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An open letter to all recruiters

On behalf of all candidates

Posted in Business, Misc, Career, Personal life

Dear recruiters,

Sometimes you call. In this call you offer the supposed perfect job opportunity to work in the outstanding perfect company: The company has amazing benefits, the salary is great and the environment is outstanding.

Sometimes you are serious and focus only about the position. Sometimes you are friendly and love to talk about your dog. And, of course, sometimes we can notice that you don’t want to talk. That’s ok, everybody has the right to be different. And we all have bad days. Personally, I prefer the friendly ones. Only because they make me believe that I am the most special person in the world. And when you call me in my bad day to make me feel special, you totally won. But the serious ones are good too.

There is only one thing: Apparently you have some issues on matching my profile with the job offers you are presenting to me.

Allow me to explain.

Most of the offers I get from you are “C# Developer”. And yes, I know C#. But the problem lies in the field and also the projects. Mostly this kind of position would lead me to work in a company where I will go very deep into C# and never see anything else. For example, some company where I should work on a system to control, let’s say, traffic lights. Would I work there? Maybe. But it's not a good fit.

See, I am a web person specialized on the ASP.NET stack. In my line of work I need to understand a bit of front-end so I can make a good quality back-end, matching them together in a nice result for the client. This is what I have been doing most of my career. If you doubt just check my Linked In profile. Go to my specialties and certifications so you will see that they are mostly focused on web.

But it's alright, I still like you.

I believe it’s not your fault. You might have goals to reach and you might not have enough time to check a a lot of profiles thoroughly. All of this is understandable. And it’s ok for me as I can say that I am not interested in case you offer something which is not a good fit.

But I care about you. I care about the time you are devoting with me and other candidates which are not a good fit for the positions you are presenting. We know that every candidate you interview who is not a fit makes you lose money (time = money). And your company is losing money as well.

So, here is the advice: Try to understand the position you are going to offer and also try to learn a little bit more about the candidates before the call. And don't shoot e-mails crazily about random job offers only because there is one key word matching. It's not about keywords anymore - it's about meaning. Of course, sometimes I would be motivated to change everything. It can even happen that, some day, I will really be interested to work programming for NASA and see my code going to other galaxies.

But not yet.

In my perticular case, I am focused on web. After all, I am a web person. And since I am a web person you can talk with me about websites developed and I will gladly listen to any offer you will present related with the ASP.NET stack.

Sincerely,

Davidson Sousa

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How philosophy is related with business and why we should care about it

Who do you think is able to make more damage - a bad teacher or a bad doctor?

Posted in Business, Misc, Career

Back in 2003, when I was starting my unfinished business degree, I had philosophy classes. Probably I was one of the few enjoying to listen to things we thought we would never use in our lives. Don’t get me wrong: Philosophy is a very cool topic. The main problem was the mentality we had at that time – We were all aspiring to become executives in some company right after the university. In addition, as far we thought, an executive doesn’t need philosophy.

That was a horrible mistake, but I will get to that later.

One day our professor turned to the class and asked a question which I will never forget. “Who do you think is able to make more damage – a bad teacher or a bad doctor?”. The whole class answered what seemed obvious: The doctor. The professor asked why and we all said that a doctor’s mistake could cost lives while a teacher’s mistake can just make a person not understand some subject.

The right answer is the bad teacher and it’s simple to understand why: While a bad doctor will make the mistake a couple of times before his license will be revoked, a bad teacher can stay in the school for decades teaching badly, damaging the education of hundreds of students. In the end, we would have many uneducated people wandering around the job market. And, in the best case scenario, the bad teacher will have his license revoked only after an entire year of work with, for example, 40 students.

We were all surprised with the explanation and we understood at that moment how important a good education is.

Now, I believe you might be confused about why I mentioned that an executive not needing philosophy is a horrible mistake. Let me explain.

Philosophy is the study of problems related with existence, moral values, knowledge and the mind. The advantage of the philosophical thought is the way the problems are treated. Mostly the philosophical thought is overloaded of logic and rational thought, which differ itself from the religious thought. And what an executive must be in order to succeed?

Logic and rational.

Mostly, in the corporate world, the companies are targeting the “bad doctors” – those professionals who didn’t bring results. For example: Developers who were unable to deliver some project; Designers, who couldn’t finish some art in the way the client wanted; Testers who couldn’t identify some bug in the project. And so on. Firing any of them would be just the easy way to solve the problem but, since we should be logic and rational, there are some points that we should consider. After all, philosophy teaches us how to deal with any situation – personal or professional:

  1. Why were they hired if they lacked knowledge?
  2. How did they get the materials/documentation? And from who?
  3. Was the environment good for them to work?
  4. Does the department have high number of hires and dismissals?

As you can see it’s no easy task to identify the problem. If I would be in this position I’d start to investigate the department itself. In that way I could:

  1. Be sure they really had the knowledge to join the company
  2. Check if the materials/documentation was giving full condition for a good work
  3. Know if the environment was motivating enough for success
  4. Check if the department has a low rate of hires/dismissals

Why? Because it could be a case of “bad teacher”. Or bad management, if you prefer.

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