Recruiting In The Age of Technology

One would think that in this age of technological advancement, finding a job and interfacing with companies or recruiters would be an easy thing to accomplish. When I was searching for a job in 2015, while still employed, I was meticulous in where I submitted my information and which positions I actually applied. The laser focus of my actions apparently shielded me from the unsavory underbelly of what I have experienced the last four months while searching for a job while being unemployed.

I followed all the mainstream advice given to me by my mentors and colleagues that I’ve kept in contact through the years. My resume profile is listed on LinkedIn, Monster, CareerBuilder, and Indeed. The first 8-10 weeks were postive and yielding a lot of good results, especially after I replaced my resume with the updated one that the career management folks helped me write. These positive results unfortunately were not to last following the holiday season as I found my “profile” popped up on quite a few other job boards without me actually ever creating accounts for them.

The red flags started flying when I started getting calls by different people, from different recruiting companies I’ve never heard of before, for an opportunity with the same company, location, duration and description. At one point, during a few days in mid-February, I received more than a dozen calls for the same job. I called back a few of the ones that left messages and asked how they received my information. A few gave me the runaround once they realized I wasn’t serious about the position but a few gave me solid leads as to how it happened. My details had been uploaded into a massive database from an export of one of the legitimate job seeker boards. This database is then accessed via subscription by recruiter farms that are hired by large corporations to fill non-permanent positions quickly and efficiently. It’s too costly for these corporations to vet these candidates, so they pay a fee to the recruiter farms to present a list of a dozen candidates and they just pick a few and get them onboard to get the job done.

For the job hoppers that make a living doing this sort of work, its all well and good. For the job seeker that likes stability, it’s a reminder that technology can be just as much of a pain in the arse as it can be an efficient augmentation to our lives. I have no way to remove my information from this massive database and have resorted to manually, and tediously, marking these “recruitment” emails as spam. I downloaded an app on my phone that lets me rate and block these calls, some get blocked, some don’t.

As soon as I start my new job, I’ll be removing my profile from everywhere except LinkedIn, which is the way I had it before. I never received these stupid recruiter farm calls prior to my job search in November of last year by just being on LinkedIn.

#emails, #linkedin, #phone-calls, #recruiters, #text-messages

April Fools Start Date

This is the part of the job search, the part where I know I have a new job and my first day is approaching, that I find the most stressful. Walking into a new environment is intimidating enough let alone adding the stress of meeting new people literally all day long. The part of me, you know, the part that is introverted and internalized, is usually not the part that leaves a stellar first impression with anyone. I wish there was a shirt I could wear on my first day of a new job that announced that I was an introvert to let people know that I’m not a pompous asshole.

The hard part is over, you’ve sold yourself to the employer and they offered you the job and know you can do whatever it is they hired you to do. Their part is over and it’s all up to you now to continue to sell yourself to everyone else that didn’t get a chance to interview you weeks ago. Being “on” for an hour or two during an interview is easy even for the most introverted of us out there. Being “on” for an 8 or 9 hour day, for 5 days straight is a completely different endeavor that requires a herculean feat of energy. Despite having started multiple jobs in the last 20 years, it’s never become easier and nothing has ever worked long term.

My standard approach is to observe, with an intensity that often doesn’t hide the internal F5 tornadicane that is going on inside my head. The astute observers will see this and often ask the typical questions “Are you okay?” or “Is there something wrong?” because they just don’t understand. The kindred introvert will immediately identify what is happening and make an attempt to figure out what support is most beneficial and offer it to me. The good ones figure it out and become essential co-workers that with enough time become friends. I have a few of them from previous jobs that I’ve remained in contact through LinkedIn or other means.

Glad I’m back to work again. Unemployment was scrambling my brain.

#introvert, #meeting-people, #new-job

I’ve Got A Job!

I got a call this afternoon from someone that I interviewed with in person almost two months ago. He told me that he just received great news and that they received a verbal approval to start the hiring process and were preparing an official offer of employment to hire me. It’s been exactly 4 months and 1 day (by number, not actual number of days) that I’ve been out of work since I got laid off on November 12th last year. I didn’t believe him at first and a few innocent follow-up questions confirmed that the call was in fact real and it wasn’t a joke. I start, tentatively, on the 25th of this month after all the background stuff is completed.

For anyone that’s been out of work, especially in the information technology field, they know all too well how difficult it can be going through the process of screening and interviewing. Sometimes, depending on the company, it can take three or four rounds before a decision is finally made and an offer is extended. The direct hire market is the hardest, followed closely behind by the contract to hire market. The easiest to get hired and conversely hardest job to work is the short-term contract role as there is an assumption of knowledge and experience from day one. Thankfully the job I was offered today is a direct hire role for a stable company.

The last few weeks has been rather difficult as I’ve found myself getting lost in self-defeating thoughts and depressive black holes asking questions of my abilities. Why wasn’t I getting any offers? Why was I getting to a third and fourth round and coming 2nd or 3rd choice? What was I doing wrong that others were doing right? It was a self-deprecating pity party where I was the only guest that was getting harder to turn off when other people were around. The feelings were spilling into other parts of my life that were affecting the ones that were there supporting me through this crappy time of unemployment. My energy was spent by mid-day just keeping myself “together” enough to function. The days I had in person interviews were the worst of all because there was no relief.

I’m so happy now that the searching is over and I can settle into a new role. The bitterness of “why” from my previous role will fade over time as the new responsibilities of the new position start to become normal daily life. I can’t wait for the 25th now!

#employed, #got-a-job, #unemployment

Migrated Back to WordPress.com

So, I decided that the cost and upkeep with a self-hosted blog was significantly more than I anticipated. The additional freedom to do what you want, how you want to do it, and in any way you want to do it no matter the “subscription” level wasn’t enough to make it worth all the other commitments required. The constant administration was enough to suck all the fun out of having a personal blog site in the first place. So much so despite years of writing easily migrating back to wordpress.com, none of my previous followers that had stuck with me during the first migration could stay with the return trip. I’m back to no followers again.

In my hasty retreat from self-hosted administration time suckage, I deleted the old site quicker than it took to transfer the domain and the lifebetween0and1.com site is currently offline and not reachable. Until the domain transfer goes through, it will continue to remain down. Oh well, it’s a lesson learned the hard way as are most lessons in the tech world, otherwise they wouldn’t be lessons. I’m hoping that I can still see followers through the JetPack details and get some messages off to those that I would still want to have follow me back again.

Now that I’m hosted again back at WordPress, at half the cost with a free domain I might add, I’m making some changes towards the minimal and slimming down the site even more than it already had been. Without constant administration, I really hope that the urge and drive to write more comes back again especially after I find a new job. That still has not happened yet, but I’m really close now with multiple irons in the fire. Only a matter of time.

#administration, #free-domain, #self-hosted, #wordpress