Funny, But Slightly Troubling Article on ERE
May 22, 2008
I read a really funny article on ERE yesterday by a recruiter from Disney that wrote “A Candidate’s Guide to Recruiter-Speak”.
See excerpt below:
Every industry and profession carries with it its own distinct jargon. In fact, it is the measure of recruiters’ worth to be able to pick up on the unique lexicon of the positions for which they recruit.
Being able to spout off the verbal equivalent of Google Adwords also preempts most candidates’ assumptions that as recruiters, we’re slightly above amoeba but slightly beneath bonobo monkeys on the evolutionary ladder. (The monkeys do admittedly win by default, though like recruiters, they have been known to eat their young, although most of us do this figuratively through the invention of the concept of “entry-level” employment.)
There’s been a lot of attention paid to the banalities of “corporate speak,” those words such as synergy, deliverables, scalable, and, my personal favorite, paradigm shift, which sounds suspiciously like a Led Zeppelin cover band or a Tom Clancy novel.
Additionally, there is a preponderance of words that have absolutely no meaning whatsoever to anyone outside of a specialized functional area.
He goes on to list these terms in a rather humorous manner, however one that if true doesn’t really speak well for the industry. Funny is funny though and I can respect creativity. Where I take exception is to the following excerpt:
Background check (n) Usage: “You’re our final candidate, but I can’t extend an offer until your background check clears.” Definition: A control imposed by corporations in order to slow recruiters’ ability to extend an offer for a period of time that perfectly coincides with a candidate’s extension and acceptance of other offers. Alternate definition: An industry whose practitioners continue to thrive despite the Internet’s abilities to perform the same functionality at a fraction of the cost.
It’s certainly okay to have a sense of humor, but the assertion that a thorough and accurate background check is only a mouse click away is either ill-informed or irresponsible. There are two many examples of others who are lulled into that same false sense of security and one need only follow the news to find regular instances of companies who said they performed background checks only to have a major incident in the workplace. Many times, these incidents could have been avoided by performing a proper background check.
There will always be a sense of concern among recruiters that they will lose good candidates when a background check takes too long. However, if you have the right screening partner they are doing a good job of explaining what is going on when delays occur. Check out a recent article I wrote on this very topic:
The author should reconsider the ramifications of relying on only an instant database search as the sole means of conducting a background check and what exposure that might cause his employer and any others who would believe his thoughts on what constitutes an effective search.