Knowing What You Want

I always chuckle when I read these `I can't find anyone to hire!' articles ("No One Left to Hire"). Having been part of the human-resources staff of a major New York corporation, I speak from a position of experience. If your organization can't solve its staffing needs, then you are looking in the wrong place for the wrong person.

Recently, I had the displeasure of watching an open position remain unfilled at a company we were working with. The client needed an office manager with a wide range of previous experience. To me, that means someone with maturity, HR exposure, and a variety of prior supervisory positions. The client was presented with a choice of candidates and, of course, the client was unhappy with them all.

In fact, any one of the candidates would have worked fine, and there was one who was ideal. The client found fault with every single one of the candidates, with comments ranging from "too aggressive" to "not the right experience." To make matters worse, the position had been filled three times in the past three years; obviously, something was wrong on the management side.

I believe we see these articles because clients don't know what they want, have a problem articulating their needs, and, most important, fail to keep their expectations in line with reality.

And I am sure that some of your readers cringed at the suggestion that companies hire people with checkered pasts. In the financial world, this is something that you legally cannot do. The banking and security firms require fingerprint and credit checks as a prerequisite to employment. Consultants and temporary staff are also subjected to this intense scrutiny.


New York, N.Y.

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