One of the reasons I’m pleased to be starting a new job this year is that I will not have to deal with the morons employed by recruitment agencies again for the foreseeable future. Doing short-term contract work is fine but having to negotiate with the leotards in agencies to get to promote yourself to a potential employer is a painful waste of time.
I’m sick of their irrelevant and annoying assumptions about me. First, that I am confused or doing something wrong by applying for jobs that are beneath my potential. Being told I am not a suitable candidate because I am over-qualified is infuriating and discriminatory. While they think this means I would not stay long in a role, this is irrelevant for a short-term contract.
Even for an ongoing role, it is for me, not them, to determine whether a role offers me a suitable income for the labour required, and the complexity of the role has little to do with how long I choose to stay in it. I don’t require, or allow, other people to make this calculation for me.
I’ve stayed longer in lower paid roles, where I was treated well and appreciated for my efforts, than in better paid roles where my initiatives have been dismissed or dishonestly appropriated by incompetent managers.
My potential is senior management, which normally requires working long hours to earn lots of money, but this does not suit my lifestyle. I don’t need the money and have better things to do than waste too much time at work. I’ll take a specialist hands-on or middle management role, do my 38 hours, collect my $60-80,000 and walk out the door at 5.30pm every day, thank you. This is my employment plateau and I can’t see myself wanting or needing to exceed it.
I only accept jobs that are compatible with my lifestyle. That means no more than a 30 minute public transport or cycle commute from Fitzroy, and no expectation of ongoing unpaid overtime. Commuting is a waste of my time. I appreciate flexibility and willingly work overtime on specific finite projects, and benefit from flexible time when I need to undertake personal business during office hours, such as going to a doctor’s appointment. This is a fair and balanced arrangement.
Increasing responsibility and complexity in professional roles should not be equated with longer hours and exploitative conditions to the extent that it is. If you want my skills, you must pay for them by the hour, all of them, not pay for 38 and expect to receive 50. I’m not offering 50, not at any price. I don’t want to work 50-60 hours for $100,000 plus. I don’t need that much money and the cost to me is a loss of free time and mental energy. This is unacceptable.
I simply have no need, or desire, to work any harder. Given the substantial difference between my abilities (significantly above average) and my needs (relatively modest), I simply don’t have to work to my potential. It is corporate capitalism’s problem if it is not flexible enough to find ways to make efficient use of my knowledge and skills, not mine.
When recruiters deny me roles based on their faulty logic they discriminate against me and fail their clients by not promoting a suitably qualified applicant.
Second, the demands of some agencies are ridiculous and further waste my time. I’ve had agency staff demand my CV in .pdf version because the .doc version I sent them was supposedly corrupt (despite the same file being sent to multiple recruiters without a problem), then another demands a .doc version because the .pdf version I sent them can’t be saved in their database. Their IT incompetence is not my problem.
When I arrive at an agency’s office for the initial screening interview that determines whether I get shortlisted to the client, I refuse to fill in their clipboard forms. I tell them that I have already given them the information they are trying to collect in my CV and covering letter, which I sent by email.
There is no benefit for me, or them, for me to handwrite this again. They can enter the data into their electronic records from the content in my email and electronic documents if they want to. This is not my problem and I refuse to allow them to make it my problem.
Some have expected to take my photo to store in their files. They don’t even ask, just demand it, then get surprised, confused and offended when I refuse. They have no need of my photo. If they want to confirm my identity should I visit them again they can ask to see my driver’s license. There is no benefit for me in them holding my photo on file. It can only be used for discriminatory, and therefore illegal, purposes.
One sent me some advice on how to dress for an interview. The problem was that I am a man and they sent me instructions for women. Apparently I’m supposed to always wear pantyhose in corporate offices. I’ll keep that in mind. Perhaps my new employer would appreciate an Eddie Izzard impersonation…