The employment game – the discrimination against unemployed STEM professionals…

Naked Capitalism   is always a good source of information about the “real economy”.  You know, the one where all is not so rosy and hopeful.  Its a place where reality sets in and shines a light on  why the economy remains so crappy for so many five years into a so-called “recovery”.

In a recent article about a startup CEO Wolf Richter reveals  some of the more draconian recruiting strategies that eliminate the currently unemployed and anyone over “a certain age”.  The article profiles  a young CEO (Rebekah Campbell) who is looking for both venture capital and  technical recruits.  Having trouble getting  A+ recruits might be partly associated with the difficulty of getting a steady flow of venture capital.  

But I digress…

Here is the gist of Campbell’s recruiting strategy – in her own words from a New York Times article she wrote:

In the past, I would have posted job ads on all the appropriate websites and braced for the flood of applications….Often they would all be disappointing….My problem was that the best candidates all had good positions….Somehow I had to find these people an convince them to take a risk…

In other words, if you are currently unemployed it is obviously your fault.  So don’t call us; we will not be calling you.

I am not an engineer, so I don’t have a great network in this area ….I know the people who apply through online job ads are seldom the best candidates.

If you aren’t an engineer, how do you have enough knowledge to make this determination at all?

Some companies, like Google, have a reputation of hiring the best developers.  On LinkedIn I can run a search specifically for engineers that are currently working for Google….

Amazing.  Since you are not an engineer and have no idea what you are looking for, this creates the necessity for a work-around.  Somehow I don’t think Google would be thrilled to realize that they were a screening tool for potential employees for a competitor.

There is one catch.  If I’m trying to poach the best people from our competitors, I can be sure that they’re trying to steal my best people too…You can try to discourage your staffers from using the platform – although this is nearly impossible.

Yup…What goes around tends to come around.   Since these candidates were poachable, the likelihood of them being loyal to the person that poached them is slim.

As a small-business owner, I recognize that building the right team is crucial. We only have room for A-plus players, who will always be in good positions and may require quite a bit of convincing to leave.

Seriously? Seriously? You are yet another social media company a species that is   multiplying like bunnies.  The last thing this world needs yet another social media platform.   By your own admission, you are underfunded and yet you think that somehow only poached A+ players from the likes of Google are good enough for you?

There is so much wrong with this that I don’t know where to begin…

First Ms. Campbell:  let me get this straight:

You believe that your “C-level” financially unstable company deserves nothing but “A+ players”.  Therefore, you refuse to look at the unemployed  – or God forbid – anyone over the age of 50. Therefore, you use LinkedIn to deliberately poach talent from other employers such as Google that really are “A+”.  Meanwhile, you do everything in your power to prevent the developers you poached from using the crappy system you exploited to find alternative employment when they realize what a schmuck you actually are.

This is why people don’t pursue STEM career tracks…

People wonder why no one wants study engineering or science anymore.  Small wonder, when talent is treated as if they are as disposable as toilet paper.  You want to prevent poaching?  Loyalty is a two-way street.  Offer a good position at a decent salary and good perks.  Add in some modicum of job security, get rid of the age discrimination and you might find yourself with cluster of valuable employees.  But loyalty is a two-way street. Treating highly educated talent like disposable parts is not going to get you anywhere.

At the end of the day, I don’t know what’s worse, that Ms. Campbell thought  any of this is OK or that she was stupid enough to publish this in the New York Times.

© 2014 – RGHicks – – All rights reserved.

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