Human Resource Departments Mimic Vicious Ant Colonies

Dear Job Hunter, I need to confess to you, I have felt this way for years, HR Departments really function as an ant colony, as a vicious killer ant colony.  The bad ones from Africa I’ve seen on NatGeo.  What do I mean?  Human Resources and their supporting staff eat their own, devour wooing applicants up and, will step all over other staff members in other departments in the organization.  I’ll begin this mental journey, to explain why, with a true story of a job seminar I gave some time back.

I was doing a short talk at a church in Minnetonka, Minnesota about how resumes and career profiles should be written in a tight job market, and had some success with my talking points.  As well, the hosting career coach opened a question and open comment time for everyone, as I was her guest speaker that evening.  To my surprise an HR Director got up, who was displaced herself, said, “I want to apologize in how rude HR Departments are, as I have now seen what it was like being on the other end.  They can be the some of the rudest people in the whole organization.   And I am sorry for that.“ 

I was very shocked why she was so terse in her confession, the same way I felt about HR for years.  They don’t send rejection letters.  If you are fired, they give you three minutes to prep your desk to leave.  I could go on and on, and I’m sure you, the reader, could probably add your own horror story.   This behavior needs to stop.  It needs to stop immediately.  We need to point out how rude and very disrespectful they have always been, and it needs to cease with informative essays like this one.  We demand respect and tolerance they give themselves.

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I’ve been working with a local fresh grad paralegal on her resume marketing package, and need to note to you that from my experience over the years, and with her, the only organization that still may have a ‘Pollyanna’ view of people, meaning, be nice to your neighbor, is the law firm.  Law firms still send out rejection letters (or emails) and thank you cards for inquiries into employment of the firm.  HR Directors need to learn from these law firms that you are required to be nice to people by telling them at least you got the application, if the firm is not interested, send a letter stating why the position was recently filled or the position has been closed.  Treat your applicants like you are writing your grandmother from summer camp.  Don’t be rude; see them as a real live person and tell them what’s going on this week. 

Finally, I’ll tell you what ant colonies do.  When in war with another ant colony, going over a water stream or something like that in a desert in Africa, the dead ones in the water are walked all over by the warrior ant. 

HR Managers and the like, please treat resumes and applicants as the best document or work history they can produce at this point.  It is.  Don’t walk over (reject) the applicant IF there is one spelling error.  Functionally, it is the work history represented in the submitted documents that shows some kind of accomplishment.  I am sure, even an HR Director, does not write an email in grammar-perfect English everyday or may have a questionable work history.  Why shouldn’t you expect the same?  Don’t kill the resume or application over one little error or a perceived job gap.  Are you a queen ant dictator that gives no grace and mercy, killing all workers with even the slightest deviation?  I would hope HR would prove to be human and not a vicious ant-eating killer ant colony.

 

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