Even It Up!

Shifting the balance for jobseekers

The good ole jobseeking days

with 2 comments

My, how times have changed!  Jobseeking used to be way simpler in ‘the good ole days’.  We at Even It Up! are feeling a bit nostalgic, and here are a few things we wish were still around:

Bring back the CES!

Before job network providers, recruitment companies and Centrelink, we  had the Commonwealth Employment Service.   The CES was an Australian Government department that was there specifically for jobseekers. What we miss are the job boards, where cardboard cards  that listed all available jobs were pinned on partitions.  Thes jobs included temp jobs, and both state and government departments as well as private industry listed vacancies. No dealing with middlemen – you just called the organisation direct expressing an interest in the role.  In fact, the CES had a specialist department dealing specifically with temp government roles: Templine.  There were some agencies, but these were few and far between and seemed to be relatively easy to deal with (What ever to Kelly?).

Bring back aptitude testing!

 We know you are probably recoiling in horror and calling us politically incorrect, but given the subjective and arbitrary recruitment decisions that many employers make, we think it’s a good idea.  When so many employers talk about wanting to employ the best and brightest – and the don’t – then surely aptitude testing is a way of actually levelling the playing field.   Employers then have a pool of jobseekers they can call on for vacancies.  In the old days, often there wouldn’t even be an interview! You’d get a phone call telling you to start work!

Qualifications actually meant something!

Qualifications now seem to act as a screening device where “where in order to secure a job which is itself unchanged, a person must secure higher educational credentials than were required earlier” (source:  Tom Morris, 1992 Joint Conference of the AARE and NZARE at Deakin Uni).

What we are finding is that qualifications, because they are not used as an indication of the jobseekers ability, tenacity and smarts, are now not valued by employers.  They are not seen by employers as really adding anything  to the jobseeker’s repertoire; they merely indicate that the jobseeker has reached the benchmark of what is deemed necessary to even be considered for a role.  So much for best and brightest!

A fried of ours, who has more degrees than a thermometer,  is often pipped at the jobs post by people who don’t have his qualifications (and this is in middle management).  How does he know?  Because when the employer contacts him to tell him he is unsuccessful, he always asks: “Do they have my qualifications?”.  The answer is invariably no.  (We acknowledge that there may be other factors at play!)

So one has to ask the question: who is benefiting from credentials inflation – we don’t think it’s the jobseeker!

We’d love your thoughts!  Do you agree? What do you miss about the good ole jobseeking days?


Written by evenitup

December 12, 2008 at 8:16 am

2 Responses

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  1. Aptitude testing still does go on, but generally only by larger companies. It is considered to be the single best way of predicting success in a role.

    On the qualifications front, if universities were able to deliver their programs using effective adult learning techniques and that content of the studies was practical and relevant to the actual work environment, then perhaps I would look at someones qualifications with a little more respect.

    Sadly many of those who I interview for positions with qualifications think that they should be able to move straight into a management level role. Sadly no – I believe the majority of skills learnt in a particular field need to be learnt from the ground up and if you haven’t done that then from experience I have found their skills to be shallow, and theoretical. I will always choose someone who has worked from the ground up (and has then completed some study along the way) over someone with a university degree but less experience.

    bek you know who I am

    December 12, 2008 at 12:46 pm

    • Thanks Bek, for your comments – it’s always good to get a range of perspectives on these issues!


      December 12, 2008 at 1:46 pm

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