“Man, the world ain’t supposed to work like this. I mean, maybe you don’t know that yet. I’m supposed to be able to do my job without having to ask you if I can. That dude is supposed to be able to wait with his car without you ripping him off. Everything is supposed to be different than it is.”
— Simon, The Grand Canyon, 1991 film
There’s been chatter on my LinkedIn feed from corporate headhunters, job seekers, and HR professionals all lamenting the world we’ve built — HR expert systems that screen applicants on keywords, flag short tenure, and other tells that someone somewhere decided was a stand-in for being an exemplary employee.
As Simon in “The Grand Canyon” said, the world ain’t supposed to work like this.
Before I moved to Washington State for an IT Director position, my future colleagues wined and dined me on salmon and chardonnay. It made a hard decision easier; knowing these people as people first.
When I interviewed at UW Bothell a few years later, after the interview my future employers took me to dinner. Again I got to know them well deeper than me being a piece of paper and an interchangeable set of skills.
Here at the Tulsa Area United Way, we’re looking for a new Campaign Associate. I hope it shows how we differ from large corporations and how that’s good.
Hiring at TAUW is the corporate equivalent of “slow food.” We discuss our needs, talk to folks in the community who might be a good fit or know someone, and THEN we post the job. We have lots of good relationships and we use them.
We believe that our work is different — we want people who want to join our mission, and we hope this gives us time. If you want to raise money that will do good, come talk to us. We might not have an opportunity open, but talk to us anyway — make us aware of you and your interest. Keep the lines of communication open so we’ll remember you. Join our Women’s Leadership Council or Emerging Leader’s Society and come to the meetings.
I’ve mentioned in a post back in 2016 about how I hounded my future employer at the University of Tulsa. Looking back, I’ve done this more than once — one of my IT clients way back in the day is the spouse of my current CEO.
I can’t speak for everyone, but what I do here is not only IT, but a calling of sorts. Working in the service of the community. When I was in higher-education IT I felt the same: helping educate the next generation. It makes it more than just a paycheck.
Perhaps the HR job seeker/screener pendulum will swing back to more human-centric methods.