Thursday, April 11, 2013


We've all been told that numbers don't lie.

Statistics are numbers and politicians and other assorted shady characters have learned how to make these numbers lie. "There are lies, there are Goddammn lies...and there are statistics" once quipped M. Twain. I digress.

I spend a fair amount of my waking hours recruiting construction professionals. I have to pass on many talented people more than capable of doing the work the positions entails. Why? Because their numbers are working against them.

People who invest in other people in the labor market attempt to increase their chances of the proverbial "good hire". Good not just in their work but good in that they'll likely still be working at the company in 5 years- preferably much longer. If their work history includes long stints at previous employers, are they more likely to stick than someone who changes jobs frequently? Ummm...I'm going to opine in the affirmative, Sparky.

If I've learned anything- other than Boston drivers routinely disobey The Laws of Physics- it's life is inherently unfair. How about my life versus a child born in Afghanistan? Or someone born in a loving home that valued altruism and education versus a baby born in a crack house? My point is people change or lose jobs for MANY legitimate reasons, often due to circumstances that clearly could be deemed unfair. If you're one of them, understand the numbers game is not working in your favor. If you think it sucks- you're right- but the kid in Afghanistan thinks your life is pretty "fair".

A great line from a lousy late 80's movie proclaimed: "...all things end badly; otherwise they wouldn't end at all.." Never forgot that line though I'll never get those two hours back. In my line of work, this nugget of wisdom holds weight. Don't be so sure you left your last company in mutual good terms. Just because they presented you with a cake and a couple of drafts at Applebees doesn't mean things got real sticky after you decided to Get Out of Dodge.

It's sounds awful but most companies interviewing you are subtly looking for reasons NOT to hire you. Companies are treated like people in the eyes of the law. Like people, companies have a self-preservation mechanism. Doesn't mean you have to like considering changing jobs or being out of work and looking for a new one. Just understand the reality of what's going on. If you're one of the tens of millions reading this-relatively speaking- your life has been more fair than most people stumbling around the planet.