Hiring Based on Merit--Does that Still Happen?

I've read a lot of blogs and articles and have sat in on countless webinars and seminars about what makes a "good" candidate and how to prep them for interviews and you know what--so much of it is so superficial it makes me want to vomit. Whatever happened to hiring people based on merit? Education, skills, training, on-the-job experience doesn't count for enough now. You also have to be pretty, charming, witty, drive a nice car, wear a nice suit, shake hands, smile, kiss babies--when did politics get involved in hiring?

Maybe I am just being romantic but I like to think that there was a time when people hired other people because the person was smart and hard-working, not because of the watch they wore, they car they drove, or their bubbly attitude. I hate bubbliness. I am not bubbly and why is that the standard? Why do I have to be excited as a puppy over some job I don't even know if I'll like yet? What's wrong with being a cantakerous, sarcastic, occassionally goofy person with a good education and a drive to succeed at whatever she does? Sorry I don't pee on your floor because I am so happy you brought me in to interrogate me about myself.

Let me also say, that I am a bad driver and my car is cursed--what does that have to do with my ability to recruit? My car is full of dents. People like to hit my parked car and not leave notes, and after spending roughly $2,000 in collision repairs over the past 3 years--I'm just not doing it anymore. I believe it's just encouraging bad behavior at this point. I fix my car and people (and deer) see it ripe for hitting again, so I just don't do it. Also, I stopped cleaning the interior regularly in 2007 after I spilled the 10th mega cup of soda on the floor while on the highway and 5 miles in either direction from the rest of humanity and only 2 tiny napkins on board. Pontiac created cup holders directly beneath the tuner dial and Wendy's saw it fit to make a "medium" drink a 44. oz bucket of soda that fits in no cup holder I've ever seen. Not my fault. I just let it go. It's funny to me at this point. Maybe my car isn't pretty but I paid for it out of college, on my own, and I will own that piece of crap in 5 months and that should count for something.

I feel bad for people who have to go on interviews and I am always nervous for my candidates because no matter how qualified they are the Director could not like that my candidate has a snaggle tooth or something and be disqualified. Getting a job anymore is like trying to make the planets align. Not only do you have to be good at what you do but you also have to be the prom queen, miss congeniality, a good driver, a stand-up comedian, and excited for no-good-godd*mn reason besides being in the presence of a decision maker. That's a lot of pressure. Thank God I'm on the end I'm on and may it stay that way and kudos to the people out there still interviewing. May the stars align for you.

Views: 902

Comment by Rob D on May 12, 2009 at 12:39pm
I would at least like to believe that all the jobs that I was hired for was because of merit and because I deserved them. I do think that interviewing can be an art form but when it comes right down to it no matter how much I sing or dance I am hired because of my underlying skills. I work for a staffing company, Diversified Industrial Staffing, and we only hire based on merit. So hiring based on merit does still happen in this world...at least at my company.
Comment by Kelly Blokdijk on June 9, 2010 at 7:50pm
I think merit is still in there somewhere. But you are correct, it is being overshadowed by all of the politics and fluff. Nothing new, I think to some degree it has always been that way - it is just much more obvious now because employers are looking for 100% perfection.

Either way, you did an excellent job of illustrating how ridiculous the whole process has become. Not only do I have to have an impeccable resume and wear the right color eye shadow... I also have to make sure my tires have been freshly armour-all-ed... Sheesh!!!!


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