The Hiring Blues…

I need to hire an employee. I dread what the process has become and so I procrastinate, not ready to put myself through the agony of resumes and interviews. It shouldn’t be this way, but it is. So many of today’s job seekers are wholly unqualified for the job I offer, or really for almost any job. Why is this? There are a bunch of reasons. Starting in childhood, children are not made to understand the value of work, the value of earning your own way. In the generations before, parents made their kids earn their allowance, or their treats by doing chores. When they accumulated enough to buy the treat of their choice that is when they got the treat. Parents today give their kids pretty much whatever they want, and without understanding the value of the money that bought that treat and the effort it took to earn that money, they have no context in which to understand working for what you need or want. It is easier for parents to buy something to mollify a screaming child, than to take the time and effort to teach valuable life lessons.

In generations past, if the work done to earn the allowance or treat was not adequate, it had to be done again until it was right. Today, employees don’t have any self-initiated work ethic. They are late to work, they look at their cell phones half the day and they literally can doze on the job. The goal is to do the least possible, not the most. There is no self-respect in the work ethic of today.

Next problem is what we teach in school today. Again, work ethics are not demanded, and parents are constantly excusing their kids scholastic shortcomings and lack of effort on any number of fantastical reasons. We just want everyone to be the same, so we don’t have things like the spelling bees that might make some child feel inferior because someone else was better. So we just dumb down the curriculum to meet the needs of the least of us and not have kids strive to be the best of us.

We used to have woodshop and auto shop and home economics, and trades that could be learned in high school. By taking that away, we lost a whole generation of trade workers in our country. People that are needed in every community in America. Our kids come out of school not even knowing how to read a tape measure. When they seek a job in excavation, or construction, they are totally unprepared to be a productive member of that employer’s team.

The department of education thought that the future was that every child would go to college and the wave of the future was computer sciences. They forgot that every child is different. Each has their own individual strengths and weaknesses, and by making schools the same for all, we do them a great disservice, and we do our country and the people in it who need trades on a daily basis a disservice. They also forgot that those computer science majors, along with every other human being needs to use the restroom, and we need plumbers, and people need to live somewhere, so we need builders, and we drive and need mechanics. Everyone wants that “corner office”, but no one knows how to build it anymore!

We are losing the generations of dads who taught their kids their business, their trade and their profession. It was the hands on learning from generation to generation that made this country great. It was the ethic to work hard for your daily pay.

Today’s kids grow up on TV, iPads and cell phones. They don’t go out and play which teaches social skills. People learn from people. Our kids interact with electronic equipment rather than other people. They do not learn communication skills, or how to handle a problem, or how to handle stress. They don’t realistically compete in sports, everyone gets a trophy. Feelings trump accomplishment. They don’t know how to make eye contact. When an employer does make the effort to train and teach and discuss job performances, they are met with the “deer in the headlights” stare.

When an employer puts a job posting on one of the job sites with specific requirements they need for the applicant to meet, we are flooded with resumes that are so poorly written, misspelled, and 98% of which do not resemble the requirements needed and stated in the posting. After sifting through them and selecting a few for interview, I just find that  people show up inappropriately dressed, unable to carry a conversation and do not have the skills they claimed to have in their application.

Colleges do not prepare people for the “real” job world. It is not a theory type of learning. Students need to be educated in actual skills that will be of value to actual employers. I see more college graduates with accounting degrees that have no idea how to use Excel, or balance books, or create an invoice, or apply a credit. Somewhere we have lost the connection between school and the real world. The courses offered in colleges are just stupid and not useful to students or employers.

Almost to a one, the question I am asked most in an interview is do I pay for their insurance and how much vacation do they get and what other benefits are offered. Nothing about how they can help my company, or what my business will gain by choosing them to be the person to get the job.

It will be a long road to make the corrections to get a work force today like the workforce of yesterday. Parents have to start the responsibility of training at home, when children are young. They have to start the communication skills at home and stop having electronics babysit children, and they need to stop defending their every action, right or wrong and give them a sense of how to behave with others in life.

We are rapidly becoming the community of me instead of the community for doing what is right in life, in school, and in our jobs. As employers, the government castrates us and takes away every tool we should have to select the right person for the job. It is to everyone’s benefit, employee, employer, and existing employees to have a harmonious team.

As for me, I need an employee, and it’s a daunting task, especially in California, where I as an employer have no right to ask them the things that I need to in order to make the best decision for my company and my other employees. Wish me luck.

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