Friday, 10 September 2010

So You Want A Job In IT, Part 2

It had to happen sooner or later: I'm on the other end of the job seeker's equation. My company is in a retrenchment cycle -- aren't they all, these days? -- and they deigned declined to renew my contract. Highest tree, wind, et cetera... though in this case I'm really only the highest tree by dint of being the easiest toppled, what with being on a contract and all. It's not all bad; I had a great second interview with an awesome local telecoms-ish company and am awaiting word. More on that later.

I got a letter from a recruiter this morning. She saw my profile on Pnet and wanted to enter me into their database. So far, so nominal. The letter then reads:
Your details are not on our database – please complete the attached documents so that we can add your details and be able to contact you for positions.
Now, as you other job seekers out there probably know all too well, every job site out there has its own way of entering one's skills matrix. All of them are laborious, some attain RPITA-hood. (For the uninitiated, RPITA stands for Royal Pain In The Ass.) This means that my skills are available, online, ALL THE TIME. Why should I need to complete an in-house skills matrix (a simple but finicky and time-wasting copy / paste job from my CV) when recruiters actually get paid to navigate the red tape around getting me employed?

By all means, ask my written permission to copy & paste from my CV... just don't find my fully populated profile on a job site, then try to push me through your meat grinder of a process.

That's another thing about recruiters. This time I shall name and shame Express Employment Professionals -- not for being lazy, but for being a mindless meatgrinder of a recruitment company.

Imagine this: I pitch to apply for a position called "Linux system administrator", one I only later found was for an oil company. ("NO THANKS".) Anyway... before anyone from Express would actually see me, I had to complete a basic computer literacy test.No problem, or so I thought.

You see, this particular test was designed in Visual Basic. It pulls in Microsoft Word and Excel windows into a 640x480 frame on an ASP web page. The testing application apparently detects what you do and decides whether or not you've succeeded in the set task. Click anywhere but the exact path of clicks the test app expects, and it decides you've fucked up that question. You have the option of retrying, but seriously... When will I, a Linux sysadmin, EVER use Microsoft Office applications? I'll tell you: When Microsoft open sources Office and supports Real Standards instead of Microsoft Broken Standards Meant To Promote Vendor Lock-In, that's when. (Don't hold your breath.)

I'm tired of ranting. Life is filled with negativity. Here's a happy wallpaper for you ^_^