Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Do People Really Matter?

It's been a tough year for a lot of us. We're unemployed, underemployed, without health care, without health insurance and without hope. We're treated as if we don't exist by those in power. Corporations and the mega-rich seem to always get their way. It does make one wonder:

Do people really matter?

By "people" I mean human beings. The reason I ask this is because of an intriguing statement I heard on a radio program this evening. I stopped to listen to it since the show's host said this gentleman had the answers as to why so many of us who are constantly applying to jobs and desperately looking for work can't seem to connect with employers. It's not that employers don't have jobs--this individual assured us they most certainly do. And then the expert stated the reason why more of us don't get hired is this:

"No one qualified applies for the jobs."

Huh? There are millions looking for work. Surely some of these people have some job skills, right?

The expert then gave the example of a corporation that recently needed to hire an engineer--pretty much an entry level position. 25,000 applications were submitted for that one opening. That's the population of many small cities. And guess what? No one qualified applied for the job according to the corporation. Not a one. What are the odds of that happening?

In fact, there were probably many qualified individuals who applied for the position, since the self-same corporation had downsized  recently and had eliminated similar positions. A few  ex-workers probably re-applied to work at their old firm, right? Why were there no "qualified applicants"?

Answer: the computer that scanned the 25,000 applications told the corporate big-wigs that there were no qualified applicants.

Obviously, those that have the power to hire are more apt to believe a machine than their own senses. Because if those corporate types had kept on the human beings who staffed their human resources (as opposed to computer resources) department, the bosses would have been given a large number of qualified applicants to consider for the engineer opening.

But in the end, the big-wigs decided they didn't need human beings to help make hiring decisions. Computers could make these decisions just as well, if not faster. After all, human beings expect to be paid a wage and they might want such horrendous things as medical and dental insurance and sick leave. Can't have that, can we?

So, do people really matter? I guess not--at least not until computers start demanding days off with pay and health insurance.

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