Hiring Managers Are Stupid
I’m not going to take part in the Daily Prompt today. What’s with the fictional events or adventures? It sounds more to me like “I wish I could have that cake but first let me drink my diet coke”. Kinda not going to happen. Yeah, I know what you’re thinking about. Fluffy!
So anyway, as the title implies, I’m going to write about stupid hiring managers. The title is a little of a cheat, in case you ask. I’m not going to start a war saying all hiring managers are stupid, even though in my country, many are.
Here are the things about them that I can’t stand, and even though I am not going to face a hiring manager anytime soon (I have the freedom! YEAH!), I’m still piss at them because the run I went earlier made me tired (my wife’s logic). So here I am, armed with a keyboard and some lunatic thoughts, sharing with you why hiring managers (most) are stupid*.
#1 THEY ASSESS YOU BASE ON THEIR PERSONAL NEEDS/JUDGEMENT
Years ago, I went on an interview for a job that I am very qualified for – Aftersales Service Manager at a dealership. Fancy name for Workshop Manager.
The interview went well; the hiring manager and I had a very nice chat, he was very impressed with my resume (hey! That’s what he told me). He commended on the neatness of my application form (well, they sent me the form before the interview, so I had it typed out instead of filling the blanks with a pen), and my achievements. Then came the finale when he asked me this fateful question: “As a manager, how will you run a workshop?”
Very vague eh? I know. But I did what I could to answer him. I told him (not word for word though):
“First, I have to assess the manpower strength of the department before I can divide them into groups. I need 3, if that is possible, experienced ones who can assist me in the diagnostics part of things, and also be responsible for the ones that will be under them. I will then further assess the performance of the 3 leaders, to elect one supervisor that will work with me on the operations. Having 3 teams working on different jobs may be able to make the overall operations more efficient, hence the teams will be segregated based on what they specialize in. But all that will have to be assessed prior arrangements.”
In case you are curious: mechanics in Singapore are not exactly literate in English, so using diagnostic tool involving computers can become hurdles at times.
He nodded his head and looked at me for a few seconds, before saying, “Well, I thank you for coming. We will let you know when you are shortlisted.”
So that was pretty much an answer for me, so I asked him (I didn’t care), “What was it that I failed in this interview?”
He was shocked (damn good acting skills). He stared at me for few more seconds that followed (it’s a pity I couldn’t ask for compensation for the time wasted) before saying, “Your reply wasn’t what I was expecting.”
He added, “You see, you need to tell me that you’ll run reports everyday, and report to me on the thruput of vehicles. You need to tell me how many cars are in daily for warranty jobs, and how many cars are cash repairs that will affect the P&L. So your answer wasn’t what I wanted. I’m sorry.”
Great. At the back of my mind, I was giving him advice that consisted of 2 words: Fuck you.
Procedures and reports huh? Well I believe I could have performed well if he told me he was interested in papers that would help him clean his ass. But really, failing someone because the answer wasn’t what he was looking for? The question by itself was already a vague one, so I saw it as an unfair question I couldn’t comprehend.
But I let it slide, because I had another perspective – it’ll be worse if I were shortlisted for the job.
Look it this way, people. If I were shortlisted, and he did employ me, I would be in trouble everyday because he would be looking for a “yes man”, while I am, by no means a person of such good nature. So, blessing in disguise, maybe.
Here’s my conclusion: Hiring managers are, even with the position they are in, still employees of the company they are working for. Any sane person will not (repeat: WILL NOT) employ anyone that will not do things within their own comfort zone. In simpler words, it means: I employ you to obey me, not outshine me.
If I had passed the interview, I would be working for this person who was obsessed with reports, and anytime if the job I would have done was out of line with his goals, he would have the say in pointing his finger either a) in the direction of the door and say “fuck off”, or b) in the direction of the toilet and say “Imma gonna fuck your ass.
It would not be good either way.
#2 THEY CAN BE CONDESCENDING
Oh, how I love this word: condescending.
After I had failed that interview, my agent arranged for me to go try out at another dealership. The selection was done through 2 rounds – one with the HR executive and another workshop manager, and the second one with the HR manager and the overall manager (oh my, the hierarchy).
The first one went pretty good as well. We had nice chats, the manager – the one who would be my colleague if I got hired – and the HR exec were very impressed with all the blah blah blahs. Basically all the lies I’ve put in my resume. The very day, few hours after I left, I received a call from them asking me to go for a second round of interview with the person who would be – you’ve guessed it – my immediate superior. In some places (countries), they call these assholes “boss”.
The day came, and I put on my best and attended the interview. I entered the room to see him sitting there with his back resting comfortably on the chair, and playing with what I supposed was Candy Crush on his iPad.
So the Q&As came as usual, and throughout the whole process, he did not even look up into my eyes as I was talking. I felt like an idiot talking to a cow asking how was dinner.
Needless to say, I flunked that as well. I can’t put all the blame on him though, because facing someone with that level of condescendence, I admit I had some difficulties talking to the person who was engrossed in the game (on second thoughts, perhaps he was surfing Pornhub?) on his iPad. Okay, I could have managed it better. But to soothe myself, I blamed it on the possibility that he wasn’t actually interested in hiring.
Here’s my conclusion: They (most) believe that since they are going to be your superior, you are in no position to be really talking to them on the same level. But really, I maintain my stand here. They are, but employees working for the company. The level they can get is the level they are at (future unknown), but if they are really capable, they would have become bosses themselves, and I mean self-employed.
#3 THEY THOUGHT THEY ARE SUCCESSFUL
There’s nothing successful about being a manager. Wake up on that one.
An average junior manager here (in Singapore) earns around SGD65k PA, while a more senior one (the hiring manager) earns an average of SGD91k PA. I’m talking about working in a dealership during good times. I’ve not touched on the fact that automotive trade in Singapore is a volatile industry. Ask me if you want to know more.
But all these money has to come with one thing: qualification.
I don’t know who the hell started and set the rules that say having a degree means you are smarter. I’ve seen countless stupid people who holding degrees in their hands asking for a salary of 65k PA, even when he or she does not have any experience to kick start the career. Also, the money gets blown away the moment the market gets affected, or you’d accidentally screwed the sexy lady who would later expose you of being a sexual offender.
So where’s the success here?
In my (humble) opinion, success is measured based on 3 keys: Financial, Time, and Health.
I’ve seen more than I could care to count, the number of people who are earning good money and spending them marvelously. They earn, for e.g., 65k PA, and they are spending 70k a year, and I’m not joking.
All that positions those hiring managers, or managers, are so proud of, can be easily achieved by anyone. If you ask me, I can advice you to be the CEO of a company even. Really.
Just start your own business, and you’ll be the CEO, Chairman, or Man guarding Chair if you like. Any position’s creatable, even the position of Minister Mentor for Singapore (haven’t heard of it, have you?).
Those positions are nothing, because they can be created. The good money is nothing if you don’t know how to manage them. And you know what’s the thing that blinds their “success” in my eyes?
Well, they still have to report for work every weekday from 9am to 6pm.
* All the observations are made based on the hiring traditions in Singapore. I am not speaking for the world, because I’m not that influential.
Andy Lawson is the average man on the street that you’ll not even trouble yourself looking at him if he passes by you. He’s sensitive to bullshit, and he hates mediocrity in most people. He is the author of his self-published book: Facts and Fiction of Fengshui: Facts that Masters are NOT Telling You. He doesn’t have Facebook or Twitter, because he hates to be associated with people who tend to be passive-aggressive online, but he does have a very limited set of vocabularies, terrible grammar, a twisted mind that makes himself God in his own twisted world and an ability to communicate with people who wish to be his friend.