“But She’s Not the Right Alice!” Recruiting Pressures in Wonderland
Posted by Louise Barnfield on March 18, 2010
I saw Tim Burton’s glorious Alice in Wonderland this week. What a 3D feast for the eyes and ears! Thoroughly entertaining, even if I did feel the White Queen’s bushy eyebrows were a tad bizarre. Although, having sat through a plethora of trailers prior to the main feature, I wonder how long it will take for us all to have overdosed on 3D fantasies.
Btw, for those movie-goers who leap to their feet as the last scene fades, I urge you to sit tight for the credits, the extra treat is worth it!
While watching Alice ‘succeed’ (somewhat unwillingly) to the vacant position of Challenger to the Jabberwocky – not worthy of a spoiler alert, since I resisted letting slip the victor! – it occurred to me that the White Rabbit delightfully played the role of a cute long-eared fluffy incarnation of an unappreciated recruiting agent.
It didn’t take long, after Alice’s appearance, for the Underland gang to question the Rabbit’s professional abilities. The Dormouse and March Hare were scathing, and even Absolem the Blue Caterpillar (<swoon> how I adore Alan Rickman’s dulcet tones!) was initially ambiguous enough to cast doubt, despite the White Rabbit’s exasperated protestations that he had done his homework, searched for years, and was adamant he had successfully tracked down the right Alice!
Which conveniently(!) reminds me of an article by Nick Fishman in February’s TM Magazine on the topic of applicant screening. Life is Not an Open (Face)book warns that, in these days of social networks as well as online availability of more formal resources, it’s unwise, and at worst a legal liability, to rely too heavily on information that’s readily (or not so readily) available on the internet.
Dangers lurk on both sides of the equation – damned if you do, damned if you don’t!
If you do take the information provided by candidates at face value, you run the risk of being duped by false accreditations. In a tough job market, the temptation is even higher than previously for applicants to ‘load’ their resumés, and even to resort to unscrupulous ‘diploma mills’ offering degrees for sale.
Conversely, for those who delve into online resources, there are cases where otherwise perfectly suitable and reliable candidates have been overlooked because of less than flattering images, or inadequately validated data, or data not even relevant to the position. Even apparently trustworthy data can be misleading; Nick Fishman cites an example of employers using the FBI database that was not created for, nor intended as, a tool for applicant background checks, and may contain incomplete information or, even worse, confused identities.
As always, the human element cannot be replaced by new technology. The recruiters worth their weight (whether internal or external to an enterprise) are the ones who make full use of emerging technologies and the wealth of information available, yet take the time to support that data with intelligent research and reasoning, resisting the temptation to cut corners.
Take a bow, White Rabbit, job well done!
Walt Disney Pictures