so, yeah

11 Jan

Here is an e-mail that I sent to the CEO of a small digital marketing company in Vancouver that was looking for a curriculum writer.  The CEO did a phone ‘screening’ interview with me and you’ll get a sense of the questions he asked by the e-mail.  At the end of the phone interview, he said I had all of the skills needed but I didn’t fit into their corporate culture.  Indeed (and this is actually not a parody but true):

First, I wanted to thank you for the telephone interview on Tuesday.  It was much more efficient than my having to come to Yaletown!

I did just want to mention the two questions that concerned me (I realize that you will have all ready found someone to hire so my purpose in writing this is not to try and be hired!).

1.  The question about whether or not I’d be willing to give up my vacation to go on a paid business trip abroad:  According to the Employment Standards Act, employees are entitled to a minimum of two weeks paid vacation.   Asking an employee to give up vacation time to work is therefore likely illegal and if not illegal, than at the least highly unethical.

2.  The question about whether or not I’d be ‘in’ for going for after work drinks: I realize that you were testing here for a corporate culture fit, which is fair enough and which I understand.    However, I would suggest again that this is unethical because it creates the impression that in order for me to be hired, I would have to be willing to work unpaid overtime.

To be clear, his name, I  completely understand how important corporate culture and being a team player are.  At the same time, I believe there is both a legal and an ethical line that should not be crossed.  In other words, you may want your employees to work 24/7 and give up their vacations and non-work time for the company, but  actually using these as screening questions leads you into murky ethical waters, which I’m certain is the last impression you want your company to give.

It is unfortunate –  I have the skill set and more that you require and you can see from this e-mail that I can write professionally, straightforwardly, and well, really well.

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