Tuesday, May 6, 2014

30 bullets: Need a job? How about thirty jobs rolled into one?

A friend and I have a fun game we play about job postings. Every morning we get our coffee (or tea in my case), jump online and swap laughable jobs links, trying to beat the other for most ridiculous job posting.  Some are howlers. Playing "Beat the Bullets" is easy.  Just share the most ridiculous job posting you can find; one that requires people to be good about at 3000 different skills, listing each one after a bulletpoint.

Photo Credit: WordPress
I found a great one today -- 30 bullets -- including being good at iOS and Android programming and QA and writing and graphics and answering the phone and doing social media across 10 platforms and "other responsibility as needed."  We laughed long and hard over this one. Needless to say, this job probably pays minimum wage.

The economy has started to come back slowly and so many people I know have been out of work.  People need jobs.  Wait, let me clarify that.  They need A JOB -- not thirty jobs all rolled into one!

We know these jobs are an obvious conglomeration of the jobs of 4 or 5 people who have been let go.   Are the hiring managers so clueless as to assume we don't know this?

Who wants a job that is the work of five different people with completely different skills and then also gives you the chance to earn LESS than any one of those five people earned originally?

A bulletpoint that really makes us laugh out loud is the "must be a team player" bullet. Team player?  What are they talking about? There's no team left to play with!

So when we speak of "finding a job" it would be nice to find a job that was once the job of ONE HUMAN BEING, not several. These jobs are jobs for robots who never get tired, get hungry, go to the bathroom, or call in sick, since there is no time for any of those activities with this kind of job.

What you find is a GLOB of JOBS with ridiculous expectations. You know going in that it's going to be essentially impossible to do all these jobs at the same time. You know from the start that the pay is embarrassing and untenable.  You know that the same job five years ago would have had fairly reasonable benefits, but likely now has none. Who wants "a job" like that?  Who wants to bother working like that?

The only people who think that these "glob jobs" are okay are people who have never had real jobs to compare them to -- aka, young people.  And the most insidious part of this exploitive situation is how many of these young people have massive college debt and would take ANY job at ANY rate. They know some perky intern will do the job for free if they don't take it first.  This is making the job market essentially cutthroat. This is turning these kids into slaves.

It's time to push back and say "no thanks" to these glob jobs.  And if you are hiring, take a look in the mirror and be honest, would YOU ever take a job like the one you are posting?  I have colleagues in other companies who have posted such glob jobs and they should be ashamed.  I just want to say to them, "Don't you get it? The people you are interviewing may personally know the three people you fired, those poor jerks who used to have those three jobs!"  Those new candidates likely talked to them before interviewing with you.

We know how exploitive this HR strategy has become. Working to create a "master/slave" work environment is keeping the economy from growing.  It's unfair to the people you are trying to hire and bad for your business and others. People with good jobs buy things -- like the things you are selling.

So try this for a new HR innovation: do the right thing and go to your management and explain that you need the budget to hire three people to do the work of three people. Even writing that sounds ridiculous -- but someone needs to say it.  All that cash companies happen to be sitting on?  Try using it to hire some "team players" -- after actually building a team and paying them a fair wage for a reasonable day's work.

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