there is a case for abbreviating them.

I was the departmental rep on a PAC (promotion appeals committee) run by, was it the MPRA? Whoever ran appeals processes anyway. The person acting had got the job (low level, processing applications for income support). Appellant was a lawyer from a european country, who on paper could prove “superior efficiency” since the selection criteria was generic APS 3 and went on about interpreting and applying complex legislation etc etc.

The incumbent was an asian immigrant with poor-ish spoken English, but she’d done the job for a year, the section relied on her, she knew the rules inside out and how to apply them and process the applications.

But thanks to the almighty selection criteria, the lawyer got the job instead. He couldn’t actually DO the job, but hey, that wasn’t the important thing apparently.

p1 12:24 pm 17 Apr 13

deejay said :

The problem is, selections in the APS can be contested. So it isn’t enough just to prove to the people hiring that you’re the right person – you also need to give those hiring the tools to prove it to the APSC and/or unsuccessful appplicants in the case of an appeal. And those people might never meet you to be convinced by your sparkling personality. So there’s no getting around selection criteria, although there is a case for abbreviating them.

What he said.

Selection criteria isn’t the best way of finding the best person for a job. It is a way of providing part of the justification, on paper, for why you picked this person for the job.

deejay 12:10 pm 17 Apr 13

The problem is, selections in the APS can be contested. So it isn’t enough just to prove to the people hiring that you’re the right person – you also need to give those hiring the tools to prove it to the APSC and/or unsuccessful appplicants in the case of an appeal. And those people might never meet you to be convinced by your sparkling personality. So there’s no getting around selection criteria, although there is a case for abbreviating them.

switch 12:01 pm 17 Apr 13

harvyk1 said :

My advice? Don’t bother, learn about the hidden job market/quote]

How does one learn about “the hidden job market?” Since it is, by definition, hidden…

devils_advocate 11:47 am 17 Apr 13

EvanJames said :

Selection criteria are a great way to prevent good people from applying for your job, but sadly too many “recruitment” people think that adding long lists of crap for people to address will ensure that the selection process was fair and thorough or something. stupid, yes. A process that doesn’t directly serve the outcome is a bad process.

I agree – adding criteria was probably meant to introduce some objectively ascertainable standard of fairness. Probably it was a knee-jerk, overreaction to the cronyism and favouritism that had at one time become pervasive in the public service (particularly in promotions). People hiring people they knew; risk-aversion leading to incumbents being given substantive jobs; or plain favouritism. I can see a certain twisted logic in trying to put some standards up against which applicants can be ranked and against which a selection report must be drafted. It’s the same idea driving the need to now advertise substantive positions, and long-term acting positions to be advertised internally. Goes at least some way to counteracting the natural status-quo bias.

However, I don’t think any of it actually achieves anything. At the end of the day it only puts more hoops around what is an inherently subjective process, and gives the appearance of propriety. If someone really wants to hand a job to someone else, and they know the process, no amount of procedural hurdles will change anything. I can only recall one instance where a process was so flawed that the delegate actually challenged the reccomendation. And in that case it was blatantly inadequate. The process requirements at least gave the delegate an “in” to review the decision. Pretty narrow benefit for a whole lot of cost.

harvyk1 11:29 am 17 Apr 13

My advice? Don’t bother, learn about the hidden job market and forget about seek / careerone / recruitment companies. I have never managed to land a job when selection criteria is involved, and only a few via things like seek / HR portals. The really good jobs I’ve landed have all been word of mouth.

Also as an added bonus the hidden job market often lets you command higher rates thanks to no pimps, I mean recruitment consultants taking a share.

BimboGeek 11:19 am 17 Apr 13

Mysteryman said :

Was there a purpose to this inane rant? Or did you just feel like spraying your criticism in the general direction of everyone responsible for any form of employment?

Definitely the inane spraying. I don’t generally deal with HR, I deal with business owners and executives who get things done. I’m OK with recruitment agencies though, as they don’t seem to waste much time or energy.

EvanJames 11:13 am 17 Apr 13

Long selection criteria ensure that you’ll get a short list of candidates who are…. good at addressing selection criteria. But unless that is a key skill required to do the job, you won’t get the best people for the job.

I remember working in an agency years ago that recruited for certain gov’t departments, and they did their bulk round for comcar drivers. Yes, there was selection criteria. I predicted we’d get hand-written applications and yes, indeed we did. But probably the best applicants gave up when faced with that piece of idiocy. And the department probably discarded plenty of applications because they… didn’t address the selection criteria.

Henry82 11:07 am 17 Apr 13

Some of the questions are just time consumers to weed out those who aren’t interested in the job at all. Others are just used as discriminators to reject the pile.

I can understand why some would require signups. we advertised for a position and asked people who met the criteria to email in their CVs. 60% were recruiters trying to sell their lists to us. 30% were people who did not meet the criteria in any way. And finally, 10% met, or ‘loosely’ met the criteria.

HiddenDragon 11:03 am 17 Apr 13

Spelling, grammatical etc. errors aside, many jobs are so over-hyped that (if you took the advertisements literally) the only potentially suitable candidates would be the offspring of superheroes and Nobel Prize winners.

Mysteryman 10:43 am 17 Apr 13

Was there a purpose to this inane rant? Or did you just feel like spraying your criticism in the general direction of everyone responsible for any form of employment?

“I’ve hired people. For the best ones, you’re lucky if they even send you their resume. If you throw up barriers they aren’t going to say “Oh, sure, I’ve got an hour to spend on your pedantic essay!” “

Either the jobs you’ve hired for aren’t desirable, or the people you’ve hired aren’t the best.

Grail 10:39 am 17 Apr 13

There are also the people who — in an apparent attempt to cast their recruitment net wider — tick all the boxes under “programming languages”, ensuring that people looking for Perl or Django/Python jobs end up getting pages full of ads for DOTnet positions and Windows system administration positions, with nary a Perl or Python job in sight.

Idiots, the lot of them.

EvanJames 10:14 am 17 Apr 13

Selection criteria are a great way to prevent good people from applying for your job, but sadly too many “recruitment” people think that adding long lists of crap for people to address will ensure that the selection process was fair and thorough or something. stupid, yes. A process that doesn’t directly serve the outcome is a bad process.

Related Articles

CBR Tweets

Sign up to our newsletter

Top
Copyright © 2017 Riot ACT Holdings Pty Ltd. All rights reserved.
www.the-riotact.com | www.b2bmagazine.com.au | www.thisiscanberra.com

Search across the site