Or, “The Post That Will Get My Blog Deleted.”

A friend told me this story, and I felt it necessary to post the tale here. If my blog disappears mysteriously, do a search for a “Jamoker URL” in a couple of days on one of the other blog providers…

My friend was searching for a job and decided to check the Google listings. He found one in his town and applied for it. A couple of days later, he got a phone call from the HR representative. The conversation went very well, he thought. The job was within his abilities, they agreed. The salary would have been similar to his current situation…always nice. He felt that the HR rep. was amenable to his prospects. He thought it would proceed to the next stage.

Then, the HR rep. asked him what his college GPA had been. My friend stuttered and stammered. He told the HR rep. he wasn’t sure but thought that it was probably a 2.8 or something. That was when he was informed that it was Google policy to only hire people that had earned a 3.0 GPA or better upon graduation. My friend was a little taken aback, he admitted to me. He told the HR rep. he would have to request his transcript and check, because he had never been asked that question before. The HR rep. pleasantly stated that the interview process would not continue without the 3.0.

Upon reflection after the call, my friend got a little perturbed and annoyed. He has been in the workforce for 12 years. He is intelligent. He has succeeded in all his jobs. He felt he deserved better consideration than what a mere college GPA would show. But, because he wanted the job…because he wanted to get in with (what he thought was) a cool and concientious company…because he couldn’t believe such an arbitrary and irrelevant policy would affect his chance, he requested his transcript.

Sure enough, he had remembered correctly. He had a 2.8 GPA.

So, he sent this letter to the HR rep. (names were changed by me to protect the innocent):

Dear Blank:

I recently had a phone conversation with Blank in your HR department concerning the opening in your BLANK department. She made it clear to me that the interview process could not continue unless I could produce proof of a 3.0 collegiate GPA. Due to the fact that I had a 2.86 from Blank University, I can only assume that I will not be further considered for the job. This is a shame since I feel that I would be a successful addition to your team, and believe that my resume and experience would have reinforced that fact.

I understand that there need to be standards in place for job applicants, especially for a company whose positions are coveted by so many. Too, I can understand a policy requiring that recent graduates show a certain GPA, in the absence of real work experience. But, I would hope that someone with my work experience and accomplishments would be held to a different standard. I would have hoped that all of your application requirements would be considered in aggregate – not individually. In my specific case, I do not feel that my work experience should be negated by what is an arbitrary academic requirement.

First of all, what exactly is a 3.0? What specifically does that say about a candidate? How does a 3.0 compare from school to school? How does a decade-old GPA compare to today’s students’ GPA’s? I graduated from a Blank Conference school with very competitive academics. I worked throughout my entire college tenure. I was responsible for “turning on” a PBS affiliate station for my last two years of school. I worked days, nights, and many weekends as a stage crew member for the school opera productions – arguably the best program in the country. I performed in the marching band many Saturday mornings during football season, and competed for the school bicycle team for the last three of my five collegiate years. Last but not least, I put myself through school. True, my GPA is not a 3.0…..but it is pretty close in the whole scheme of things, and I don’t think my GPA indicates that my college years were spent in idle pursuits. Perhaps if I hadn’t worked, if I had incurred more debt, if I hadn’t challenged my physical/mental strength with high level competition, I might have gotten a higher GPA; but I think one’s FULL story should always be considered.

Secondly, but perhaps more importantly, I do not think it should be overlooked that my resume and references would verify my ability to handle the responsibilities of this job…or any like one in your corporation for that matter. If anything, I believe that my work experience would actually ameliorate my supposedly unacceptable GPA.

I have always been a faithful Google Search user. I use Blogger. I use Google Earth. I use Google Maps. I use GMail. Googling is a part of my daily life. I am still hoping that perhaps it could be a part of my daily work life as well.

Thank you for your consideration.

Sincerely

Blank

My friend received a phone message. He didn’t receive a return email (no paper trail, it seems) The phone message didn’t give any indication of what the next steps would be. My friend returned the call two times. He received one more phone message, but still didn’t get an indication of the “decision”. My friend left another message, but did not hear from them again.

He resigned himself to the reality that they did not want to proceed with an interview.

(He then applied to a similar job with Yahoo, but never even got a response. Why do companies put their jobs online if they don’t intend to respond to the submissions?)

Fast forward a couple of months. On the same day, two things happened. First, he saw an article in Wired Magazine that talked about how Google is stealing all the smart people in the world (I can’t find a link to it at present). And, he saw that the very job for which he had applied was STILL posted on their job listing.

So, they are only hiring smart people. And, they’d rather have a job position go unfilled rather than hire someone of “low standards” (my words). Do the employees that surround that unfilled position resign themselves to the extra workload by reminding themselves they are smarter? Does the supervisor over that unfilled position agree with a policy that doesn’t allow him/her to hire a person? Does Google feel that arbitrary standards fall outside of the company credo of “Don’t Be Evil”? What about the “bird in the hand” adage?

Seems to me like a strange way to run a business.

Copyright (c) 2005 Jamoker. All rights reserved.

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