Sunday, May 3, 2009

An Open Letter to All Hiring Managers

To Whom It May Concern,

Please, enough with the experience paradox. You know, "I need a year of experience to get the job, but I can't get the experience until I get the job."

No one wants to be the one who hires someone fresh out of college. Nope, let someone else do the "quality control." That's what it is all about, of course. You're getting 1000 resumes for each job posting anyways so you have to have some way of narrowing them down.

Of course, it never occurs to you that the reason you have so much trouble finding quality people to fill your positions is that your applicant filtering is fatally flawed. You're weeding out the optimistic people, the radical thinkers, the ones who are going to bring that "out of the box" thinking you want so desperately. You're dumping out the applications from the people who have the creativity, the fire, and the enthusiasm.

Guess what that leaves you with? More of the same. More of exactly what you already have.

And none of what you need.

Congratulations. Seriously. You've managed to create a monoculture, desperately jamming every square peg you can find into your round holes and wondering why office politics and red tape are the driving forces in your life. You systematically weed out the people who really want to be there, or force them to sacrifice everything that makes them unique in a desperate attempt to fit in. Then, you wonder why your office echos with the sighs of empty, hollow, soulless clock watchers as people just wait until the closing bell so they can spend an hour commuting back to their overmortgaged undervalued homes.

This is not something that will fix itself. This is not something that someone else will fix. You, each and every one of you, individually and unilaterally, need to go out and find yourself a boat rocker. Find someone who will shake up the status quo. You don't have to pay them top salary, they'll be happy just to have work. You don't have to turn the keys to the office over to them. What you do have to do is be ready for them to challenge your authority, your complacency, and your standard ways of doing things.

It's time you take a chance. Hire someone who isn't just another cog in the machine, hire a spanner and throw it into the works.

If you don't, the monoculture of bureaucracy is going to continue growing, and as it assimilates everything in its path we are going to see more and more failures like the ones that have gotten us into this mess.

You've got a problem, I've just given you the solution.

-Michael Leza