There is a saying in that doing a job is no problem, but getting a job is the really hard part.
If you have 1 million unemployed people desperate for work and 1 million job vacancies then that’s perfect right?
Well, no. Factors like skill aside, even if you assume that all 1 million people are capable of doing any of the 1 million jobs there will rarely be a situation where they will all be employed.
I’ve made no secret of the fact that I think the job interview is an outdated concept. At least the one which is present today certainly is. In theory it’s fine but it’s been so curbed, streamlined and automatic that it really doesn’t mean much at all.
How many times have you gone over and memorised a list of set interview questions? That sounds more like acting to me, and it is. You are basically memorising a script and throwing in the best bits of your life as improv in order to essentially tell a half truth. To be blunt, you are bullshitting your way through an interview…and how many times have you heard that term before?
Add to the fact that half an hour of pretty robotic chat where you are deliberately encouraged to give a rehearsed impression of yourself (under pressure as well) is in no way a good indicator of your personality.
All that is just from the direction of the interviewee but what about the interviewer?
I have known people in hiring and firing positions and over a few drinks they often tell me how things go. Quite a lot of the time they just won’t like someone’s face or on a few occasions I’ve been told that they were just in a bad mood that day and didn’t hire the right person. Other times it’s been professional but a month later they’ve had to let the person go becasue they gave a great interview but turned out to be a very poor worker. This leads to the company having the inconvenience of having to advertise the job once again and setup yet more interviews.
Hiring someone is a game of chance and that’s never going to change, but this continual relying on 30 minute stage shows is not going to make that dice roll any more consistent.
Add to the fact that for people with things like social anxiety (who are perfectly capable of doing the job) it is just a nightmare of stress. I’m not talking about just a few butterflies before an interview, I’m talking severe mental health related trauma which can manifest itself as physical ailments such as vomiting, extreme shaking or even blacking out.
“But everyone has to do it so they should suck it up!”
This rather ignorant statement assumes that everyone has the same personality makeup. They don’t and it’s very unfair to have such an unreliable and standardised test like a job interview structure which, let’s face it only favours a certain personality type who can deal with that particular moment. It is however, not in any way a reflection on how well they can do a job.
So what is the solution?
I’ve mentioned this MANY times in previous articles but I’ll mention it again:
Make Jobcentres Jobcentres again!
At the moment they are simply places where one goes to be judged to see if their life is worth £75 a week or not. Jobs are not advertised there anymore (what?) and you basically get little to no help.
Give Jobcentres the (non target based) power to hire on a companies behalf.
A government legislation should me made in which all positions are made available through the Jobcentre. An unemployed person can than have an informal initial interview at the jobcentre with an adviser to get a ballpark of needs (which happens anyway…or at least used to) and then work with the adviser over say a period of a few weeks in finding the perfect job. After which the adviser will contact the company and notify them that a suitable employee has been found and is being sent. The unemployed person will then be given a card with an address and starting date on it.
This extended period of time will give the adviser MUCH more honest information about the unemployed client and be able to tailor a position that will be more suitable and one which there is FAR less likelihood of the person quitting.
The method would also remove the stress of the job interview completely off the table, which in turn will give a more honest impression to the adviser. The client would not have to spend time and precious money travelling to countless separate interviews and so the padding which one sorely needs when unemployed will be greater.
Additionally, the Jobcentre would now actively be helping people into work instead of simply trying to catch them out for a sanction. The time in which an unemployed person is signed on would be significantly slashed thus saving on welfare pay outs and the company who is hiring need not waste time having a day of interviews.
There is of course nothing stopping the company having a very relaxed first day chat to the new worker, or even better having a trial period of some sort. All the pressure is off and what they will be presented with a calm, collected and most importantly, enthusiastic employee.
Being self employed I’m glad I don’t have to put up with that anymore, yet I still see friends who are perfectly capable, intelligent human beings having to deal with this archaic and hollow trial which seems only to exists because it’s been around for so long. and nobody can be bothered changing it.
It’s time that this soul destroying and empty pantomime was put aside in favour of some effective and streamlined methods of getting people employment, becasue right now it’s just another unnecessarily high hurdle in an already uneven race.