Friday, 19 July 2013

I'm gonna passionately shove my application up your ***

So I've noticed some upsetting trends in job applications recently. I apologise in advance for the following - completely justified - rant. Before you say it, this is not a bitter response to rejection, because I have a job and went through three interviews to get it. Nonetheless, I worry about the next time I have to go through the application process again.

The big grad schemes (BBC, Channel 4 etc) are guilty of this:
"You don't need experience for the role, just a passion for film and television"
Great! So my months of working at minimum wage, my £23K degree and my 3 YEARS experience count for nothing?
I just need to prove that I'm PASSIONATE about film & television?

Whoa there. Don't you think someone who is PASSIONATE would have got off their bum and got as much experience as they can? Would have worked hard to get into a top media university and study the field they're so PASSIONATE about?

On a side note, what is with this word? David Mitchell demonstrates my feelings for it very well:

It's great that you're opening up the "closed" media industry and potentially discovering new talent -
NO I'm totally lying - it SUCKS. I want it more than those lazy fanboys.

Another hugely annoying trend is Twitter announcements.
Some TV/Film companies constantly (and I mean twice an hour, 12 hours a day, 7 days a week) let the world know that they're hiring for a particular role.
Here's an idea: the best and most PASSIONATE candidates will be subscribed to your jobs list and probably check your website every day - so there's no need to tweet about it!

Companies blab about the jobs on Twitter and then moan that they receive 1000s of applications and can't possibly respond to every one. Even if it did take you four hours to answer the questionnaire, plus another five to put together the accompanying video application and upload it to YouTube.

Which brings me to my 3rd rant point: irrelevant selection methods.
  • Verbal Reasoning Tests - so you want someone who can read quickly and has a higher-than-average IQ? Doesn't our education system do this filtering for you? Invite only top-scoring graduates to apply = time and money saved.
  • YouTube videos applications - I guess this is slightly more interesting than reading questionnaires, but it achieves nothing. An applicant's ability to talk well to camera does not mean they will be a better production assistant. I'm also against it for the same reason I'm against putting photos on CVs - we're all subconsciously more likely to back the more attractive candidate.
  • The ambiguous question - such as "What's unique about you? (in less than 200 words)" I'm pretty sure you don't want to hear about my 3rd nipple, but what do you want?* Because actually I'm pretty weird and I don't think I can list all my 'unique' traits in 200 words. Maybe you just want to see how much more PASSIONATE I am. 

Finally my biggest peeve is the "Equal Opportunities" page.
Why on earth do you want to know my ethnicity, gender, sexuality, disabilities and religion?
Do you want to know which type of underwear I'm partial to, while you're asking irrelevant questions?

In what way do these things possibly affect how well I'll do my job? I know the point is equal rights (very admirable) but surely the best way to achieve true equality is to stop asking these questions? If you don't know a person's gender, race, sexuality or religion you cannot discriminate against them. Putting labels on people is the opposite of equality.

There, so my rant is now over. If I was hiring I would do it this way:

  • Go straight to the top media universities.
  • Stick to the traditional CV and cover letter for stage 1 - throw out applications containing spelling mistakes and with less than 3 relevant work experience credits.
  • Ask them how PASSIONATE they are (joking).
  • Hold a group interview/assessment day.
  • Individual interviews.
  • BOOM Perfect Employee - mission accomplished.

If you agree or disagree with any of my points, I will gladly debate with you.

*I don't actually have a 3rd nipple.