There are many jerks in positions of authority, but this fact isn’t likely to hit you on a gut level unless you’re unemployed and in debt and sending resumes to that black hole in the Internet where job applications disappear.
Just ask The New York Times‘ Nelson D. Schwartz, who reminded readers on Sunday that finding a good job is entirely about who you know, not what you can do. Referrals get you good jobs, not applications to those thousands of online listings that don’t really exist for anyone who isn’t well connected:
…Indeed, as referred candidates get fast-tracked, applicants from other sources like corporate Web sites, Internet job boards and job fairs sink to the bottom of the pile.
“You’re submitting your resume to a black hole,” said John Sullivan, a human resources consultant for large companies who teaches management at San Francisco State University. “You’re not going to find top performers at a job fair. Whether it’s fair or not, you need to have employees make referrals for you if you want to find a job.”
Among corporate recruiters, Mr. Sullivan said, random applicants from Internet job sites are sometimes referred to as “Homers,” after the lackadaisical, doughnut-eating Homer Simpson. The most desirable candidates, nicknamed “purple squirrels” because they are so elusive, usually come recommended.
“We call it Monster.ugly,” said Mr. Sullivan, referring to Monster.com. “In the H.R. world, applicants from Monster or other job boards carry a stigma…”
A witty fellow, this John Sullivan. Probably the sort of guy who pulled wings off flies and burned ants with a magnifying glass when he was a kid. Just think of all the suckers on the brink of bankruptcy or foreclosure who spend hours a day job-hunting online, unaware that corporate jerks are dumping their applications into the “Homer” bin.
OK, the fact that online job searches are a waste isn’t news to the long-term unemployed, but Schwartz’s peek at the jerks on the other end of the application process should be a wake-up call for the have-nots in this country.
To recruiters, you’re either a purple squirrel or a Homer who looks for work on Monster.ugly If you are one of the latter — i.e., one of the vast majority of the unemployed — you are never going to find another good job, no matter how much the economy recovers. The so-called recovery is directly related to the fact that payrolls have been drastically and permanently cut. All the networking in the world won’t change this fact.
All of which is perfectly obvious, and apparently funny, to the John Sullivans of the world.