Monday, 15 September 2014

Job interviews - the modern scourge


When it comes to a job interview, some people worry about not having a qualification. Well aside from quoting all the famous drop-outs who became incredibly successful business owners, for example, Lord Sugar, the trend seems to be reversing somewhat. If you succeed in obtaining an interview with the organ grinder as opposed to the monkey, you really should have no problem.

Any sensible interviewer should focus on what you can do for the company rather than the rather meaningless bits of paper you might have on a wall.

You can be as qualified as Einstein, but if you have no experience of the real world, employers should certainly think twice. They owe to their business. I once worked for a degree-mad multinational corporation where one of the marketing seniors had a superb degree. In physics. One of the other senior marketing managers was equally qualified. With his Geography degree.

So, if you have a degree in Animal Husbandry and a degree in Mechanical Engineering, why not apply for a job where you can weld cats?

Unfortunately, nowadays, you are dealing with 100% professionally fully-dysfunctional HR people who seem to have bred uncontrollably throughout industry and commerce, duping chief executives and management in ways that haven't been seen since the Ponzi schemes and pyramid selling of the 80's and 90's.

Yes, they have a lovely, cuddly degree straight out of college, but not only do they know absolutely nothing about anything, let alone the position they are supposed to help recruit for, but by and large, they tend to be totally clueless about the actual business and its customers.

But have they just fed your CV into an automatic reader? And in scattering the correct key words thought theirs, will your fellow - and far less suitable - candidate secure the job because they were a better massager of the truth and the reality than you are.

These dangerous HR people are strangely, and quite unbelievably lauded, simply because they are "HR" (Human Remains?), elevated to a senior position in the company that they really and truly do not in any way deserve and are certainly not by the remotest stretch of the imagination in any way qualified for.

Unfortunately, HR, with its weird and completely out of body practices, is completely ruining tradition employment methods. All it has is a 100% complete dysfunctionality combined with the total loss of a grip on reality. HR is now all about organising the monthly bonding session in a fancy hotel with fancy food where very well-qualified workers are encouraged to jump up and down on coloured squares of paper, instead of being on the job and doing what they do best, that is, serving their customers and helping increase the company bottom-line profitability.

I remain to be convinced otherwise that HR has contributed to at least 3% of the current unemployment index through its stupidity and dishonesty, not to forget the total dishonest and sham farce that is the TUPE process (the government really needs to crack down on this TUPE dupe).

HR needs proscribing.

It's similar to equivalent Health and Safety procedures (guarded over, coincidentally, by the HR bods) we have been lumbered with.

Remember, before Health and Safety there was common sense.

Before HR, there was honesty, integrity and straightforward decency.

Wednesday, 10 September 2014

A little bit of sensible humour in marketing can go a long way


Personally, I think a little, or in fact, a lot of humour is what is needed nowadays. Ok, yes, in the right places and at the right time. For example, be sensible and steer clear of flight or construction humour with 9/11 coming up! Something a little more lighthearted does have the big cheering-up factor, which can be far more engaging.

Half the problem nowadays is that so many marketing people are, to quote the vernacular, up their own posteriors. And it's not funny. I've been there myself, and to be honest, didn't like it, because it wasn't me.

Health and Safety has replaced common sense. Goodness knows exactly what the current dysfunctional and unnecessary HR has replaced (they certainly don't know themselves).

And all marketing people seem to have, for some strange reason known only to no one, gone SEO-mad. And it ain't the least bit humourous! This is despite the fact that so many of them can neither write or speak English correctly, and so few actually know whet they are SEO-ing on about anyway.

[An example of this being I was researching Multiple Sclerosis, and a well-known UK- tax-evading search engine came up with "See special offers on all your Multiple Sclerosis from Amazon.co.uk" and "Multiple Sclerosis is post free from very.co.uk". So don't go on at me about SEO!]

People want to be engaged. They want to be entertained. They want to be 'brought in' to what they are reading. They want to be 'spoken to' and not 'lectured at'.

But it doesn't mean patronising people with stupidity in an attempt to be humourous, such as a certain insurance comparison website where the driver is either a nerd in an invisible car or on an elephant. And then you go to another comparison website (free cuddly toy, but no conveyor belt or shutters provided) and the quotes you receive are all different to the first comparison site.

Something wrong there surely?

Neither does it mean promoting the destruction of the English language to be amusing.

Take the the case of the satellite TV advertisements fronted by the very nice, but rather English-mangling ("mumfs" rather than "months") Idris Elba, or the BBC's EastEnders where not one character speaks properly - excepting 'Lucy', which probably goes quite a way to explain why, as a character, she was killed off.

And inventing stupid and meaningless terms is not the least amusing or humourous - "pre-order" being the most insidious of recent years - I always thought you either ordered something or you didn't order something. Now, if I have an unfortunate need to break wind, I automatically feel I must mention to those around me that it was a pre-sh........ well, you know what I mean.

[What is this fascination with "pre"? No longer are things used or second-hand, they are "pre-owned". And as for the most stupid and meaningless of them all "pre-loved". What????????]

There is enough doom, gloom and misery out there to last a lifetime, without marketing people encouraging further doom, gloom and misery.

And what a way to remember a brand, if it made you smile, rather than just weep with despair.