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Cath Everett

Sift Media

Freelance journalist and former editor of HRZone

Read more about Cath Everett

Blog: How to wear someone down when applying for your job vacancy


In the last post, we described how jobs are often reserved for someone who is a friend of an executive. 

In the case described, the post of communications chief was reserved for a crony of the Mayor of London.
Some of you might have qualms about this. You might feel it’s wrong to waste the time of all the other applicants. They could spend days preparing for what might be a dream assignment for them, poor things. If only they knew the job had already been spoken for, and that the adverts were just a formality.
Some people just don’t know how the public sector works! Well, that’s their own fault, right?
Well, yes, but let’s take a more tolerant approach. Why don’t we stop them from wasting their precious life applying for a post from which they will always be discriminated against. But how do you do that? Many people are keen to work. Some are even desperate for a job. It takes a lot to make them give up.
You could do worse than one Primary Care Trust in the West Midlands, which is currently advertising for a Communications Manager. It asks applicants to read 8 different documents, which contain 24,442 words, plus a web link (which will probably give them another 2000 word hurdle).
To put the scale of this challenge into context, the framework for the American Constitution runs to 4,400 words. So people have to work five times harder, for a non clinical job in the NHS which relies on common sense, than they would to create the framework for the world’s most successful economy!
Admittedly, much of the text in the NHS application is pointless and there are endless meaningless catchphrases and buzzwords, but the applicants aren’t to know that. They will desperately try to swim through this ocean of treacle, so strong is their survival instinct.
But eventually, they will give up.
To summarise then:
  • Sometimes you have to advertise a job that’s already earmarked for a crony
  • Hundreds of people might be interested in that job
  • Try to put them off by making the application as time-consuming and difficult as possible
  • You can do this by bombarding them with assignments or just by getting loads of people involved in the recruitment process.
  • Make sure you stipulate that NO CVs WILL BE ACCEPTED (or NO CV’S as they spell it on NHS Jobs).

Good luck.

For more from, OhthisbloodyPC, go to @ohthisbloodypc.

One Response

  1. More is less

    — Sarah Matthews SFM Consulting

    Clearly they are in desperate need of a communications expert as they are incapable of writing anything succinctly!

    On a more worrying note they are probably being incredibly prescriptive which will deter free-thinking and new ideas – something they would probably benefit from.

    Finally – how much time has it taken to draft and approve these thousands and thousands of words, and therefore what has it cost?

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Cath Everett

Freelance journalist and former editor of HRZone

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