Tuesday, March 07, 2006

How to Not Attract Quality Employees

Jo (my wife, for those of you not keeping score), recently returned from a job interview at a to-be-unnamed small university in a small community a good distance from here. To fly there, she needed to fly to Vancouver, then to another city, and then to the destination community (this is standard fare when travelling from Middle of Nowhere, BC): total flight time was a tad over 12 hours.

Whenever she has gone somewhere else for a job interview, the interview and the whole process surrounding it has taken an entire day. I don't know all the details, but there has been the interview itself, a tour of the university, a presentation for the selection committee and a presentation for the library staff, and a meal, supper if possible, lunch if flight times precludes that. She has been picked up by someone from the library and often given a brief tour of the city so that she has some idea about where we might be moving.

All of that is especially important when trying to sell a community such as Prince George, or the unnamed city where she was recently interviewed. You have a smallish community, you want to entice good staff by showing them what great features you have: quality of life, safety, beauty, arts and culture, schools, all that sort of stuff.

So here's what went down with Jo: her interview was one of three that day, at 1:30 pm, and lasted all of one hour; she then did her presentation for the library staff, and during this presentation the man who would be her boss sat in the back of the room and appeared to be falling asleep; after the presentation the selection committee disappeared on her to discuss things, even though they weren't officially finished with her yet; she stood and mingled with the staff, and they drank juice, because this is apparently a preschool library; her hotel was in the middle of nowhere, with only one (mediocre-looking) restaurant in walking distance; nobody drove her anywhere, and so she took a cab to the hotel from the airport (not in itself a big deal), and she also took a cab to the university; while at the university she gave herself a tour, since nobody offered such; when it was all over, nobody offered her an expense claim form, and so she had to email HR after returning home.

All of this for an associate director's position, incidentally. Of course, even without all the other stuff, this university was lacking in a few special somethings, but my goodness, just how do you attract the right people?

We're staying in PG, needless to say. And I promise, there will soon be more on that.

They appear to know how to *attract* the right people, but attracting, as Jo found out, is only half the story. Whoever they do eventually hire will probably be desperately unhappy within a year, and they'll have to start all over again.

Eejits. They're just eejits.

PS. Tell Jo we're sending all our good job vibes her way.
I'm glad to hear you and Jo are staying! Not that we ever actually, y'know, see each other, but we should.
Incredibly lame and totally bush league. Is Jo aware that Grant MacEwan in Edmonton just posted four jobs today? - R
MacEwan! Edmonton! Yes yes yes! We'd love to have you back in Ralphland. :)
SOme people complain alot, you should have known.
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