Adventures in hiring
Feb. 21, 2020
by Ivan Raconteur

I updated some job postings this week. Within the past 24 hours, I have received three résumés – two from Florida, and one from Arizona.

Based on the current weather conditions here, I suspect these applicants lack a basic understanding of geography, and have not looked at a map to find Minnesota.

Don’t get me wrong – there are a lot of wonderful things about Minnesota. And I am willing to consider serious applicants from just about anywhere. But I question the commitment of anyone who proposes to leave the warmth of Florida or Arizona to come here to work on the frozen tundra.

That is one of the funny quirks about recruiting in the digital age. In recent years, I have received applications from as far away as Australia. That one made me think. That’s a long way to come for what is basically an entry-level job, and we don’t pay moving expenses.

I remember one application I received from a young lady in Hawaii. She sent me a nice cover letter, and she had good qualifications. I’m just not sure she knew what she would be getting into here. I was tempted to send her a photo and the current weather forecast, but I expect job applicants to do at least some minimal research on their own.

I have received a number of applications from California, and quite a few from New England. I have also received quite a few from New York over the years.

I found myself wondering what the young lady from Manhattan would make of working a beat in our circulation area. I’m afraid she might have found the pace here a bit slow.

On the other hand, I’m confident the cost of living here is much lower than that in Manhattan, so that may have been a hook.

Another thing I have noticed is that a lot of applicants don’t even bother to send a simple cover letter anymore.

I am willing to consider applicants whether or not they have any writing or journalism experience, but I at least expect them to give me some idea why they are interested in making a career change, and why they are interested in this kind of position.

It does not show much initiative to simply click a button on a website to forward one’s résumé.

I suspect some of the applications I receive are automatically forwarded from people who have set up alerts on job sites.

That may make it easier for job seekers, but it results in more pointless emails for recruiters to wade through.

I am also cynical enough to think some of these are simply intended to show that a person is applying for a number of jobs, even if they have no expectation to receive serious consideration.

If a person is a good worker, has a positive attitude, and some basic skills, I can help them to become better writers and teach them about journalism. But they have to put in at least some effort.

Advances in technology have made things easier for both job seekers and recruiters, but they can’t replace some personal attention from the parties involved.

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