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New reason to start freelance & consulting: Hiring process becomes even more stupid

Back when I started writing these articles and compiled them on my blog, I posted quite a few reasons to try freelancing and consulting, either as a permanent career or as a temporary measure while looking for a regular full-time job.

Now I have a new reason: The hiring process is becoming ever more ridiculous and job seekers need an alternate activity so you don’t go plumb crazy from the job hunt.

The latest inane (non)hiring practice is to not hire people because 1) they are unemployed or 2) they have bad credit. Not coincidentally, the two tend to go together. Many of those with deteriorating credit have been unemployed for awhile.

I don’t see why these two factors make people become undesirable as employees, but I have two theories.

One is that hiring managers don’t like people with bad luck. We can no longer look around and conclude that those who don’t have jobs are necessarily bad workers. We all personally know too many exceptions. So we simply don’t like those who have experienced misfortune. And worse, it may be contagious!

The second is that neither hiring managers nor HR seem to have developed criteria that they can readily apply and that can predict success in a position. So they seek to shortcut their recruitment process by creating handy but irrelevant criteria for excluding candidates instantly . . . such as being unemployed.

Why are freelancing and consulting the answer?

Because in all my years of freelancing and consulting, no one has ever asked permission for a credit check (and I assume they would ask before conducting it). Nor has anyone asked why I left my last job.

First, this information is not relevant and has nothing to do with the work to be done. (And by the way, my credit is fine.)

Second, the act of freelancing and consulting creates a job to be listed on your resume. (True, some recruiters look at this suspiciously as a way to cover periods of unemployment, but that’s their issue.)

The recruitment process is consistently becoming more absurd. Seekers are spending far too much time customizing applications and resumes that disappear into the internet. That’s so frustrating, while using this time to land assignments in your proven specialty feels really good.

Originally posted 10-4-11

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