Steve Bougerolle steveb at
Fri Feb 7 09:01:48 PST 2003

On Fri, 2003-02-07 at 17:54, Matthew Burgess wrote:
> I've been looking for a job recently and cannot believe the *demands*
> made by some potential employers out there.  

You're quite right not to believe the demands.  Whether you are speaking
literally or just using a figure of speech you've hit the nail on the
head: a lot of employers deliberately make impossible and unbelievable
demands for various reasons.  Here are just some that I thought up off
the top of my head:

1) They already know who they want to hire but they need to justify it
to somebody else.  This is particularly common in government jobs. 
Thus, they write the qualifications so only one person can qualify.

2)They want to make the task of hiring seem impossible so their boss or
assigned helper or (insert random other person they dislike) gives up
and leaves it all to them.  Then they can hire who they want.  This is
not quite the same as #1.

3a) They want more money for themselves and see some possibility of
getting it IF they don't hire anybody new.

3b) They think they can't hire somebody decent with the salary budget
they have so they want to make it seem impossible and convince their
bosses to pay more and get somebody better.  Or maybe they just want to
keep up salary expectations generally.

4) They want to make sure nobody gets hired NOW because they have
somebody in mind who isn't available until a few months down the road.

5) They are bored and sadistic a*#holes who invent ridiculous
requirements to give themselves a feeling of self-importance.  This is,
I expect, particularly common at big companies but I can't verify that
personally because I've never worked for one myself (that's just the
view from outside).

6) They are narrow-minded and believe everyone must have the same
background they do.

7) They want to demonstrate to immigration officials that it's
impossible to hire anyone locally to fit their needs (and therefore they
really need a visa for the foreigner they already have).  This sort of
thing is very common in this part of the world.

> but some specify the actual university/universities they want
> you to have got it from.  Not only that, some even state that they won't
> consider any applicants with less than AAA or AAB at A-Level.  

Judging from that I'd guess you're probably up against situation #1, but
possibly also #5 or #6.

> My manager and his boss were both trying their damnedist to sway the 
> powers that be to get me in, but at the end of the day it came down to
> office politics.  

It's a tough market now, apparently just about everywhere.  

> Oh well, it looks as
> if the budget may be tighter than they thought anyway and I know who
> will be first out the door if they need to make some cutbacks - I'm just
> glad I'm not in that position (yet).

The only answer to that problem is to be in business for yourself, but
that's far from easy also.  I can testify to that personally...

Steve Bougerolle
Creek & Cowley Consulting

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