Monday, October 17, 2016

The Commoditization of Everything

God help you if you need a job in America. The days where you applied for an open job position and then learned if you were hired or not are long gone. In its place is a step by step journey through online form purgatory and an eventual descent into digital limbo. My theory, that deserves more research, is that every step in the employment process has been commoditized or turned into a money-making enterprise. I me an that in the old days you would go to a job location and speak to a HR associate who would give you an application. The HR associate worked for the company hiring and they were actually interested in filling the job opening. That is no longer the case because of the ridiculous regulations involved in Human Resources became a career in itself, a full-time job with complicated details that overwhelmed a normal HR department. The company got sick of keeping up with all the insurance/medical/workmans comp/drug screening/payroll that they outsourced that side of the business to HR management firms that manage employees for other companies. This has been a trend for at least 20 years and confirmed by the fact the biggest employers are temp agencies. Temp agencies actually have no jobs, they do nothing, except they manage the HR department. That's all they do. They pimp their brothel of employees (bums sleeping in their lobby) to real companies. Temp agencies manage employees and deal with payroll and hiring and firing and sick leave and insurance and all the tedious bullshit that a respectable company like Apple or Ford does manage on their own. But smaller engineering firms and construction companies can not handle the turnover of temp employees so they outsource that to temp agencies. I'm not sure what these people process since the application is online and I have become my own data entry tech, but let's assume they do some fact checking and calling my references. It's simple and caused by tumor-like growth in the HR regulation department. No one is to blame, but let me tell you what this causes.

Because each step in the hiring process has been outsourced and I am beginning to suspect that the outsourced companies that are responsible for the HR department are now actually sub-outsourcing further elements of their responsibilities, every step in the process now makes someone a little bit of money...but doesn't end up with a person being hired because that's totally separate from their objective. It's like the high-risk mortgage commodities market except in the form of job applications. I don't know much about the mortgage meltdown of 2008 but I know folks were making money off of flim-flam and that is what is happening with the temp agency market. Let me defend this theory in case someone out there with the ethics of Mickey Mouse wants to make some money....

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Man in the Van by Oggy Bleacher is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 3.0 Unported License.