Human Resources–where did the humans go?

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A few weeks ago, I started working on filling in gaps in my earning schedule with online resources. I was stunned to realize that after I’d filed my application for Content writer or Social media Expert, I would receive an offer to work as a neurosurgeon! I’ve also received notification of jobs in other lines I had no idea I was qualified for, including radiation therapist, mentor for overseas volunteers, drug counselor–I could even be a truck driver!

What’s Going On?

I jest, of course. The job suggestions come directly from popular job search engines like Glassdoor, Indeed, FlexJobs, and Zip Recruiter. History has it that job searching used to be done via newspaper ads and people in offices at personnel agencies. Then, due to the superior power of automation, real people agencies fell off the industry highway. That was an unfortunate development.

As a younger person, I often sought the assistance of what were called Temp Agencies. They could patch you up with a secretarial, receptionist, even sales position between gigs that kept the rent paid. A temp agency was powered by a few humans who made contact with small to large caps who had regular demand for replacements in their offices on a temporary basis. Doesn’t that sound nice? Of course the Temp Agency played the role of middle man, which became a bad word at some point. The middle man was paid to match the insatiable needs of busy companies with the limited supply of workers, a kind of mini-economist. A small percentage was charged for the service. The portion of that fee that came from my take home did not bother me. I loved that I could call up Sue or Bob Goodfriend and say, “What have you got for next week?” knowing they knew what I could do. I guarantee you, Bob never said, “Okay, Cece, how would you like to perform cardiovascular surgery next week?”

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People Job Searching Please!

I’m not saying that it’s not entertaining to receive those emails from the superior search engines. Today, one of them informed me that Such and Such company really wanted me to help develop their company, but that I’d have to bring my own truck. But it’s not entertainment that I’m seeking when the electric bill has grown almost as tall as the mortgage and my underfed dog looks as if he’s considering doing something unseemly. I’ve got nothing against bots as a general rule, but please bring back the people in Human Resources!

Cece Whittaker

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