Don’t call us, we’ll call you: Recruitment tools in other areas of life
As employers, we are constantly upskilling ourselves to make the best recruitment decisions we possibly can. In addition, we have a life outside work so why wouldn’t we apply all our ample employer skills to other non-employment situations? How, for example, might we synthesise recruitment tools to assist in our children’s choice of cuddle-buddies, or our nation’s selection of its political representatives?
Many people observe the disappointing antics in parliament and judgementally comment that politicians’ behaviour is akin to that of poorly raised children. The Super Nannies of this world would have us believe that poorly raised children can have their behaviour positively modified via a process called “time-out.” They are removed from the scene of their delinquency to a place where they do nothing. This process has little chance of modifying the behaviour of politicians as parliament is already the place where they do nothing. So, what alternatives exist? Screen them before they get there.
A typical rudimentary recruitment process might include the drafting of a job specification, placing of an advertisement, reviewing of CVs, structured interviews, psychometric profiling and referee checking. You’d think that with the six-figure salary that MPs get, I’d suggest a more in-depth array of tools but under the system I’m proposing, MPs would be working mostly for tips so I think this will be sufficient.
A chap from Kiwihost was telling me that the average service experience in New Zealand on a scale from one to ten, after tens of thousands of mystery shopping surveys, is between 3 and 4. (That’s the average; there may be exceptional places where you can expect a five.) So, given that New Zealand is a representative democracy, it only makes sense that we can expect no better from our representatives. And I think that most days, we get a solid three out of ten. Working for tips is MPs’ incentified track to improvement.
The job specification wouldn’t take long – just photocopy Philip Taito-Fields’ job specification and delete about half of it. (You’d have to keep the bit that says, “Assist as required.”) The advertisement needn’t be expensive – just place a card in the window of a pub somewhere. For a start, applicants would have to be able to read which in itself might be a quantum leap forward. If they couldn’t read themselves, they might get a friend to do it for them. Of course they’d actually have to have a friend, which again would be an improvement for most MPs. Psychometric profiling would present the greatest difficulty. They’d have to answer questions without conducting an opinion poll or simply agreeing with their leader. So it would be a short questionnaire, which will save on consultants’ (quite reasonable) fees. What a wonderful future.
And as long as we’re postulating about a wonderful future designed and controlled by our government on our behalf, why are there not teams of scientists working on growing a broccoli that tastes like chocolate? Seriously, how could the anti-GM mob and Greens muster support against that? Chocolate is a vegetable! 5+ a day, I say.
Wikipedia is intended to be a real-time online encyclopaedic repository continually on the grow, fed by all the world’s browsing population and their collective genius. If you know something about our parliamentary wannabees that no one else does, you can reveal all on their Wikipedia page. If your update is inaccurate, flagrantly slanderous or merely disputed, no doubt there is a rigourous moderation process that kicks in at some stage after only a few hundred thousand people have read it and forwarded the ‘facts’ by email.
More than one person has told me that when they meet someone new, they often google them. Not nearly as personally intrusive as such a verb may have sounded ten years ago, googling may yet prove to be a valuable recruitment screening tool. Even if we consider it unsound or unethical for researching potential staff, we may be less critical when using it for valuable fact-finding about our children’s dates.
As a former young person myself in courting mode, I had frequent occasion to “meet the parents.” We all know our rights when we “meet the police” but there appears to be no civil rights or Geneva Convention when it comes to being interrogated by your girlfriend’s old man. It shouldn’t take too long to draft up a set of rights. Silence and anything you say being used against you are two that leap immediately to mind.
Let’s be honest, no matter how liberal, there was always an element of interrogation. Surely our own Generation ‘Y’ teenage children would appreciate some honesty and efficiency in these matters. They can fill out a psychometric profile. Obviously to “get with” their contemporary hip-hop-happenings, we could conduct it online or txt it 2 dem:
“So, wot r yr n10shuns wid my dorta?”
If they text back via a template, you know they’re smart enough to be your MP but not clever enough to outsmart you.