Sunday, February 15, 2015
How Far We've Come
The calamities of our times and existence. It's good that the old falls away in deference to the new, in order to make space for Progress and state of the art practices. If that were not so, we would be buried in our own innovations, past as well as present in addition to evolving. Let's look at how this progress has impacted the world of work, recruiting, and job search.
How far we've come since the days of registering with a temp agency and waiting by the silent phone for the agency call us with a job we can do. But the phone only rang on sporadic occasions - or after we left the house because we'd grown weary of putting Life on hold while waiting for The Call. Full time, permanent work was the tried and true path with the security of a livable minimum wage, knowing you'd qualified to hold the job you landed, and happy because that also meant you'd gotten your foot in the door. It was possible to rise from the entry-level position by proving yourself worthy with good work and other advancement strategies such as applying for open positions.
After a time, progress gave us a tool to overcome being bound to the house during the business day. We did not have to balance going out on interviews and missing temp agency calls or the call offering The job. The introduction of the answering machine gave us freedom. We could access messages after we got home - after 6 PM!
How far we've come since the days of newspaper classified ads: "Situations for Men" and "Situations for Women." Only men were eligible for the engineering opportunities. There were no typist or secretarial ads in the "Men" section. And since the opportunities were not identical, there was no comparing salaries and speculating about why the wages offered for men doing the work was higher than the wages offered to women doing the same tasks and same positions.
The Oakland Fire brought mobility of phones - by necessity. But the cell phone was a coming thing and with it came tele-everything, chips, semiconductors, trans-sumthinnorothers. We could receive notice of those temp situations as they arose. And then the days of banning devices came but quickly went out the back door.
Just look at what the world of online job boards did to the recruiting industry. It led to the advent of online resumes that were searchable! Now LinkedIn profiles can be converted to .PDF files from templates available on the site. It's finally possible to create a profile that reads in a much more cogent manner. Well, depending on how good you are at creating your own resume or profile and how disciplined you can be in whittling in just the right way to craft a notable document you can create a much more cogent document.
Even before we were mature enough to get past discriminatory screening for whatever opportunity was sought, we entered the brave new world of online and televised (Skype) resumes and interviewing. Even photos attached to applications became acceptable for some situations outside of entertainment.
Moving into the world of LinkedIn and Facebook networking was a slap yourself in the face experience because it was such an obvious progression from listservs. Overcome the limiting boundaries of space by developing business relationships via online conversations and exchanges. We should have seen that coming back in the early days of the Internet.
Webinars are not only marketing and educational enrichment tools. They are opportunities for employers to strut their strong points and gain exposure to the types of people they want to attract. Have employers (or even recruiters) become aware of the recruiting and hiring potential of these instruments in their toolboxes?
So what's the next step in sourcing, recruiting, and job search? Is it about to explode because it can given the liberal avenues now available because of technology? Or will opportunities shrink for minority populations because of the xenophobia associated with the newer influxes of immigrants and the stereotypical myths that still constrain our Black and Brown populations to marginalization, low pay, and criminal records for minor offenses?
How liberal are we willing to become as we press deeper into the 21st Century in order to find the skilled and qualified talent?