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There Is No Huge Correlation Between Education and Income and Here Is Why

Copyright © 2006
by Ed Bagley

A client e-mailed me yesterday about her student loan debts that netted her 3 college degrees and a job without a commensurate income and future. She has a Bachelor of Arts Degree from New York University, a second Bachelor of Arts Degree from the London Institute and a Master of Arts Degree from the University of London. My unvarnished answers to her questions follow. I changed her name since I could not contact her in time to use her name.

Hi Ed Bagley,

I had a follow-up question to your three-part series on “Five Power Secrets of Getting Hired in Today’s Economy.”

If education is not a great factor in making the “big bucks”, why do people stress that, especially a lot of companies that only want to hire college educated employees?

OK, I don’t have a source for those stats, just stuff I have heard. I am guessing just media hype. Nonetheless, if there is any validity to that, why is that the case?

Because I so regret the major amounts of money I am in debt for because of higher education, and the three degrees I have have not gotten me any further than anyone else.

I am not surprised. I guess life isn’t fair.


Here is my reply to Carolyn the same day:


You are reading my product! This can only help you, and you have the added benefit that I am not going to try and collect on your student loans! (it is OK to smile)

You ask an excellent question and you shall receive an excellent answer.

Here are some considerations in no particular order:

1) Colleges and universities are not part of the same world that exists around them. They are isolated special interest groups with no other primary purpose than to ensure their continued existence.

Job one for them is to stress education as the answer to all of life’s issues and ills, thus, get a degree and earn a lot more money, get a degree and start doing something you really want to do, get a degree and get hired quicker, get a degree or many corporations will not hire you, etc.

Their real purpose is to generate enough income to support the salaries and lifestyle of those involved in perpetuating the enterprise. A tenured professor must be paid even if the subject he or she is teaching has almost zero demand in our economy.

If colleges and universities really told the truth about what you could reasonably earn after you acquire your degree, enrollment would plummet in certain subject areas. Students would stop being skydivers without parachutes.

Colleges and universities will put 120 students into a program that there is absolutely no need or demand for in the marketplace. What will a student do with an art history degree when there is zero need for people to run the few museums that exist.

You cannot turn out 120 students a year at each university when the annual demand for what they have to offer is 22 openings at all levels nationwide. This is why education majors who do not want to teach in South Central Los Angeles end up as shift managers at a McDonald’s restaurant, or as a life insurance agent for Prudential.

2) Not all degrees are equal. A Bachelor of Arts in history is pretty useless unless you switch to teaching history. Get a Master of Business Administration degree from a top 20 school and your chances improve. Get a Doctor of Medicine Degree, become a physician and surgeon and your chances are even better.

Degrees that lead to a high paying profession pay off, everything else has little real impact on your salary.

3) Corporations want to hire college graduates not only because they believe educated workers will make them more money, but also because it is their best guarantee that the person they are hiring is literate.

They want to be assured that the new hires can speak and be understood by fellow staff members, and are not so illiterate that they will drive away customers and clients by showing, through their lack of communication skills, that they are stupid, lack grammar and diction, and have the personality of an ashtray.

4) Facts: Results from the 2004 Census Bureau report shows a $23,000 difference between the average annual salary of adults with a bachelor’s degree ($51,554) compared to adults with a high school diploma ($28,645).

In what may or may not be an anomaly, the income gap narrowed slightly from five years earlier when bachelor’s degree graduates made nearly twice as much as high school graduates.

Notice the fact says “the average annual salary” which means that in this total is a brain surgeon making $1.2 million a year and a ditch-digger making a minimum wage of approximately $7 an hour or about $14,000 a year. This produces an average difference of only $23,000.

Throw out the brain surgeons and ditch-diggers of which there are very few and the difference is even less.

5) This has little to do with life being fair or not. It has everything to do with you figuring out how to make money, whether you have a degree or not.

Do I think you have been snookered on the education trip? Yes I do. Why? I have too much experience and evidence to think otherwise.

Both of us come from educated families that would naturally stress education. I was appalled when my son and daughter had zero interest in continuing their education after high school.

My daughter is now a loan officer with Washington Mutual making good money, probably far better than you are, and she has zero student loan debt.

My son did get a 2-year certificate as an automotive technician; he refused to take the 4 or 5 academic classes with the occupational training so he could get an Associate of Technical Arts Degree rather than a certificate as an auto tech.

He told me, “Dad, I do not need any more education.” Remember what Mark Twain said: “I never allowed schooling to interfere with my education.”

My son is 28 years old and already has a $540,000 house, 4 upscale vehicles, a rental property and two auto repair shops with an income well in excess of $12,000 a month plus the net profits from his businesses.

Did he need a college education to succeed? You decide. This is why I say that there is more correlation between people skills, having technical skills and being in an activity that is in demand than there is between pure education and income.

6) Do I believe everyone should have a college degree, say at least a bachelor’s? Absolutely, because you will be exposed to multiple areas of knowledge and get some well-needed breeding and culture.

My son could care less about classical music, plays, culture, reading, etc. He is focused on making money and when he looks at anything he is only interested in discovering the answers to two questions: Where is the money? and How can I get it?

This is the clear difference between an entrepreneur or businessperson and a college graduate who is thinking his or her education is going to bring them big bucks.

Nothing will bring you a lot of bucks unless and until what you bring provides a service or product that is in demand, has little competition and you can charge big bucks for your service.

This is why brain surgeons and auto repair technicians who own auto repair shops make money. Cars break down. People have brain cancer. Who cares whether you have 3 degrees, or 20 degrees, or whether you know hip-hop from opera?

7) Given your circumstances, this is what I recommend you do: Use your expensive education, street smarts and intuition to figure out what people want to know and then provide the knowledge or information they want and need, and charge for your service.

The more they want the information the more you can charge because no one else will be providing the information they want at a lower cost.

This is America, the land of opportunity. This is a needs-based, on-demand economy. The market you want to earn your living in is capitalist based, not education based. If you cannot figure out the economy, become a teacher and settle for whatever salary and benefits education pays a teacher.

8) Also, stop acting like there is some big secret about how to make it in your chosen field. Get into the field and act like you are the secret. Do not chase people and opportunities, act like you are THE person and THE opportunity is with you.

For example, you cannot find a better resume writer and personal marketer in America than I am. Period. I dare you to scour New York, Boston or LA and then come back to me when you figure out I am right.

Most people in my profession are just sucking money out of their clients and moving on.

When you call I answer, not my secretary because I do not have one. You get the expert. You do not have to work through me to get to the top. You start at the top.

This is why I do not have employees. I am the authority.

You are bright, educated and capable. You are the answer to your own quest to find someone else to hire you. Start acting like you are a person of total substance.

Make people appreciate and understand instantly that when they are talking to you, or doing business with you, that they are dealing with a person of substance. Repeat, a person of substance. Let there be no mistake.

If your thing is hip-hop music, become the authority, brand yourself and build a reputation so that no one thinking hip-hop is doing squat without consulting you first because you have the answers, and are worth whatever you are charging and 20 times more!

Think about who you need to be, not who you are at the moment, then be that person, becoming a magnet that will attract people to you.

Now get out there and make me proud of you. You are Carolyn, an expert. You do not know everything and quickly acknowledge so, but in your area, there is no one who knows more than you. Period. That is it.

And if you do not agree with me that I am an expert in my field, no matter, others do.

You are not some silly girl with three degrees who cannot find the right job at the right income. Start 2007 as an expert, not as someone looking for a job.

You know I believe in you. Now you need to believe in yourself and get out there and let the world know who Carolyn is. People will start listening when you decide you are a person of substance, know what you are talking about, and then continue to get more knowledgeable and helpful in your area of expertise.

This is not a mind game. Do not believe with your head, believe with your heart as if your life depended upon it and people will accept you as an expert.

When they offer you less money than you want, look them straight in the eye and tell them you would like to help them but other people are offering you more money, and then shut up.

Do not try to justify or explain yourself or your value. If the person you are talking to cannot figure it out, find someone else who can.

There are two possible outcomes in this scenario: The result you want or excuses.

Settle for the result you want, or walk away.


From Meyer:

“I am grateful to have met Ed Bagley. I wouldn’t have landed that tenure-track position without him. Early on, he asked me to send him a copy of my resume. After reviewing it, he called me back and said, ‘Your resume is a disaster, can we meet?’ I must admit, I was taken aback by the ‘tough love,’ but Ed took that resume and the information I provided him, and he crafted a new and vastly improved resume that literally blew me away.

Ed told me a person who writes their own resume will usually undersell themselves. He corrected a lot of little things — some were subconsciously subtle — that projected a negative image of myself. Example: a big header page in front of the resume with name and title of ‘Ph.D’ in big, bold letters really tells an employer that you are desperate. It doesn’t project self-confidence. We fixed that — and many other little things — with better wording and proper placement.

When I got invited for an interview, Ed took the time to sit down and help me rehearse answers to some 20 interview questions I thought the hiring committee might ask. This process was most helpful. I rehearsed and studied the answers to those questions — with all of Ed’s suggestions, revisions, and edits built in.

The preparation paid off, I felt confident in the interview. Even though it may not have been my best interview performance, nonetheless, my answers were substantive because I rehearsed and I was prepared.
I got the job!

Ed guided me every step of the way — from resume writing to interview preparation. Thanks, Ed, for all your help, guidance, and expertise. You gave so freely of your time to teach me and to show me the right way to do things. I am forever grateful.”

From Kevin:

“Hi Ed,

Thank you for your resume services. Prior to having my resume done by you, I had struggled to secure interviews. I just graduated from the University (of Washington) and was working a temp job trying to find my path to a career.

After getting my resume done by you, I was able to get 3 interviews in a week and a half. Though your resumes get noticed, I think what helped me the most were your interview tips.

That paid the price of the resumes 10-fold. Now, I am in a career that I absolutely love, and I have you to thank for helping me reach there.
Thank you.”

From Richelle:

“I had forgot to email you that I got a job at the same company I was working at ‘DeVita’.

I was hired two weeks after I saw you. I totally love it and am very blessed to have a job!

Thank you for everything that you did for me. Have a wonderful and blessed Holiday.”

From Christian:

Separating from the U. S. Army where I was making 42k/yr. Sent my resume in on Friday and had a job offer on Monday for 80k plus benefits. This man does great work and has multiple packages for everyone’s needs. Highly recommended.

From Amber:

Mr. Bagley is a pleasure to work with, professional and knowledgeable about all things related to self-marketing and personal branding. I was amazed at all the positive feedback I received after getting a brochure product and received multiple offers with in the first week. I would highly recommend AAA Quality Resumes!

From Keith:

From our first phone call to delivery of my resume and cover letter, Mr. Bagley’s organization in thought along with his ability to capture and present information from our information gathering meetings was stellar!

Very organized (I mention this twice as it’s important to feel confident), thorough and complete, his ability to present my information in a fashion to better market my personality, professional accomplishments and goals with confidence is one you will marvel at. You can feel his 30+ years of experience come through the phone, in person interviews, and ultimately the end product!

Ed was always quick to respond to my emails, phone calls to reschedule, and my pressure to deliver my resume’ before the deadline. I counted on Mr. Bagley recently and shall the need arise, I will have no reservations to reach out to him again in the future.

Local – (Washington) or not – (U.S.A), call ED!

Thank you, Sir! GREAT JOB!

From Jeremy:

With Mr. Bagley’s help on my Resume, I had multiple offers and was able to pick what company that I wanted to work for.

From Justin:

I reached out to Ed looking for a new resume to start a hunt for a new job. My initial consultation with him showed me everywhere I had been wrong in my resume writing. He sent me home with a very in-depth information gathering form to make sure every aspect was captured that needed to be on a resume. The final product was incredible! The new resume landed me several interviews and I accepted a position making 48% more than my previous job. I can’t praise Ed and his work enough for helping me in this process.

In a world of contacting people behind a computer screen and paying for a final product, Ed’s process is extremely personal. Sitting down with him face to face during every step of the process was very nice. If you’re on the fence about his services, my advice is DO IT. The price may seem expensive to some, but investing in your career will quickly pay off and your return on investment will be huge.

Thank you Ed for your services and help, I will be back for edits in the future!

From Tami:

“Hey Ed! Guess what? The job I told you I was applying for — I GOT IT.

I am the new GIS Manager for Thurston County. Long application process, multiple interviews, lots of reference checks, great feedback on the resume. Brought extra copies, which was appreciated. Awesome. Thanks!”

From Josh:

“Mr. Bagley,

Just wanted you to know your resume you made me was awesome and I did get the job!

I am now a lead firefighter on McChord. Thanks!”

From Jonathon:

I recently moved from out of state and was in need of finding employment. I found Ed through Google and his reviews were amazing. After our first meeting, I realized that I had been underselling myself and started realizing my true potential.

He is an amazing writer and knows how to focus on your most positive attributes. Everyone I have shown these resumes to have exclaimed on the professional look as well as their content.

I would like to add that after ever contact with Ed, I left with a large confirmation and confidence in my talent and abilities. I now have multiple companies offering me an opportunity to make more than I have in any of my previous positions.

Thank you Ed.

From Kimberly in Bonn, Germany:

“Your letter dated Nov. 25, 1996 finally caught up to me. I now live in Bonn, Germany. I’m writing to give you my testimonial for your upcoming book, that is if it’s not too late.

I went to you seeking help on writing a resume to obtain an Administrative Assistant position when we arrived in Tacoma from Southern California via Mississippi. One week later I had a beautifully written resume in my hot little hands.

Now here comes the best part. I brought my resume with me to MultiCare Health System (Tacoma General and Mary Bridge Children’s Hospitals) to apply for a secretarial position.
Even though I still had to fill out the application,
I was hired in the Fund Development Department because of the extra effort put forth by providing
a resume.

The resume provided information that a regular job application doesn’t. Along with my standard qualifications, it included many noteworthy accomplishments that qualified me even more for the position.

Now it gets even better. Because my husband is in the United States Air Force, we were lucky enough to receive an assignment to Ramstein Air Base, Germany.

Because I didn’t have any time to have my resume redone by you before we left, I scanned it into the computer and added my most recent job and submitted it to the Civilian Personnel Office on base and, because of its contents, I am the Commander’s secretary in the base legal office, which is the biggest overseas legal office in the Air Force.

I have a tremendous amount of responsibility here and my supervisor has a lot of faith in me. Thank you for helping me and others obtain the positions we deserve.”

From Ann:

“Hello, Ed! Just wanted to update you on the job that
I applied for here at American Lake VA. Yes, I did get the job! Will be starting orientation soon.

For the first time in my 24 years of nursing, (I) will actually be working days, Monday-Fridays, no weekends, no holidays.

Thank you for all the help and advice you’ve given me. Take care.”

From Ole:

“I showed my resume to a local business leader and he felt it was one of the best presented resumes he had ever seen. I was hired after distributing only one resume.”

From L. W.:

“’Sharp-looking resume!’ ‘Impressive!’ These are just two of the comments I heard from managers describing the resume brochure Ed Bagley developed for me. Not only did Ed prepare an attractive and professional product, but he also gave me some helpful advice for presenting the resume appropriately during the interview process.

One of his recommendations was to carry several originals of my resume and offer them to those conducting the interview. He emphasized the importance of this, regardless of whether or not I had previously mailed one to the organization.

This worked out extremely well for me in one particular interview that led to a job offer!

In applying for the position, I followed the instructions in the job announcement and mailed my resume to the Human Resources (HR) office. Because this was a large, state-run organization, the HR office was located in one city while the director responsible for hiring the individual for the position was located in another. Subsequently, one of the HR representatives provided the director a copy of my resume via facsimile.

The quality in the appearance of the faxed resume could not compare to the original Ed prepared. As a result, the director was eager and appreciative in accepting the original I offered at the interview.

Since the only copy of my resume had been faxed to the director, the other three company representatives each received their first copy (an original) at the interview. Ed’s advice seemed insignificant at the time, but I now believe it contributed to a polished and professional interview presence.”

From Ash:

Ed Bagley is a true master at what he does. I strongly recommend him if you want to get ahead in your career or embark on a new career path. The resume he crafted for me a few years ago has helped unlock multiple opportunities for me as a sub-contractor that I am sure would not have otherwise presented themselves. Just recently I made a few slight updates to the original resume and was able to land a new writing job at my top rate, giving me the most money I have ever earned in one chunk for a project. My career would not be what it is without his expertise and wisdom.

From Darin:

Five stars is usually a sign of typical Internet over-rating, but not in Ed’s case. I’ve been working with Ed for 25 years. I’ll call him to set up a phone or in-person meeting for everything from resumes to business plans. It just doesn’t pay to do a project myself, when I have access to a professional who has more skill and experience in writing than I will ever possess.

The real value of working with Ed is that his knowledge of business is light years ahead of a typical professional writer. I often challenge his decisions and ask for an explanation behind his logic. In addition to the final product, each meeting contains a great learning experience, if you’re open to it.

From Natalie:

Ed has become a great mentor, cheerleader, and friend. The amount of zeal and passion he has put into my beautifully executed resume and cover letter has already paid off. Invest in Ed’s services and you won’t regret it.

From Sherri:

Mr Bagley is truly amazing! I did an extensive search for resume writers due to my different jobs I’ve had. Being military, we moved around a lot, so I had various positions over the years. My resume was literally a hot mess!!! I had so much documentation, awards, federal paperwork, military and government contracting….let’s just say I gave him a run for his money! He was able to put all that paperwork in a professional looking resume and cover-letter. He gives you the conversions files for posting online in Word to make it easy for you in whatever is needed.

Very personable and makes you feel comfortable from the start. My resume looks fantastic and I cannot wait to start applying for jobs. Thanks Mr. Bagley!

From Jim:

Ed is a professional writer and businessman. Ed combines these experiences with his knowledge of business and industry, integrated technology, people and transformational leadership to deliver a quality resume. And you’ll gain more than just a resume; you’ll receive excellent counsel and a great friend for life. Thanks Ed!

From Maria:

“Ed Bagley is by far the BEST and most knowledgeable resume professional in the business! He does detailed work and is an ongoing resource even past delivering you the finished product.

He really cares about his clients and goes above and beyond for his clients through the whole process. I would highly recommend his services. You will not regret making a choice to go with the best resume service around.”

From Susan:

“When I first walked into your office I was scared and apprehensive. I knew I had to make a career change, but didn’t know how.

I also thought all resume services were the same and expensive. After meeting with you, seeing your work and meeting with other career services, I decided you were the best for the best price.

The response I received to your well-prepared resume was literally overwhelming.

I had responses from practically every company I sent a resume to. I had one woman call and say, ‘Although you’re not really qualified for this position, I wanted to meet with you because your resume is so impressive’. I decided not to meet with her because, after hearing more about the position, I didn’t want it. I ended up taking a position with a pharmaceutical company, something I’ve wanted to do since graduating from college.

Not only was I able to change careers but I also did not have to take less salary or perks. This leads me to conclude that my resume was written expertly to open doors and shows how my previous experience could cross over to another career.

Lastly, Ed is an understanding and compassionate man who helped me define my goals. The extras above and beyond the resume helped immensely, and I am looking forward to the partnership I can expect in managing my career choices! Thanks again.”

From Marcus:

“Ed Bagley has been a great help in the process of me finally being employed.

Thanks to his quality resumes and experience, he helped me market my skills and abilities. The first thing my present employer told me after seeing my resume was, ‘Nice presentation.’

Thanks again, Ed, for all of your help.”

From Darin:

“Few people realize the pitfalls and underlying complexity associated with resume writing.

Ed’s advice can help anyone to not only avoid making crucial mistakes but also project the most favorable image possible.

Over three decades of experience has put Ed at the top of his field. Anyone from a corporate executive to a high school student can benefit a great deal from his knowledge.”

From Patricia:

“The resume Ed prepared for me got me an interview every time! And they always mentioned how impressed they were with my resume.”

From John:

“I was extremely impressed with the work Ed did on my resume. He not only put my work history on paper but managed to ‘package’ my background and experience, and relate it to future career goals.

This, in combination with the high quality products Ed uses, layout, and design measures, produced a final product of which I was very proud.

Of course my liking it is one thing, but the proof came in the form of actual verbal compliments and positive feedback from prospective employers.
I am 100% convinced that Ed’s expertise helped with my recent employment.”

From Gary K.:

“Ed Bagley did the one task I absolutely dreaded – got me started. The resume is the first and primary tool I need in my search for employment. I tried several times myself, but I never felt comfortable with my product.

Ed’s view of my worth to prospective employers was honest and exhaustive, but more important, gave me a resume I felt comfortable to present.”

From Arthur:

“Dear Ed,

Just a quick note to thank you for your time and energy in putting my resume together. The result looks quite professional.

I am feeling very fortunate in having a mentor like you.”

From Jim:


Your reputation brought me to you. Your integrity introduced me to possibilities, and your character is one that is rare in this world.

You are one of a handful of honorable men I have been privileged to know in my life.”

From Sara:

“Dear Ed,

Thanks for your generosity. You are a very kind and thoughtful person.

I really wanted to say thank you again for EVERYTHING you have given Patrick and I. I hope soon I will be able to thank you with more than a card! I can’t wait to start really making the $$$$$.”

From Bill:


I appreciate your help and moral wisdom.
Thanks again.”

From Gary and Susan:


Susan and I are overwhelmed by your generosity. That you would reserve significant parts of two days just to help us is well beyond want any reasonable person could expect.

And not only are you sharing business information, but you are also providing life advice.

Regardless of the outcome of our business venture, we want you to know that what you have already offered will have a long-term benefit — not only to us, but to others — because we intend to model your generosity. It is our hope to serve in many ways.

Thank you for re-enforcing our commitment to others and for providing the example.”

To discover how Quality Resumes by Ed Bagley can set you on a clear path to continued future success, call me at 253-565-6484 or 800-965-6484 for more information today!

Online Hiring – 94% of Candidates Are Hired the Traditional Way: With a Hard Copy Resume and an Interview (Part 3 of a 4-Part Series)

Copyright © 2007
by Ed Bagley

The only two reliable studies I am aware of show that less than 6% of prospects on average are hired through the online process only. That means 94% of candidates are hired the traditional way: with a hard copy resume and eyeball-to-eyeball contact during an interview. I wonder how Diane Stafford was hired.

A company or organization may, in fact, require the initial resume or an application via email because HR does not want to fuss with paper copies of resumes. I would advise any candidate who has to apply online with an email attachment or in the body of the email, to take 6 or 7 hard copies of their resume and cover letter—pre-signed—to the interview.

When the interviewers (and today it is one to a committee of several interviewers more often than not) are passing the single email copy back and forth trying to read it and ask questions (which is tacky but they do it anyway), the prospective candidate should get up and say, “I brought hard copies for everyone today” and hand them out.

You cannot imagine how positive an impression this will make until you try it.

Should you try it and the brightest thing an interviewer can say is, “Oh, we don’t accept hard copies anymore, just email versions,” then I would recommend continuing with the interview, but understanding that when you go out the door this is not the place you are going to work, or the people you are going to work with.

They are too stupid and bureaucratic for anyone with an ounce of initiative, talent, ambition and intelligence to be fussing with. People like these bureaucrats are most often occupying space and contributing little to the progress and success of any company. They are where they are because of their level of incompetence.

They are only screening candidates so someone more important can interview them later and make a hiring decision. In other words, people in personnel may hire entry level workers but no chief executive officer or anyone else important would allow a personnel type to make an offer of employment for key company executives.

What is it with this business of “customized online forms, tailor-made to cull the applicant field”? Are we in some kind of race here? Good grief, does anyone who is a consumer or a potential hire realize what is happening here?

Why exactly do you think the big-time online services that allow you to post you resume for free also might want you to fill out a customized online form before they let you post your resume?

If you believe that the only purpose for this activity is to help you find a job you are very naïve, especially if they ask you to fill out the equivalent of a hard copy job application online. In doing so, you will be asked to fill your first name in one block and your last name in another block, etc.

Why would they do this? Answer: To build a more manageable, faster database of your personal information so they can sell it for profit. I know they say they would never sell your information, but they lie through their teeth, just like banks and financial institutions did for decades.

Why do you think banks and financial institutions must mail you a notice ever year telling you how they use your information. That is correct, they finally got caught.

Even this legislative correction does not prohibit them from continuing to do so in many cases because they have so many wholly-owned subsidiaries with whom they can still legally share information.

Banks routinely sold your personal information to credit card companies for years, for example, and pretended that they did not. It was not in the bank’s best interest to reveal what they were doing because it became such a good profit center for them.

What makes you think your banker does not continually lie to you every time you see him or her for a loan? Bankers love to lie at your expense, and they make more money every time they do it.

Do you honestly think that all of the fine print that goes on and on in your loan agreement is there because bankers want to explain to you exactly what it means in plain language? I think not. It is there to confuse you and leave you in the dark about what is really going on.

Online Hiring – Many Job Hunters Are Frustrated With the Continual Digitized ”Depersonalization” of the Hiring Process (Part 4 of a 4-Part Series)

Copyright © 2007 Ed Bagley

Many clients of mine have filled out customized online forms tailor-made to help them only to find out later that they were receiving calls on their cell phones from telemarketers, and needing to get a bigger mailbox as suddenly they were inundated with unwanted advertisements.

How did those advertisers get such pertinent information? Answer: the good fairy brought it to them while they were sleeping, in other words, they bought it from the source of the customized online information form.

Stafford continues her groundbreaking story with this piece of riveting information:

“John Sullivan, a management professor at San Francisco State University, says most interviews are as valuable as Ouija boards in measuring whether a person will be good on the job.

Interviewers ask the wrong questions, and job candidates can lie, or simply not shine when on the job they’d do quite well, he (Sullivan) says—all the better for online assessments. Companies—especially those that hire thousands of workers and have high turnover—are turning to a range of computer-based filters to pare down candidates to a manageable number.”

I could not disagree more with what Sullivan has to say as a management professor who is likely quoted as an expert.

It may well be that Sullivan himself does not have the necessary skills and competence to get anything out of a face-to-face interview with a potential hire in his university department. That would be his problem.

Stafford does end her story with this observation: “Many job hunters are frustrated with the digitized ‘depersonalization’ of the hiring process.” Amen.

Just when personnel types and those hiring should be asking more questions of candidates in an increasing complex world they are turning to forms for the answers. Good luck and God speed.

If potential candidates hope to represent my companies or me they had better be ready to sit down, look me in the eye, and sell themselves.

In most cases I am old enough to be their father. In many cases I am old enough to be their grandfather. My children call me a fossil, but I still read people so well one-on-one that I would not trust an online form to separate the wheat from the chaff.