Thursday, August 25, 2011

Why I Need A Good Recommendation!

The other day I was chatting up a friend who has been out of a job since late last year. I was surprised she was still out of a job as a few weeks earlier I had been told that her former employer had been interested in re-hiring her. So why didn't they re-hire her? I posed. Apparently she had received one bad recommendation from her former immediate supervisor. It was not the kind of recommendation that that said she had been incompetent or something like that. Actually the general recommendation was decent but her supervisor had pointed out one negative thing about her performance. Two other recommendations from within the same department had actually been glowing. Because of the one negative, she did not get the job. The supervisor later admitted that if he had known that the one honest appraisal would cost her the job, he would not have written it down as he would have liked to continue working with her. Who knows? She apparently will now find it very difficult getting future employment within the UN system.

This led to another discussion about how someone else had been employed in the same organization and had apparently done such a good job that the supervisor and the organization were greatly impressed. He was earmarked to be a star and many saw him soon taking over the running of the department. Then word came in from HR that after some months of investigation, they found out that the college he had gone to was not officially recognized and therefore doubts were cast on his qualification. They were all sad to see him go and everyone agreed that it was sad to lose such talent.

I am writing this because at times I wonder when should qualifications and rigid rules on processes give way to common sense and experience? I have employed someone with an academic background on science (Botany to be precise) on a community education dealing with social and health issues and he turned out just fine. I ignored the academic background and instead focused on experience. If you have the right experience and aptitude for a certain job, should the fact that you don't have the correct academic background or one bad recommendation out of several good ones stand in your way?


Image from Internet

In other news, commitments at the work place has meant that there has been no time to go over your blogs of late, so don't worry if you have not seen me visiting your blog. I will be passing by soon. In the meanwhile let me sign off and get back to work, before I get a bad recommendation.

17 comments:

  1. This is a very interesting post. Immediately I wondered why common sense is not also part of the evaluation to keep an employee. One senior woman, a retired teacher told me years ago "I don't know why they call it common sense since it is all too rare!"

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  2. I agree, a typical case being Bill gate. According to him, he droped out and now his very educated friends are engineers at his company, do i need to say more.

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  3. Yes, yes. I fully agree. Why did that last guy HAVE to go? Really? And Whose idea was it to pick through his record?!

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  4. Actually judging one's performance based on some merits is absurd. This will onlly motivate people to hide their weaknesses and thus making the team evermore weak and obsolete... System has to be designed in such a way that employees are considered humans rather than money spinning machnes

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  6. Interesting thoughts, Otieno. This post reminds me of a recent article I read which said that potential employees search for the candidate's name in a search engine to find out the background, etc. and Facebook plays an important role in that. I found that quite absurd. I am with you when you say that experience and commitment to work are the factors which should determine one's work and not any other background qualification. But that also brings another question: How should the selection process in the entry level be?
    In the second case, the company verified the details of the man at a later point. Why did they not check those details at the entry level? He could have sued them for that.

    Hope you're having a great day. Looking forward to those visits which you have promised in the last part of your post.

    Joy always,
    Susan

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  7. Joyful, your friend was so right! It is all too rare nowadays!

    Peter Evans, you don't need to say more

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  8. Anthony, apparently some organizations take a bit of time to investigate your background during your probation period.

    Jon, I agree with you on that

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  9. Susan, I think at the entry level it really depends on your academic and how well you have been judged by an interviewer. My reflections were more on those who have already received some experience and proven themselves on the job. In that case I would think that experience takes precedence over academic qualifications, unless the job is academic in nature. On the second case, the verification was done while he was on probation - I forgot to add that detail

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  10. Spot on! Nowadays, quite a lot of people (at least those in my culture) would be up in arms at the slightest hint of gender or racial discrimination, but would gladly commit what I consider educational discrimination. In my country, where you graduated from may be more important that any other qualification or experience you might have. It doesn't really make much sense.

    Glad to stumble into your insightful blog. :)

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  11. AJ, I concur with you. Even here coming in from certain schools would at times give you an edge over others though this tend to happen mostly to business organizations

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  12. Well said. Needless to say, if you go looking for the bad in a person, you will not miss something. As opposed to the potential they bring to the workplace.

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  13. Your illustration, totally killed it.
    That dude's recommendation must have read : "..he was a Team player" lol

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  14. MrsMwiti, he is indeed a team player!! Very friendly with staff and particularly good in connecting with other staff!

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  15. I'm at the entry level in the job market and I know it will not be easy with these kind of recommendations.. sijui I delete my fb account?

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  16. He he, what have been posting on FB Savvy? If it interesting stuff just let it be....don't worry, knowing you and your bidii, a door is just waiting to open for you

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