Saturday, November 05, 2005

My take on job postings & placement consultants

(This is a tribute to Urvil Modi-who could easily be mistaken for a one stop shop for anything to do with a job change.)
Apologies to the countless faceless & worthless job postings that I went through in order to find myself a job. The search was partially successful-I did get a job, no thanks to the numerous job postings. It’s the feeling you get when you desperately search for your pair of spectacles all around-the living room, on top of the refrigerator, beneath the fat aunt’s posterior, on the floor and yet you find them at that one place you didn’t consider worth searching.

Anyway, at that point, it did not seem to be what it appears in hindsight-time well spent in order that I get precious content for my own blog posting. It was this daily ritual which with alarming consistency built hopes (If you are smart, bright and from an IIM), threw me in despair (only ASM jobs available in Jharkhand & AP), made me dream (Do you want to change the world and do something great?) and made me rue the day I decided I didn’t have the aptitude for IT or anything remotely techie (urgent requirement for 30 SAP, UNIX, blah blah that I didn’t understand. Global posting and global salary). Here are five most memorable things that I encountered on my job hunting journey:

a) The gracious donor- More often than not, there’ll be this magnanimous soul who will mail your e-groups (more often than not, your alumni e-groups) with the standard “Please contact the consultant directly”. Now the intentions may be bonafide but must we have that line…I’m too busy to address any concerns or queries that you may have, now that I have rescued your wretched life by making you aware this thankless job is available..!! Or I didn’t want this job…so maybe you could try your luck. Guys, forward the information-just tell the head hunter who contacted you to mail the moderator of the e-groups. Intermediaries however dear and adorable as friends, in this case, perform no value addition.

b) You can’t escape clich├ęs- The head hunters or Placement consultants desperately need their own “Thou shalt not repeat” code. The repetition of words and phrases is enough to drive a sane job-seeker into an assembly line factory product, pretty much like themselves. They inevitably name themselves to the tune of best jobs for you, career horizons, right search, right track etc. etc. Requirements are always urgent. Compensation is always best in the industry. (if everyone is the best, then the best becomes average. Then no one is best any more!) Location and salary are never a constraint for the right candidate. Sorry, Mr. Karat, no one likes the left any more. (Or did they mean right brained..I kinda like that…loads of research now’days to show how good you are if your right side of the brain is more evolved).

c) Thinly veiled disguises- I like cracking su-doku puzzles.My boyfriend’s into anagrams and cross word puzzles. But the headhunters…they like to play guessing games with you. So they’ll tell you about this multinational snack foods company which is the industry leader with its range of potato chips and extruded snacks. Its like, if you are too dumb to guess the right answer, then obviously you are not the one we are looking for. Also deeply hypocritical is the way they set out to eliminate people without mentioning names. Candidates with experience in tobacco (read ITC), paints (read Asian paints) etc. need not apply. Could someone please give them a candour tonic?

d) Housewives aren’t the only ones desperate- This is a fairly recent phenomenon-no I’m not referring to the rising popularity of Desperate Housewives ( I love the show). You can almost smell the urgency of action & the undertone of being below the month’s billing target..simply by observing how the job post arrives in your mail box. There are those who give you a really long introduction of their organization and then tell you that there are jobs on the website of the organization to be accessed. There are those who put in a dignified introduction and tell you about the job and ask you if you are interested, if not, maybe you have friends who would be. And then there are those who give you all possible ways of communicating with them-email, fax, telephone number, office address, residence number, residence address, homepage url, msn/yahoo id, invitation to join their yahoo groups…I think they haven’t yet figured out telepathy yet. And then there are the guys who make you want to press the delete button so desperately-they mail the same posting thrice a day with a frequency of 6 times a week.

e) IM nice if you are from IIM. IT would be nicer if you are also from IIT- It’s the new social least that’s what they would like you to believe. God help you if you are this great experienced person who wants a decent job, but you have not passed the hallowed corridors of an IIM. You shall be forgiven for thinking that the person on the other line was genuinely busy and just didn’t have the time to go through your profile (which you mailed 4 days back). You may also be forgiven for calling twice a day and catching the person always at a wrong time (in a meeting, while s/he is driving, in the loo). You could also be forgiven for doubting the real reason for her not mailing you jobs with the same enthusiasm that she mails your IIM wallah neighbour. But there just aint no case for forgiving you for not understanding the “fitment issue”. Do you have IIM in your DNA? If not, your profile may require some genetic mutation. Just get an IIT degree to make sure they treat you royally.

Nothing here to say that I am not impressed by the industrious people who make up this burgeoning industry. I like them. My best friend is a placement consultant. So I possibly couldn’t be malicious after knowing one of them. But guys, seriously, a service industry is known by how well they meet their consumer’s expectations time after time. Maybe its time for a wake up call and the proverbial rising.

My Blog Begins...

This would be termed a soft launch in my world. I can hear the little voice in my head go… “What? *pause to let it sink in*Okay, in this era of cost consciousness, you don’t have budgets for fancy ads and fancier ad agencies, but not even BTL… that truly translates into a recipe for disaster. “But tarry a little, little voice inside my head-The recipe ain’t gonna be no copy (or Jerox as my office Jeeves, Vijay bhai, would put it).

Okay, its not going to be a copy, but a copy of what? Well, read again- a copy of nothing!! It is quirky, original, individual and my very own. This space is me-no soft opinions in this quadrant of my life and absolutely no polite conversations, no shallow smiles, no “karma padta hai” cycle of actions, in short nothing that I get compelled to do in ordinary sane course of non-virtual life.
Feels good to let that out of my system! Read further, and if you agree/disagree/love/hate/couldn’t care about what I write, ignore/leave a comment or two. We’ll chat. Just don’t sue me-Good thing for me-soda doesn’t burn or some psycho with a ponytail will threaten to burn up what I sell-Better for me- I’ve already quit-can’t dislodge someone who’s already floating eh?
Alliteration is something I have been greatly fascinated by-ever since I got to learn that term. There is something deeply magical about the way ferocious fairies rolls off your tongue, never mind the fact that the mind lingers with the thought-fairies and ferocious?- Well, you surely haven’t met dainty four year old angels who have been kept hungry by way of a school annual function practice, for 6 hours! Back to alliteration then…Here are a few examples of the rolling tongue-lingering mind variety ….
a) Chubby Checkers
b) General Germ
c) Thirsty Thrift
d) Sorry Soap
e) Jolly Jailor
f) Hungry Hormone
g) Parting Party
h) Elated Eel
i) Kinky Kite
j) Loudly Lousy
And you have to be a genius to figure out that the title is also an alliteration. There, I did something all those marketing books and marketing gurus who marketed those books, told me to do-praise the customer-give her unexpected delight-oh…So calling you a genius didn’t excite you huh? Come back for more anyway. It will just make a poor soul feel better. There, I tried the emotional cord route. No, I meant you were the poor soul ;)
Oh, what the hell. If you don’t leave a comment, I’ll just have to tell my alter ego to put in a comment or two and glow in the glory of ‘em all the next morning. The alliteration ailment refuses to go away….! May be giving an opening offer would not have been that idiotic an idea after all.
(10 points for all those who spot all the alliterations in this post. Just dont ask me what you could redeem those points for...not yet anyway)