Wednesday, December 7, 2011


Paper trumps experience

a rant


I applied for a job today via a recruiter.

I am an "Ivory Soap" match for the job.

But the 66/100% I lack (Ivory Soap advertises it is 99 44/100th percent pure), when confirmed, caused the recruiter to hang up on me.

I could have brought more than 15 years' experience to the recruiter's client.

But the lack of a degree - the "66/100th percent" - ended the phone call.

"The client requires it," she said.

I can't entirely fault the recruiter. After all, "the client requires a degree."

I know the client - Florida Power & Light, FPL. I send it a check every month.

What I am beginning to think is that whomever created this job requisition for FPL doesn't know much about business continuity.

Would a degree in InfoTech Security meet the requirements?

You bet. Forget that InfoTech security is only a very small part of business continuity.

How about a degree in journalism?

Actually that might be BETTER than a degree in InfoTech security since there is a great deal of documentation involved in creating and maintaining a business continuity plan or program.

The FPL job req writer is telling me that four years of listening to people pontificate about subjects in which they may have zero practical experience is better than 15 years' hands-on experience.

OK, to be fair, I know there are some college instructors who DO have "real world" experience. I had a couple when I attended Barry U and Sarasota U. But I also had the "other" kind. I'm a former journalist - reporter to managing editor. The required English 1 course had the instructor - a high school English teacher during the day - try to teach the class how to write a story for a newspaper. The gentleman could hardly spell "newspaper," let alone create copy for one.

But he had a degree, maybe two, and therefore was an "expert" in the field.

America was not built on degrees. It was built on people developing expertise.

Admittedly, my profession lacks - sadly - an apprentice program.

Likewise "admittedly," there are people who claim expertise, some with certifications, who can't plan their way across a deserted country road.

But if they have a degree . . .

FPL, or at least the contracting agencies, are offering a below market rate so maybe it is just as well that this recruiter abruptly ended the call.

Still, it would have been a good match: FPL and this practitioner.

If I wrote it, you may quote it.

Longer articles at

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