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Thursday, May 18, 2006

Is the Economy Ebbing or Flowing?

The economy is supposed to be on the rise. Our post 9-11 financial worries are supposed to be over as things return to "normal". But I have first hand knowledge that perhaps this isn't so.

Recently I went through the hiring process to hire an administrative assistant for my office. Aside from the red tape, which I could vent about for at least a post and a half, but I will restrain myself to only outline the process. I wrote a job description which was scrutinized on 3 different levels, modified and then approved. I wrote an ad for the paper which was approved by the HR department. The ad ran once in the Sunday edition of the paper. I formed a search committee which had to contain the correct types of people, age, race, sex, etc. We underwent an hour of diversification training. We received 63 resumes in one week. We weeded it down to 5. We interviewed the 5 and selected the one.

Whatever! I'm just glad it's over now and I can resume a productive schedule.

Back to my economics example. Of the 63 resumes, I immediately eliminated over 20 of them because they were over qualified. The position, which listed the job description in the ad as well as the salary requirements fit that of a moderately paid admin person. Yet, somehow I managed to attract over 20 people with Masters degrees or in some cases multiple masters degrees.

Is the economy that bad? Are people really willing to work for that little of money with that high of an education? Well I'm about to find out. The one over qualified individual I interviewed, I hired. A recent MBA grad with a Masters in Education.

My challenge now becomes creating an environment that can keep this individual satisfied long enough for me to train her to succeed me if and when I move on. No plans of that now, but if it does ever happen, this admin person could take my spot.