What Corporate America Gets Wrong

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Photo credit: www.helmcoaching.net

I’ve never been a friend to corporate America. It’s never done me any favors and vice versa. It’s a system I disagree with at large, without getting all Marxist about it. I’ve just never bought in. I learned early, they don’t value people.

They say they value customers but I invite you to walk into any McDonald’s or Wal-Mart in America and let me know if you believe that when you walk out. Watch the documentary that discloses Walmart’s awful business and hiring tactics. Hear the story of the woman who was threatened simply because they found out her Father was a union worker.

The downfall of the American hiring process began with the digital application. The first time a kid fresh out of High School walked into a store, looked a manager in the eye and asked if they were hiring before being told to “fill it out online” — we as American job seekers would begin to double as hurdle jumpers. Any human element to the hiring process was surgically removed. It had it’s tongue cut out and was told to speak when spoken to, as if it were even capable of doing so.

Anyone who has filled out an online application in the last decade can tell you, corporations don’t want intelligent and creative employees capable of thinking critically; they want obedient workers. People not smart or poignant enough to question the very misguided status quo. Those who won’t rock the boat.

The digital applications themselves are insulting. You’re typically asked a series of twenty questions, each one reworded and asked in a different way three or four times over. Of course on each, there is a specific answer they are looking for — yet they don’t want you to give them the answer they are looking for just for the sake of doing so. They want people who think like they think.

Yesterday, for the first time in three years — I had a formal, corporate job interview. I was honestly surprised I got a call back, I assumed my digital application would get lost in the matrix and I’d never get so much as an opportunity to present myself to another human being in the company.

I was greeted by a man about my age, we had a good opening conversation as he led me back to the young lady who would be interviewing me. Had it been up to him, I believe I would’ve landed the job on the spot. I was asked to be seated among a group of young men who were also waiting to be interviewed. Many of whom I judged for being under dressed, specifically the young man sitting next to me. He looked like he grabbed his shirt out of the hamper and forgot to comb his hair. And of course, he was the one all of the ladies at the administrative desk just loved. They couldn’t stop talking about how adorable he was. I’ve never regretted wearing a clean and ironed shirt as much as I have in that moment.

I nailed the interview. I responded to every condescending question, not created by the woman asking me them, without hesitation and with grace. Again, I believe had it been up to this woman, I would have gotten the job on the spot. Much to my dismay, it wasn’t up to her either.

I was then passed on to a second interview. If i’m being honest, I didn’t shine as brightly during the second one. Mainly, because I didn’t foresee having to nail a second interview as well. Almost every question I was asked in the second interview, had zero to do with the job I was applying for. At the end of it, I was told “They’d be in touch”.

The human element has been completely removed from the hiring process. Managers are no longer interested in firm handshakes and solid eye contact. It’s about a cumulative score generated by a computer on a questionnaire created by someone neither the interviewer nor interviewee will ever meet. Questions designed for show, not performance. They want to know they are hiring people who know how to jump through proverbial hoops and appear morally sound on paper. Not the best person for the job.

In turn, both the corporation and best candidate for the job suffer. From there, that suffering is passed onto the customer who is left at the mercy of the less qualified employee, that all the ladies at the administrative desk found to be cute as a button. The only job being adorable should be a necessary requirement for, is the Gerber baby. I don’t expect a call back.

I say all of this at the risk of sounding like an embittered individual who is upset he didn’t get hired on spot, rather than the man who was reluctant to fill out the application for such a job in the first place. I assure you, I could have wrote this before that interview or being called in for it. It essentially just served as a reminder of the broken system corporate America operates off of.

Writing About the Human Condition, via My Thoughts, Observations, Experiences, and Opinions — Founder of Journal of Journeys and BRB INC ©

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