Are they kidding?

Posted: May 4th, 2007 | Author: | Filed under: Archive, Business, HR, Systematic Viewpoints | No Comments »

The Taleo blog reports on a report from Money Magazine on the best jobs in America for people looking for change in their careers. They present 4 meta categories that resemble daytime television programming: Young & Restless, Returning Parent (they really mean “Mom” but that wouldn’t be very PC), From the Military to the private sector, and my favorite – Over 50. I have thoughts about the selections, especially (ahem) the Over 50 category but the real issue for me is the coarse-grained categorization. Given the tensions of the journalistic format I can understand the desire to make this snappy.

What really surprises me is that this same broad brush is picked up by Taleo:

“For recruiters, this is a nice piece of research to help target a specific candidate pool. Looking for Sales Reps? Find moms looking to return to the workplace. Need a Field Service Engineer? Identify someone retiring from the military, and so on.”

“Proactive, targeted candidate sourcing and the use of automated solutions can go a long way towards filling open positions with talented employees who will stay with your organization.” Link.

That’s targeting? This is the opposite of what Enterprise 2.0 promises. We shouldn’t use our tools for incredibly broad generalizations that slot candidates based on generalized demographics. These are important categorizations but by themselves they have no more depth than a sound bite. Being in the over 50 category and coming off my fresh experience in the market I’m offended when I’m contacted for positions that have no bearing on my experience or career trajectory but are the result of some sloppy match based on a single data point about me. At least no one suggested (yet) that I should consider teaching, pension administration or medical records coding – all great choices for an Old Guy, apparently.

Thomas should send Taleo his copy of the Cluetrain Manifesto.