I was recently in a large town which hosts many conventions.
This place has thousands of hotel rooms and hundreds of restaurants.
One of the hotel chains was holding a job fair.
A crowd stood outside.
Some were dressed in suits, dresses and ties.
Others were in bluejeans and t-shirts.
There were multiple ethnicities and ages represented.
The crowd stood outside.
A banner on the roof of the facility proclaimed "X Job Fair".
The line for the entrance snaked around the building.
As fair attendees moved closer, uniformed attendants handed out paper forms for completion prior to entrance. In the wind, standing applicants poured over the forms, pulled identification cards and contact information from their wallets, and attempted to scrawl answers all while trying not to lose their place in line.
The crowd stood outside.
Eventually, a few would be admitted into what one can only imagine; a faceless room full of draped banquet tables arranged like a gauntlet for the job seeker to walk through.
Resumes would be brushed aside in favor of the company provided form... Questions from candidates would be kept to a minimum.
Applicants would be prodded towards a massive meeting room with a stage at one end, directed to folding chairs and given a glowing presentation by an HR representative of the chain.
No "one on one" interviews. No questions about the applicant's background or experience. No question or answer session for the moderator.
Instead, applicant forms were collected and the applicants shown the back door with the parting comment, "We will call you if interested. Please don't call us".
This was not twenty years ago. This is right now. This is what job applicants think they HAVE to do. This is what is wrong with centrally controlled bureaucracies run by small minded thugs with little respect for actual hardworking people.
Why can't companies which hold these types of events be honest?
They might say in the fair advertisement "We are only looking to fill ten positions, all of which require at least two years of experience in information technology or accounts payable activities".
Instead, their "human resource" departments want the largest pool of attendees to pick through and play against each other.
This is why I loathe job "fairs" (even the name is a lie - they should be called cattle roundups) and encourage you to skip, no, to avoid attending them at all costs.
One day, this barbaric practice will be shuttled out the backdoor with a brief "Don't call us, we won't call you". But until then, keep using your intelligence, your network and all of the massive decentralized resources available, "thug free".
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