Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Why put off 'til tomorrow... oh, never mind.

Have you ever talked with someone who was thinking of buying a new computer, but every time he or she was about to make the plunge, he or she heard about some new feature coming out soon and decided to wait until that new thing was available?

Has that person purchased a computer yet?

Usually one of two things gets a person with this problem to change his or her mind. Either he or she gets tired of waiting for a promise that will never be fulfilled, or someone finally gets through to him or her that waiting for the next big thing often does little but deprive one of the benefits the current model has available now.

By now you might be thinking I'm about to lecture on the evils of FUD (Fear, Uncertainty, Doubt) as a marketing tool, but remember, I seem to be perpetually in the job hunt, so my point is really related to finding work.

And I'm not going to use this as an excuse to talk about birds in hand versus birds in bushes, though, of course, I could. The lesson is the same.

No, oddly enough, it isn't me who can't make a decision, here. I've had the misfortune of interviewing with an employer who has fallen into this very trap. You see, this employer has a vacancy, but they also have a workaround for the vacancy, and the workaround is working fine for them. They know they should hire someone for the position, but they aren't in a hurry to do so. As a result, the instructions given to HR is to find the perfect department manager.

Alas, no one has convinced HR (or possibly worse, the President of the company, whom the position in question would answer to) that such a person does not exist. Rather than pick from the ample supply of applicants, they simply run a fresh ad occasionally, and HR has to spend her time screening resumes and attending interviews. She told me herself she was hired four months ago and hasn't had time to do real HR stuff because she has to find the perfect department manager.

Meanwhile, the department's staff makes due with self-management, supplemented with doses of supervision from the President and the Production Manager. Before long, they will forget what it was like to have a department manager, and the small problems that have been festering for months will become big problems that the eventual hire will curse, unable to cleanly solve.

They told me they'd call me if they decide I'm the person they're looking for. As time passes, I'm starting to wonder if I really do want them to call. I won't envy the person who is picked for the position.

So, I'm still shopping, and spending my spare time at Your World News. See ya there!