Category: Blog

Another work week on the horizon.

Air conditioning that hasn’t worked since the end of June. And no prospects of it getting fixed before the leaves turn.

So any tea party douchebag that wants to know where his tax dollars are going? It sure as hell ain’t to provide decent working conditions.

HR? Get OUT of the hiring business

From the “Ask the Headhunter” website. I’ve extracted some of the real gems, but you should read the whole article because this is truth to power. In spades.

Better question: Should Human Resources (HR) be in the recruiting and hiring business? My answer is an emphatic NO for three main reasons, though there are many others.

First, HR is qualified to recruit and hire only other HR workers. HR is not expert in marketing, engineering, manufacturing, accounting, or any other function. HR is thus not the best manager of recruiting, candidate selection, interviewing, or hiring for any of those corporate departments.

  • Don’t send a Human Resources clerk to do a manager’s job,
  • Put your managers in the game from the start, and
  • Deliver value to the candidate throughout the job application process.

I think companies suffer when they subject applicants to the impersonal and bureaucratic experience of dealing with HR.

Which brings me to the third reason HR should be taken out of the recruiting and hiring business: HR has no skin in the game. It virtually doesn’t matter who is recruited, processed, or hired because HR isn’t held accountable.

But HR’s domination of recruiting and hiring has led to a disaster of staggering magnitude in our economy. In the middle of one of the biggest talent gluts in American history, employers complain they can’t fill jobs.

According to PBS NewsHour estimates, there are over 27 million Americans looking for work, either because they are unemployed or under-employed. (The U. S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reports there are 12 million unemployed.) I prefer the NewsHour figure because it tells us just how big the pool of available talent is. Concurrently, BLS also reports there are 3.7 million jobs vacant.

HR has a special term for this 7:1 ratio of available talent to vacant jobs. HR departments and employers call this 7:1 job-market advantage “The Great Talent Shortage!”

While the economy has put massive numbers of talented workers on the street, HR nonetheless complains it can’t find the workers it needs. That’s no surprise when HR’s idea of finding talent is to resort to database searches and keyword filtering, which are disastrously inadequate methods for finding and attracting the best hires.

The typical HR process of recruiting and hiring is most generously described as hiring who comes along via job boards and advertisements. It’s a rare (and precious) HR worker who gets up from behind the computer display to actually go find, meet, and bring home good candidates.

Wasting money

Last year, almost a billion dollars was sucked up by just one online “job board,”, which was reported as the “source of hires” only 1.3% of the time by employers surveyed. HR could be advocating for the personal touch in recruiting, but blows massive recruiting budgets on job boards with little to show in return.

Wasting good hires

Good candidates are lost because database algorithms and keyword filters miss indicators of quality that are not captured by software. And highly qualified technical applicants are rejected because they are screened not by other technical experts, but by HR, which is too far removed from business units that need to select the best candidates.

Mistaking quantity for quality
HR has turned recruiting into a volume operation — the more applicants, the better. This results in impersonal, superficial reviews of candidates and quick, high-volume yes/no decisions that are prone to error.

Excusing unprofessional behavior
Soliciting far more applicants than HR can process properly results in unprofessional HR behavior, angry applicants and damage to corporate reputations. HR routinely suggests that the high volume of applicants it must process explains its rude no-time-for-thank-yous-or-follow-ups behavior — while it expects job applicants to adhere to strict rules of professional conduct.

Failing to be accountable
Because HR does not report to the departments it recruits for, it tends to behave inefficiently and unaccountably with impunity. The bureaucracy grows without checks and balances, and the hiring process becomes dull, rather than honed to a true competitive edge.

Marginalizing professional networks
HR tends to isolate managers from the initial recruiting and screening process, further deteriorating the already weak links between managers and the professional communities they need to recruit from.

Bureaucratizing a strategic function
The complexity of corporate HR infrastructure encourages isolation and siloing. Evidence of this is HR’s over-emphasis of legal risks in recruiting and its administrative domination of this top-level business function.

Wasting time
With recruiting and hiring relegated to an often cumbersome HR process, managers cannot hire in a timely way. Good candidates are frequently lost to the competition. (HR doesn’t have to deal with the consequences, but when a good sales candidate is lost to a competitor, the sales department loses twice.)

It’s time for HR to get out of the recruiting and hiring business, and to give this strategic function back to business units and managers who design, build, manufacture, market and sell a company’s products. Who better to decide who’s worth hiring? Who better to aggressively go find the people who will give the company an edge?


Mary Anning

Mary_Anning_paintingFrom Wikipedia:

Mary Anning (21 May 1799 – 9 March 1847) was a British fossil collectordealer, and palaeontologist who became known around the world for important findings she made in the Jurassic marine fossil beds at Lyme Regis in Dorset, a county in Southwest England on the coast of the English Channel, where she lived.[2] Her work contributed to fundamental changes that occurred during her lifetime in scientific thinking about prehistoric life and the history of the Earth.


The job hunting Wall of Shame

When you apply for a job, get past multiple phone screenings, and have a face-to-face in person interview you would expect the courtesy of a reply if you did not get the position, wouldn’t you? Apparently this is not how it’s done. Which is disgraceful and disrespectful to the candidate. Whether the responsibility lies with the HR department (which seem to be universally execrable) or the hiring manager it doesn’t matter.

From personal experience, the nonrespondents* (in no particular order):

Gwynedd Mercy College
Amerihealth Caritas
Thomson Reuters
Beneficial Bank

*updated as we go merrily along

I could add a list of all the unprofessional characters who promise a callback or a phone interview and are never heard from again. But that would trail off into infinity. Although I do have to give a special prize to Endo Pharmeceuticals and their HR recruiter who literally just hung up the phone in the middle of the screening.

There is some pretty amazing crap online from human resources ‘professionals’ all claiming that this is just part of the job hunting process and they shouldn’t be blamed because they are OHSOBUSY and applicants shouldn’t take it personally. All I can say is that if I did my job the way they do theirs? I wouldn’t have it for long. I have no earthly idea why this seems to be a universal HR lament. I am even more confounded as to why it is tolerated.

Knitting: Owls Cardigan Sweater

Owls cardigan sweater

Finally finished this lovely pattern from Kate Davies. I converted it to a cardigan and decided to only provide ‘eyes’ to only one owl. Buttons came from the stash.

Really nice knit. Went relatively fast since it is Bulky yarn that I got from Knitpicks. Which also made it an affordable project. Hopefully it will wear well. I have to say the fit is fabulous. I didn’t do the back shaping which was a good decision. Shaping is all on the sides. I also didn’t do the short rows for the back neck because I just didn’t like the way they looked but that choice  doesn’t seem to have marred the finished project. I highly recommend the pattern.

Walgreens, iTunes and JUST NO

Let me register my disapproval of Walgreens right here on the internetz. Not that my little voice matters but I’m saying it anyway.

Last night we mistakenly bought a $30 iTunes gift card at the local Walgreens. By the time we got home (literally 10 minutes later) we realized we had made a mistake and went back to Walgreens and asked to return the cards. Still in the Walgreens bag, still factory sealed, with a receipt that says Walgreens will take back anything to keep you happy.

NOT SO. They refused to take the iTunes cards back. For no really particularly good reason except that they didn’t want to. Total douchebaggery. We called the customer service people and they were just as rude.

No more Walgreens for me. I have an equidistant choice of Walgreens or CVS. CVS it is.

Scrabble night

We play board games. Tonite was Scrabble night.

Scrabble Christmas

The Old Man is wicked good at Scrabble.

Scrabble Christmas

and the winning board ….

Scrabble Christmas

It was a nice way to pass the time. Quiet and removed from the outside world that is currently in the final throes of Christmas frenzy. It’s like the real world is in some kind of stasis until the insanity passes. It’s an uncomfortable feeling. December becomes a lost month. There is nowhere to hide from the bombardment of commericals, songs, entreaties to BUY MY STUFF. The traffic is terrible. Supermarkets are mobbed. People get pretty shitty with one another because of the pressure to BUY THAT STUFF and do all the things that the Christmas script demands or …. else? I just want the world to get back on track. Only 2 more days of madness.


Winter Solstice 2013

Ave! Solstice!

As if signaling that the Sun is indeed on his return run, the weather for Solstice was warm and sunny in a region where at this time of year there should be cold and snow. I BATHED in the sunshine. I frequently wonder why I live in this region at all because I love warmth. Probably from all those happy years living in southern Nevada.

A view of my Solstice:

Bayberry Candles from Mole Hollow Candles in Sturbridge, MA. Hand dipped. Not overly fragrant. They burn beautifully, evenly, and do not drip all over the place.

Bayberry Candles for Solstice

The silver candlesticks have been in my husband’s family for some time. They have seen much service for all sorts of holiday and family gatherings. Now they serve our household.

Silver candlesticks for Solstice

The Solstice altar. My personal tastes run to restraint. Decorative stags handmade by the woodworking husband, holly of various varieties, fir and twigs. I also add some rosemary and a golden pear.

Winter Solstice altar

Winter Solstice altar

I always love decorating the tree. So many symbols that we love.

Winter Solstice ornament

Winter Solstice ornamentWinter Solstice ornamentWinter Solstice ornamentWinter Solstice ornament

A lovely night. Vale!

Winter Solstice