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Courtesies in 21st century employment

People over a certain age range (as well as some within and under it) might beg to disagree with this perspective, and that’s perfectly fine. It is meant to bring a different view of employer-employee relations, and therefore is bound to ruffle some feathers along the way. To potential employees, what do you really expect or desire from your potential employer? Apart from intangibles like support and direction, what else do you desire in an organisation that is seeking to benefit from your collection of skills, qualifications and talent?

Do you by chance, wish for an acknowledgement of your application? Think about it. You would have taken the time to respond to their vacancy advertisement, which you believed corresponded with some or all of your skills. You get the copies of all the required documents (even that notorious humbug known as a Police Certificate of Character that costs $50.00 TT and simultaneous smearing of your hands with fingerprint ink), and then 'snail-mail' your application or submit in-person or electronically, within the stipulated time.

You wait and wait. It seems as though your application has disappeared into space. Then, you realise the caveat written in fine print that declared, “unsuitable applications will not be acknowledged”. Seriously?! But they’ve asked for your email address...they’ve asked for your contact number...they’ve asked for a mailing address...and now, they don’t care to at least send a generic ‘received’? Would you really want to work for such a company when the disrespect is so blatantly apparent in the early days?

Another area of interest might be knowing beforehand what reimbursement they intend to offer in exchange for your services. Don’t know about you, but in 2022, I’d like to know, or at least have a conservative ‘guess-timate' of what my salary is going to that they, as potential employer, don’t get their time wasted by my application, and vice-versa, with me as potential employee.

Who truly has the time to wish and wonder about the nitty-gritty of what is being offered to them? Does such action really auger well for transparency, accountability and all those other lofty industrial relations buzzwords?

Finally, and this is one of my pet peeves, wouldn’t you wish that at some point, employers would omit the phrase ‘and any other related duties’ from your work portfolio? Arguably, it is possibly one of the sharpest quivers in the employer arsenal, as it effectively states much, while being under-stated.

These five little words, when combined, can encapsulate several interpretations, that are largely beneficial to the employer. Particularly in the case of fixed-term contract labour, which is becoming more of the norm than the fashion these days, especially among university graduates, this phrase, like the blue ocean is broad, deep and long, and arguably challenging to deftly navigate. What do you think?

Maybe I’m in a minority in expressing this view. Nevertheless, in 2022, I’d rather stand tall, proud and alone, than be part of the ‘anything-works-for-me' crowd.

Keywords: LinkedIn Local Caribbean, acknowledgement, reimbursement, other related duties, courtesies

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