Hiring Season

So, I’ve been getting probably a dozen phone calls a day and half again that many texts from my many “friends” who are looking for money. Not that we don’t all keep an eye out for any stray cash that might be lying on the sidewalk or a check we forgot to deposit, but these particular “friends” are looking for me to give them cash money from my ever-dwindling post-retirement bank account.

You know what that means, folks. That’s right, it’s hiring season again! Yes, it’s time for the annual job recruitment effort for public employees that we call “elections.” And the resumes are pouring in! Get to reading them, everybody, we’ve got a lot of positions to fill and the deadline is coming right up! So who’s on the hiring team with me for this round? Oh, right, it’s you, me and everybody else over 17—at least anybody who wants to and has all their papers proving that they’re really them. Don’t miss your chance to help select our newest employees from entry level up to CEO, and say “you’re fired” to current employees who are lazy, liars, con-men or closet Nazis. Or, you can fire those who AREN’T lazy, lying Nazi cheaters—up to you! You can pick by gender, you can pick by religion or by who has the biggest boobs. Heck, you can refuse to even consider an applicant of the wrong race or who has a disability. That is, you can do all the things that pesky HR person at work keeps telling you aren’t allowed when you’re hiring at your day job. Gosh darn it, when it comes to elections, WE’RE the managers, HR, and the Board of Directors all rolled into one.  

You  know what’s even better? The job search doesn’t cost us anything! The job candidates themselves have to pay for everything! They even spend exorbitant sums of money just to try to get us to READ their job application and make sure we remember their name. And they spend even MORE money to make sure we hear plenty of bad things about all the other job applicants—some of which may even be true! Then they’ll also promise each of us lots of favors if we’ll hire them (take that HR! bribery my butt!). Of course they usually promise each of us different stuff but nobody really expects them to keep their promises—it’s the thought that counts!

So what’s wrong with this? I mean besides the hourly phone calls from my new friend “Spam Risk,” who seems to have confused me with someone he went to elementary school with.  

Well, would this be how you’d find the best candidate to be, say, assistant purchasing manager at your company? Is the best job candidate the one who can spend the most money promoting themself for the job? “Well, we’ll interview you but we’re holding the interview during a week-long stay at the Four Seasons (hotel, not landscaping business), which you’ll have to pay for on your own. Oh, and we also expect you to host a party for our hiring team. And don’t stint! You should know the last successful hire brought a magic show and trained elephants. Can’t afford all that? Well then, you’re clearly not the right person for the job!”

Does your business hire as corporate attorney the lawyer with the most tv ads? Do you pick the finance director based on how many lawn signs they have? Do you hire a techie to update your computer hardware who’s funded his campaign to get the job using money donated by companies trying to sell you equipment? No, in the private world, you choose people based on their actual capability to do the job AND you consciously design the hiring process to ELIMINATE the applicants’ money and connections as a factor—and you certainly screen out applicants who have a conflict of interest because they took money from your business competitors.

So if we want to hire (that is, elect) the best people for the job, we shouldn’t let their candidacy be weighted in favor of those who are best able to convince vested interests to give them money. Those vested interests always want something and it’s usually something that’s NOT in everyone else’s interest. Put job candidates on an equal financial footing by prohibiting private funding of political campaigns and politicians and fund them publicly. And if you’re one of those who’ll miss the robocalls, there’s still the extended car warranty people.

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