Crappy hiring practices that need to die, and some new ones we need to adopt

[Image description: Two hands shaking. In the background is a white table with three office chairs. Image by Tumisu on Pixabay. While we put an end to some archaic hiring practices, we also need to stop shaking hands.]

The job market is shifting. People are leaving their jobs everywhere and in great numbers. Employers are scrambling to hire people. More unions are forming. And yet, so many organizations and companies still continue to engage in crappy, inequitable hiring practices as if it were still the 1960s and everyone could smoke and drink whiskey during a team meeting.

On Twitter, someone wrote “So apparently job candidates’ sending a thank you note isn’t a thing anymore? Candidates, pro tip: send a thank you note.” It got several thousand comments and quote tweets saying requiring the follow-up thank-you note is an archaic, ridiculous practice. A colleague (@chanthropology) called it “Victorian performances of white middle class professionalism.” And I agree. It is an unwritten rule steeped in power asymmetry, and it sucks. If employers don’t send job candidates thank-you notes, why should job candidates be expected to do so?

No more post-interview thank-you notes. Employers, stop expecting it, stop favoring job candidates who do it and punishing those who don’t. All job candidates everywhere, you are hereby excused from ever having to write another thank-you email or card ever again! Go! Be free! Reclaim your time! Write a sea shanty! Learn about scrimshaw! Binge all twelve episodes of animated series Vox Machina; it is excellent!

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It’s time we pay interview-stage job applicants for their time

[Image description: Four string puppets standing in front of a yellow background flanked by blue curtains. Three appear to be wearing dresses, one with a shirt, pants and boots. All have beady, soul-less eyes, their arms outstretched as if they’re beckoning to be hugged. Image by epicioci on Pixabay]

Quick note before we start: Join me for “Friends with Money: A Fireside Chat for 501c3s & Philanthropists” on Wed, June 9th, 5pm to 6pm EDT. Free via Zoom. We’ll be discussing philanthropy, equity, power dynamics, etc. Also, several groups across the country are putting on a PEEP (Party to Enhance Equity in Philanthropy) event around the summer solstice. I’ll list the ones I have information about at the end of this post. If you’re planning something, please fill out this form, and I’ll mention it next week.

Over the past few years, I keep hearing horror stories from people applying for jobs. Someone had to go through eight rounds of interviews. A friend had a four-hour interview that included an essay followed by a one-hour PowerPoint presentation. A colleague had to come up with a marketing plan for an organization, didn’t get the job, but found that the org had used their ideas without asking for permission. Another person mentioned having a personality test and six interviews that culminated with them writing and performing a one-act puppet show to demonstrate their creativity.

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