There are plenty of articles out there explaining how to get the attention of a business in order to get a job. I made the choice to go through a local staffing agency at one point. I completely hated it. It was a giant waste of time. Here is my experience of that company.
I did some research online and found a place locally that said it was all about people. It said it was the better people, people. You know, like every other staffing place that promises they will find you a great job that fits all your skills and career goals. So I polished my resume, put on a good white shirt and tie and drove down to the place.
When I walked in the door, there were two young ladies seated at separate desks. I say young compared to me. I am in my 40s, have grey hair, and a mortgage. I looked at my surroundings for some visual clues to help me interact with my potential advocates. I found a business card stating that I could either fill out an application online or speak with someone in any office. I was here in this office so now seemed a great time.
I sat in front of this company’s representatives and began to explain myself, my situation, goals, education and pulled out my newly formatted resume. Her first response? She asked if I had gone online to fill out an application. I said no, and that I wanted to speak with a real person and not another computer screen. After repeated gentle attempts to get her just talk with me about possibilities for employment, she kept insisting I go online.
I reached to my right and showed her the business card on her desk. It clearly stated how I could go online and fill out their application, or I could do exactly what I was doing at that moment: talk to a live person in one of their offices. She still insisted I had to go online and fill out their application before anything else could happen.
Frustrated, I smiled and left. I immediately went home and liked their Facebook page. I typed a post to the page explaining exactly what happened, at the exact location, and on the specific date and time. I added more words about my frustration with the whole online job search process. I talked about the never ending black hole that has become every job board that has ever existed. I closed by saying I would remain connected to their page for 72 hours to give them a chance to respond; to see if they really were about people like their motto said.
Before I hit send, I paused. Was I that guy? Was I that job seeker who would just vent all of my frustration over not being able to find any kind of job at this company? I reflected for a moment. I looked at my post again. I read it again carefully taking in each word and the meaning behind it. I tried to step outside myself and my ever growing feelings of inadequacy. I couldn’t pay my bills. I couldn’t buy my wife and kids nice things for Christmas or their birthdays. I had to declare bankruptcy. I was behind on my child support. Was this going to be the moment where it all came out?
As I read my post again, I realized something important. This post was not the point. The point was what was going to happen after someone read it. How would I talk to that person who reached out to me? Would I give them the chance to help me? Would I just use this as a chance to hurt them back?
The post was not a profanity-laced indictment of their whole company culture nor was it a personal attack on the two young professionals at that office. It was a clear statement of a situation where a company had fallen short of its stated goals. So I sent it.
The company responded within 24 hours. The district manager and I set up a phone call where she apologized for the shortcomings of her staff. We put together a plan to make it right. I did end up going online and filling out their application. They assessed my skills. I took some online training modules and had several phone calls with the office staff about skills, my needs, and my goals.
I’d like to say they helped me get a job. They didn’t. The last phone call was over five months ago where one of the staff said I had a great resume, plenty of skills and enough experience to find a job through them. The call ended with an assurance we would be in touch. I did follow up with the office a few times over the following two months. Nothing happened.
In the end I was right about this company. I was just another number for them. I became another statistic in their file. As of the middle of December 2014, I have yet to hear from them. They may be all about people, but apparently I am not one of those people.
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