Riding the tidal waves of recruitment guff

guffIt appears that simplistic populism is sadly all the rage across the world – From that trumpet Trump to the UK’s ideological warriors searching zealously for more and more things to bucket under austerity cuts. Limited and loaded answers to complex problems doled out to the chattering classes. Sad really. Meaningful debate is curtailed and simplistic mantras echo the chambers. Critique and counterview is frowned upon as the rather annoying cult of happiness now dictates that we all walk around permanently appreciative with a face that’s looks like it’s been overdosed on Botox.

In our own small patch of organisational turf, busy HR fools continue to dominate, making impressive arm gestures when asked to dive into a remotely difficult work problem by referring to the ‘we don’t do brilliant basics’ patter that closes down everything. Normally the preserve of our friendly HRBP fraternity, those storm troopers paid to dose out comforting lies to the ‘internal customer’.

In the absence of dialogue our profession remains deeply buried under a tidal wave of guff where the failing status quo is continuously sanitized and propped up in a manner that would make the North Koreans blush.

Sanitized guff includes:

  1. Where should recruitment sit? – No matter what soulless organisational silo it resides it still needs to connect with the real world out there and the messy one inside. The one that hates it, to those who need it, to those who will fund it and those who worry about it. Stop this obsession. The wider business doesn’t care and it smacks of the abusive partner who constantly threatens to walk away if they don’t feel the respect their clearly fragile psyche demands.
  1. Should I write my cover letter with quill pen and spray panther musk just above my waxed family seal? – Yeah, you should because it will push the time spent on it by the average bored recruiter from 0.75 seconds to just over the 1 second mark. But the biggest crime is that ‘professionals’ are churning out ways of polishing the turd when the honest truth is that the CV and it’s antiquated ugly sister the cover letter provide little insight into the merits of an individual when considering their application. Bin it, don’t slap lipstick on it.
  1. Will I excite the talented few with 3 pages of bullet points copy and pasted and shoved into the ATS of choice as a means of my written sales pitch? – If this is truly your opening salvo in the equally fake ‘war for talent’ you’ve turned up with a peashooter for the battle pal. Get a copywriter and recognize that every touch point is aligned behind the marketing of your opportunity. For those who outsource this crime to a 3rd party then there is a special place in hell’s very own recruitment department waiting for you.
  1. Will I focus my team’s efforts on the application process for the upcoming candidate experience award or will I deal with the backlog of people who’ve spent some time trying to engage with your organization? – That the modern day Investors in People plaque is now the must-have ‘best places to work / have people filling in forms to an awards body’ is preferred and anyway we told everyone that if they haven’t heard in 5 days then we clearly accept that a little more of hatred for our brand will grow, or words to that effect.

Tidal waves of guff are visible every day if we happen to regain our child-like curiosity that has been sucked out of us by too many corporate functions or the race to the bottom that mediocrity leads us. Recruiting rituals and belief systems that are in need of being exposed as counter-intuitive at best and just definitions of insanity at worst. In the interests of much needed blogging brevity I’ll limit it to the 4 but in the immortal words of Marti Pellow, “the guff is all around us”.

In the meantime I’ve asked the LinkedIn development team to include a trumpet function on their platform when blogs and articles insulting our collective recruitment intelligence continue to deliver waves of guff.

Until next time. Remember to trumpet if you feel the guff is strong.



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