Archive for October, 2010

He’s Just Not That Into You

So Mr J and I watched the movie He’s Just Not That Into You the other day. Bit mainstream compared to our usual selection, but I like a chick flick every now and then. I have to say though; I wasn’t impressed with this one! 

Now I’m not much of a feminist, but the women in this movie give women everywhere a bad name, in my opinion. Needy, obsessive, untrusting, etc… Regular bunny boilers, frankly! Not that the men fared much better: Heartless, cheating users the lot of them!

What I did take away from the movie though was a lesson about expectation management and realising you are probably not the exception and are far more likely the rule. The opening sequence covers this well by highlighting how well-meaning friends and family always help us to look on the bright side: If he didn’t call you back it’s probably because he likes you and doesn’t know how to act. Maybe he’s married, but you can’t choose when or who you fall in love with and maybe he’ll leave his wife and you’ll both live happily ever after. Etc etc etc. You can imagine the rest! 

But anyway, I got to thinking: This exact same situation applies to today’s students. I blogged  recently about my expectations of them but what about theirs? There is no one person responsible for managing their expectations: We all play a part. We tell our kids to work hard and they will get a good job. Same with our teachers and lecturers – Get good grades and you will get a good job. Same with peers – ooh you’re so much cleverer than me; you’ll be fine! But plenty of students work really hard, get really good grades and still end up in entry level / retail positions when they graduate. And the reality may not be as depressing as the press implies. And there may be employers still struggling to find candidates of the right calibre for their graduate schemes. But it is tough nonetheless and no-one ever tells them quite HOW tough it might be. No-one tells them they might have to consider starting out in a more junior position and on a lower salary. No-one tells them they’ll probably need to be flexible when they start out and work their way up. No-one tells them.

There are those who ought to (deserve to?) succeed more than others and there are those who succeed against the odds. And sometimes I wonder whether the reason for this is expectations. Maybe sometimes those who should succeed don’t because the reality of the world of work and finding employment has just totally floored them.

But who’s to blame? Well, in my humble opinion, we all are.

Don’t be a Smug Git

So I like to think I’m reasonably tolerant of cold calls from recruiters. They are calls that I myself sometimes have to make and I hate when people give me  the run-around rather than just saying from the word go that they’re not interested. But you know what? If you’re going to cold call any company, then try and retain some form of professionalism and don’t be a smug, arrogant git!

The website of my recruitment-related employer often attracts agency phone calls. We’re very niche and, while we do often recruit in-house, we also recruit for external positions and, if you don’t look at our website properly, it can be an easy mistake to make.

Of course; if you read the website properly it’s screamingly apparent…

So anyway, yesterday I had a phone call from an agency (who shall remain nameless… for now!) touting for business. I didn’t have to, but I took the call. The guy made his pitch, spoke about a specific role we were advertising for, told me how he had looked at our website (looked perhaps, but not read…), and asked whether we’d be interested in utilising his services. Though he had read the job ad, he had clearly done no further research on the company. He didn’t understand what we were or what we did. I explained that we wouldn’t be interested and why. I explained what the company is about how we work. I was, in my humble opinion, perfectly polite, friendly and helpful – if you know me then you’ll know it’s not generally my style not to be.

At the end of the conversation – clearly annoyed by his lack of success – he opted to take the sarcastic, smug approach and closed with “Oh, I see. Well in that case, I suspect the job you’re advertising is for XXX company – thanks for the heads up on that!” [Note: For this to really work, when you imagine him saying it in your head, you have to imagine a really smug, stupid voice and, at the end, a really fake, self-satisfied laugh]

Well there was no need to speak to me like that. And, actually, it wasn’t for XXX company at all…

…But thanks for the lead! ;)


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About Me

Over ten years’ recruitment, employability, HR and sales experience in both the private and public sectors. I've worked in construction recruitment, FMCG headhunting, and in higher education on the employability agenda.

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