Hey HR, I am more than a ‘check BOX’

Hey HR, I am more than a ‘check box’

I understand the need for screening and comparing at scale, but here’s the thing… I am more than a little confused by some observations I have made from a number of posts here on LinkedIn. There are some glaring contradictory messages between inspirational quotes that get massive ‘likes’, company JD buzzwords and what happens in the real world.

Confusing messages:
“Be bold”
“Follow your dreams”
“Failure produces wisdom”
“Visionary leader”
“Out-of-the-box thinking”

I am sure the messaging from the likes of Branson, Musk, Emerson, Einstein, Drucker, (add your own inspiration here) and even a recent Accenture (Fortune favors the bold) post are not on the minds of the entry level clerk or algorithm that does initial vetting. Furthermore, most great successes have had some failure along the way, how does that figure into the screening process? (And please, don’t BS me with all the hype about predictive modeling as the new face of HR.)

Research shows that team diversity makes an organization stronger and more competitive, yet many JDs seem to be carbon copies of others, even from within the same organization. Could this be a contributing factor why so many industries are facing diversity issues?

Confusing CV migration software:
I can’t be the only one who is frustrated to the nth degree by the useless process of trying to make my life (via CV) fit into a predetermined set of boxes. In the past few months I have attempted ti use migration software on both small and huge company portals.  BUT I have yet to find one that even remotely works with a basic resume, let alone a detailed CV with 10 years of freelance Training/Consulting smack dab in the middle of my career. The results are hilarious at best, and absurd at worst. I eventually realized it is much easier to cut & paste the basic information, which of course is a mere shadow on one’s real abilities.

Hey IBM, if the great and powerful Watson can beat a chess master, why can’t it develop a CV migration software that actually works?
Hey HR Directors, if coders around the globe can meet and eventually agree on a standard for HTML5, why can’t HR departments collaborate on a better software.


ConfusiHR check boxng Comparison Process:
If HR is so focused on comparing apples to apples, what happens if someone is an out-of-the-box cumquat or visionary sirloin steak? The point is, the vast majority of the people whose lives inspire us, never fit into a check BOX.


So after a quick scan of my CV, (and a peek at my contact’s profiles) I realize:

  • Having diverse experiences, doesn’t fit into a check BOX!
  • Out-of-the-box thinking, doesn’t fit into a check BOX!
  • Wisdom learned the ‘hard way’, doesn’t fit into a check BOX!
  • Overcoming major challenges, doesn’t fit into a check BOX!
  • Freelancing, doesn’t fit into a check BOX!
  • Being truly innovative, doesn’t fit into a check BOX!
  • Having worked in multiple countries, doesn’t fit into a check BOX!
  • Challenging the status quo, doesn’t fit into a check BOX!
  • Being adept at seeing what others can’t, doesn’t fit into a check BOX!
  • Tacit knowledge, doesn’t fit into a check BOX!
  • Indirect learning, doesn’t fit into a check BOX!

Either drop all the buzzwords and speak plainly about what is really needed, OR create much better systems and processes, because I, (along with millions of others) don’t fit into a check BOX!

Final thought: Maybe Drucker was right, and it is time to completely rethink how we assess talent. (Or let talent assess themselves?)



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