Opinions! Everyone has one and you know what? We all love sharing an opinion. Opinionating and gossiping, it’s hard-wired in our DNA and has been ever since Lucy walked the plains down in Africa.
And what an era we live in. Today we have Social Media to give the world and their dog a soapbox to stand on and voice an opinion, you even feel a little wiser after reading some of them.
For others though, well, sometimes you wonder, not because the article was particularly bad or biased but because it simply wasn’t relevant, for you. It was one of many that get written and published on subjects such as “5 ways to play mind games with your boss” or “Decode British etiquette (and avoid getting ruthlessly stared at as you push your way to the coffee machine)”.
Don’t get me wrong. I’m the first to get on my soap box and comment on a topic in a blog <uh, hum> not many people will ever read. I also happen to believe that a) there’s no age limit to learning, b) that age is no guarantee of intelligence and c) good advice can put even a jaded professional back on track. It’s for that reason I’ll give everyone a chance but I’ll take a good thought-provoking article by an experienced peer over a Dr. Travis Bradberry special any day, not to mention any article about how I should sign my emails.
Just so there’s no misunderstanding. For having written a few articles myself, I make a point of never shooting down the writer, just the chosen subject. I’ll even offer an opinion on the style but as a boss once told me “if it’s not relevant then why write about it”? OK, I hear you. It might not be relevant for me but it might be relevant for a Millennial. But come to think of it, why a Millennial? After all, they’ve just finished 4+ years in college, they’re educated, tech savvy and have wordplay so let them “Disrupt” established email etiquette if they want to.
Talking of which. I see the need for categorizing niche market products like green diesel or vegan cheese but why this obsession with sticking a label on a Generation? Oh, I get it! The phone rings: “Hello Mr. “Gen X”. May we interest you in a pension scheme or some retirement real estate in southern Spain? Or, “… and just so you know, moving forward, we’re processing your résumé using our new, “Next-Gen-Tech” “HRaaS” software. That way, we’ll be able to process your profile and get the company’s answer back to you a lot quicker!” Great! And the imponderables in all that?
As a side note. If recruiters worry about “Quality of End User Experience” then one way of assuring customer satisfaction would be to highlight the human touch, flexibility and organic processing over next generation technology. Before anyone reacts, I know some who do go out-of-the-box and they know who they are but I’ve also had my share of recruiters, or their databases, who’ve confused my candidature with someone else’s. And while I’m about it. It really isn’t encouraging to learn from an HR “Expert” that, due to cost reductions, “Next Gen Tech” AI algorithms soon will be parsing job-seeker profiles. that’s one slippery slope they have there.
I know your secret, uh, pain point!
Still on the matter of recruiting, I just finished reading an article on LinkedIn by a recruitment specialist and “INfluencer”, followed by the comments, offering, as to be expected, a totally different but very reasonable HR rationale. I like reading these articles and their comments because the insight is always good for the taking, elaborating on and re-sharing (echo chamber, here I come), even when not needed immediately.
I can’t profess to being an expert on the subject but writing an article about pain letters as if they were the cure for cancer seems a bit risky, unless, of course, the candidate is an expert business analyst with 30 years’ trade experience. Personally, I’d advise against writing a pain letter to a prospective employer telling them what their problem is and how they, a job-seeker, can change the situation. At best it’s brave and ambitious, at worst its pretentious and somewhat arrogant to pretend that one single job-seeker, alone, could turn a company’s fortunes around… Alone? Bad plan!
Personally, I’d use a different approach. Use psychology and emotional intelligence (know your contact and their environment), show proof of win, experience, and/or adaptability, expression, culture, motivation and know a bit about the company and its market position. What better way to showcase a candidate’s value-add, even for a Millennial“ “Gen Zer” … “Millennial” is so last year!