Barriers to Communication (Rough copy. Your suggestions are welcome)
Communication comes from Latin communicare, which means to share or make common. For that this is rather a process than a state. This process is usually more or less reciprocal and involves at least two entities between which communication may take place.
If they communicate it means that they share and exchange information.
Communication takes usually place in already establish relationship or if not, it is in the position to create one temporarily or permanently. The ease of communication is the essence of any relationship
and as a matter of fact communication itself is all about relationship and relating.
Everything that exist remains in some kind of relations with anything else but of course we cannot say that the sun is telling the earth to stay firmly on its orbit so we understand communication as a process involving rather living things, especially people.
While communicating, people use symbols and actions, which are specific for any particular culture, nation or even social group. The symbols used are different, which is evident while comparing written and spoken words from different languages. Body language, which represents unspoken part of symbols and actions, is different as well.
The phenomenon of language is what human race has invented and developed through centuries for the purpose of communication. This is a unique set of word-symbols and grammatical rules for all kind of possible situation where communication may take place. But still it is not all as use of a language means much more and includes intonation, stress, special grammatical arrangements, metaphors and body language.
Communication needs medium or media, the means through which information goes, and use of our senses to create and receive information. There may be many different ways information travels through from the sender to the recipient. We are using 'communication channels' expression while talking about these things.
Communication is a matter of everyday interactions among the people. As some of these situations repeat frequently, there are specific rituals to be performed for each of them. This is specially true in formal communication which means "people performing symbols according to normative forms to achieve social ends." *)
Because of some rigid rules, rituals, and formal channels, which most of the societies tend to develop, communication become subject-like entity and may loses its main purpose i.e. serving people to experience one another and serving people to establish mutual relationship.
By performing to many rituals and by using rigid communication rules and channels people become objects in the process. As those, they are used and manipulated by the communication process, its networks and its machinery. This puts people in the role of the slave while they should play the role of the master.
Of course, rituals and specialised communication channels are somehow necessary because they simplify and accelerate communication, nevertheless they shouldn't create artificial barriers, by avoiding directedness and by creating structures, which delay, distort or make communication difficult, even impossible.
*)Communication as ... - by Gregory J. Shepherd and others
2. Communication principles
As it was told before, communication creates relations. These relations may give a birth to associations and new entities. They may be positive or negative. Most people and organization are looking for good mutual relations that are profitable for all partners.
The wealth and stability of these relations and entities depend of the communication in place. It should make them alive and healthy.
There are several principles of communication to follow in order to create good relations fast and effectively. Let's have a look at them.
In the above example we have presumed that all partners can communicate freely and there are no major barriers to their communication. Unfortunately it is not always the case. Sometime people want to communicate desperately but the existence of several barriers does not allow them to do so. Let's have a look at those situations.
3. Barriers to communication
To approach the subjects we'll analyse a simple model of a communication process consisting of two communicating units (people) and a communication channel linking them. In a simplest example both interlocutors are close in the space so they can talk, see one another and they can undertake any actions.
First, let's clarify some terms.
By communication channel or channels we will understand a set of means and mediums used to pass information among the entities that attempt to communicate.
In our case two persons communicate verbally and visually. They are also using body language i.e. body movements, gestures and facial expressions instead of, or in addition to, sounds, verbal language, or other forms of communication).
Providing that there is no problem with communication channels, efficiency of communication depends of the persons' abilities to understand one another and of their specific personal skills. These types of barriers then can be presented as follows:
4. Why barriers are present
Most of those communication barriers despite of their origins may be, in fact, explained by difference in perception. Our mind organises and processes all received information accordingly to specific rules determined by our genetic matrix, our life experience and resulting personality. It creates a mental map that represents our perception of reality.
In no case are the perceptions of different persons identical. The mental images of the same event, different persons may have, are different as the perception of each of them is unique accordingly to their personality.
While communicating we are choosing details that are important for us. This is called selective perception. Using it, we are trying to send our message as relevant as we can. However we shouldn't forget that our perception remains always personal. When receiving message we try to fit given information in our existing mental pattern. If something doesn't fit we tend to distort information rather than modify the pattern.
To control communication and correct eventual errors we provide feedback, which is the most important tool to determine by sender whether or not the message has been received as intended. The methods and channels for feedback may be different. We may give feedback by repeating received information or asking additional questions in order to clarify the meaning, or by giving signs of the state of our understanding by nodding, smiling, producing specific sounds, etc.
5. Barriers related to communication channels
Unfortunately, in the real life we must face much more complicated situations than present in our simple communication model. As a matter of fact we've taken good properties of communication channel as granted which is not always the case. There are several elements that influence qualities of these channels, which may be caused by a distance in space and time in general, lack of medium, noise, interferences, distortions, structural barriers, filtering and so on. Our communication may become difficult or even impossible.
While some of these problems can be avoided other may persist due to more or less permanent structures and phenomena in place. Let's have a look at some of these barriers.
6. Space/time distance barriers
It is evident that physical distance requires special communication tools to make communication happen. The same is required within distance in time.
There are many tools created in order to deal with physical distance. They are subject of interest of telecommunication companies, postal and other delivery services.
Distance in time poses more difficulties as we can communicate only in real time and forward in time. That is evident that we cannot do it back in time. The fact that we can communicate forward in time and that we do not want unnecessary communication encourage us to create different structures, which process, filter or eliminate sent information. The question whether they are effective is a separate question. It seems that mostly not!
Postal service, Internet e-mail, telephone service are all targeted by the people who want to communicate with us in their interest, not necessary ours. This type of information is called spam. Ho much time we have to spend trying to separate what is important for us from what is unwanted? How to distinguish what to accept and what to reject without knowing the content? The situation is getting worst continuously. We are still very lucky that our mobiles do not deliver too much spam but it might be a matter of time they'll do.
There are a lot of structures typical for business that can create barriers to communication. More intermediates, more secretaries, and our communication channel become very long and narrow. That looks good if it comes to spam, but in reality it may create situation when originaly wanted information has no chance to go through. History of civilization knows many examples of governors who have been given relevant information only and exclusively just before they have been abolished. Business is a sensitive matter and its stagnation, dissolution or progress depends of communication so special attention to this matter should be paid.
The problem with structures delivering and processing information, no matter necessary or not, is that they are usually happy with what they are dealing with, no matter what it is.
They make intensive effort to justify their existence and have immense tendency to grow. They often overtake as many communication channels as they can, creating structures, nobody can avoid or ignore. In fact they are usually authors of new formal communication rules and rituals created in their interest. As a result, communication channels are less and less direct and instant communication becomes impossible. Let's name and analyse some problems they create.
7. Barriers to communication as we name them
8. Needs to communicate
Free communication is one of the main attributes of freedom. This is why, people feeling lost in over structured reality full of communication barriers need new free ways to communicate.
The phenomenon of the Internet has taken place because of the presence of these gigantic needs which have never been fulfilled before. Unable to communicate around them people are now trying to communicate outward their usual life-space.
Many of them, discredited or discriminated, despite of their insulation in often small societies, sometimes enchained by cultural or religious rules, are trying to get a feeling of freedom through the new way of communication. Thanks to the Internet, this is possible for many.
The same phenomenon of continuously growing communication needs emerged currently as plethora of cell phones in every pocket.
High importance given to social communication is usually perceived as related to development of democracy. This is of course true but social communication, no mater what was the political or social system in place was always the main tool to create those systems. In fact, social communication is the main creator of our civilization.
The society is an organized system. Such a system functions, while autonomous, on the behalf of it elf and its members. Additionally, Democratic Systems in general consider interest of the individuals and set it as their priority. There are many different systems claiming to be democratic; you can find a lot of information about them on the Internet. What is important for us now, that all rules, norms, structures, everything created to support and maintain any political or social system are created by the means of social communication.
The health of the system of any given society depends mainly on the way it was established and its internal integration. Its coherence depends on the quantity and quality of the common elements. Its authenticity is determined by the presence of direct relations, cooperation, communication and harmonious progress.
The process of adaptation of the individuals in order to meet the requirements of the society is based on the creation of behavioural rules. One should learn those rules, respect them and use them as the comportment matrix. All these rules, called social norms, constitute a system which covers all aspects of life, for example the order and hierarchy of values, standard acceptable manners and behaviours, moral code, etc. including the norms created by political system like the law and other obligations.
The norms determine and control the social behaviour of individuals and groups but the social system evolves so the same happen to its norms. The constant evolution of social systems is necessary for their self-improvement and adaptation to internal and external changes. If this evolution and related changes improve well-being of all members of the society and functioning of the system itself we are talking about the progress.
The society should progress, which involves the changes of the norms in order to adapt them to the new environment. Social Communication is the main tool to take care of this job. It ensures the participation of citizens in the process while providing access to information. The various programs implemented by the government give priority to several formal regulations which support indirect communication in the social communication sector. Cross-cultural and ethnic communication barriers usually inhibit information flow making necessary processes difficult. This slows down the progress and waist social energy. The social energy, itself, known also as synergy is derived from the social interaction and makes gigantic powerful tool to handle incoming challenges and problems in positive way. Neglected, it does not contribute to people satisfaction and happiness and cannot support and encourage integration.
It is unquestionable that language is a part of being human. Communication, which means language in action, is a one of major functions of the human mind. Human needs for communication are therefore basic needs i.e. those that are essential for our existence and very survival.
Communication is inscribed in Human Nature. For individual it fulfils needs for self-expression and recognition. It creates a place in family and society. It gives importance of every individual’s life and existence.
Inability to communicate creates a feeling of powerlessness about the world around and a sense of isolation and loneliness. Unable to be listened to, one becomes useless and unimportant.
Communication is a fundamental social necessity. The gift of language is the gift of freedom, where freedom means being part of life. The inability to communicate creates a feeling of inferiority and may regress into farther loss of freedom.
Communication allows access to resources, self-expression and ideas exchange.
Article 19 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights proclaims: “Everyone has the right to freedom of expression and opinion; this right includes the freedom to hold opinions without interference and to seek, receive and impart information and ideas through any media and regardless of frontiers.”
Genuine freedom may be experienced only if we can encounter others and communicate without barriers.
The most severe punishment known to the human race is isolation. People may be isolated or feel isolated for many reasons. Nevertheless, there are two main classes that causes of isolations may belong to. First, The difference of people themselves and second, the difference of their current situations in life which may be incorrect and abnormal.
People may be different because of their age, lack of companion, disabilities, culture, religion, background, race, ability of expression, etc. Their different life situations are social positions, wealth, unemployment, etc. Unemployment and misemployment are typical and well-known causes of such situations. Combined with elements from the first class i.e. differences of people themselves may create disaster for individuals and groups.
Loneliness is relative; it may be real or self-perceived mentally. The last one is usually related to the feeling of social or economic deprivation. It hurts people of different age, young and old. All of them perceive themselves at the periphery of life, as useless and unwanted. Of course their chance to return to normal life might depends of their age and social networks providing necessary help.
Fighting loneliness is very important. Citizenship cannot be founded on social uselessness. Integration cannot be possible. People function correctly only in correct social networks around them, no matter whether it is family, circle of friends, co-workers or general society.
People have to develop a sense of belonging, which is not possible if nothing belongs to them and they do not belong to anything. It is a social responsibility to allow them to feel as part of common society.
Personal loneliness creates barriers to communication in a vicious circle, which is hard to be broken as weak communication increase loneliness, which as a result creates more barriers, and communication gets worst.
People trapped by loneliness become spectators in the life; they cannot contribute to the development of the society they live in. They have no food for their mind and their positive emotions. Nobody wants their commitment; nobody needs their contribution.
Young people handle these situations better, which does not mean that the ways they chose are socially accepted and welcomed. Older people manage worst; they may suffer personal tragedy or even finish by premature death. It is commonly known that the life expectancy drops significantly after people retirement followed by lack of farther social activities.
While we witness family degradation nowadays, other social environment and activities become more and more important.
The distribution of work over life cycle has changed radically. Education process takes longer so youngsters enter labour market later. Additionally they have difficulty to find proper jobs. Activities after the age of 55 are significantly dropped.
Progressing globalisation cause father damage to the employment market. Countries are deprived off the possibilities to diverse their economic activities. This hurts especially professionals. Due to open markets a lot of them seems to be no more needed.
Technological progress combined with constraints in distribution of knowledge and unadapted educational systems are adding more and more problems to the existing situation. Despite the increased possibility of working abroad, new problems arise as professional associations block opportunities through legislature. Only simple and precarious employment remains accessible, which pose a considerable risk of impoverishment and social exclusion.
It seems that just a few global development centres can handle creativity jobs, which was previously done in every country before globalisation started. Of course there is no doubt that this is not illusionary but there ia a hope that people wake up won't permit to transform themselves in simple customers of just one centralised system.
This approach was present in communist systems and I hope nobody wants it anymore. I also hope that people will want to keep their rights for creativity and intellectual adventure, at least some of them, therefore our social system, which is still very far from providing necessary conditions, should remove the increasing gap between sociology and technology.
As Earth population grows, ecological problems increase, decisions cannot be left for closed entities. This requires global transformation of the system to open a way for intellectual contribution of many single individuals from all around the world.
As working lifetime was truncated from both ends so other means have to be provided. People are excluded from the labour market not because they are not necessary any more but because the current socio-economical systems have failed, which means that we are wasting human resources, human energy and possibility to do much better.
We do not compete for recognition as human beings but nowadays the ancient battle for territory has evolved into competition for shares in global mind. To be part of it we all have to communicate. It is the very reason why I am writing this myself and not just thinking about.
The impossibility of practising an occupation, premature retirement in collective judgment triggers negative social perception. Retirement is the time for those who cannot work anymore but must not be socio-economical banishment from life.
Accepting that a huge part of word population will reach age of 50 and more in 2015 due to so called baby-boomers effect means that we agree to condemn this part of population for exclusion from life which leads to accelerated aging process and human degradation.
Many people who lost their job or job opportunities are declared as belonging to the Old Economy. This is only partially true. As a mater of fact this New Economy is just unable to acquire as many profession as it is really needed.
Monopolisation of IT related activities and decreasing access to scientific information for individuals make good examples. Fact that highly educated people take simple jobs and shortly trained ignoramuses fill responsible positions means that the system is sick and has to be replaced.
Professional loneliness for usually active people hurts as much as personal one. Inability to share and discuss and exchange ideas, the fact of lack of colleagues around to talk, create a feeling of powerlessness.
This phenomenon is also well known just after graduation and can persist if professional ambitions of individual are not fulfilled. In fact they are rather dashed by unrelated job taken in place of the proper one.
McDonald’s network cannot resolve the problems of young engineers seeking a place to contribute using their learned skills.
The presence of these problems proves that communication process in this part of our civilisation system does not function correctly and more research has to be done to identify existing barriers. It seems that many parasite intermediate structures have evolved taking opportunities from the technological and organisational changes. These structures are building barriers to communication and reflect distorted image of the real problems. All these in the name of the New Economy, ignoring the fact that even in the New Economy old truths are still valid.
Finding a place in this world seems to be more difficult for many individuals but if we want our civilisation progress new form of efficient communication must be found and this is not a technological problem. Currently existing, mostly artificial, barriers have to be removed. We have to return to the concept of creating civilisation wealth as sum of the welth of individuals. This includes physical and mental parts otherwise we will be drifting to systems that have already failed.
Communication can be used to commit frauds and deceive people. We have already discussed similar cases earlier in the paragraph 7, point n. Of course misleading communication violate the principle of authenticity so should be rather named miscommunication but the boundaries of both phenomena are sometimes so subtle that it does not make sense to argue. We understand then the word miscommunication as communication failure.
Some people use trick and techniques to get valuable information in order to gain money or other profits. That is as old as our civilisation and has been usually qualified as wicked.
To realise their goals cheaters use different tools and methods. The popular book "The Art of Deception" by Kevin Mitnick reveals many of them. We do not discuss this issue farther in this article. There is, however other point which may be worth our attention, communication as tool of control.
Again, communication as control tool is as old as human civilisation. People always gained control over other people, groups, nations and more by simple use of communication. There is nothing strange in this as we remember that communication creates all relations and structures anyway. If some structures were not created by communication, it means that they were created by force. However to minimize the effort related to keeping them stable and to maintain them communication tools have to be used.
There is something in our species' nature that pushes us to dominate or control others. This is probably beneficial for us as a whole, anyway. For this we have to fight for leadership, terrain, field of our influence, etc. We are still remaining worriers and conquerors.
As our civilisation progress and we become more and more human by respecting others the old "battlefields" and methods become more and more unpopular and perceived wicked. Nevertheless, some new battlefields have emerged and became more important. Markets, political influence fields are some of them.
As communication, always perceived as non-lethal, most effective and almost harmless, remains a method of choice, we observe an increasing tendency to use it in contemporary battles. No doubt, misleading communication can be as destructive as any other destruction methods but while used wisely may even pass undetected.
How all this is related to barriers we have been talking about?
The presence of barriers to genuine communication makes simply place for the channels for misleading one.
Humans hate mental emptiness. It is in our nature to fill all gaps and fields of uncertainty or lack of information. We are strongly willed to use anything to do it, pieces of knowledge, information, opinions, beliefs or just any junk of information we have access to. Everything around us must be understood and explained, must have its purpose and cause, otherwise our mental model of the reality is unstable and urges for intervention. This is why people are so susceptible to misleading.
Of course farther analysis oversteps the frames of this article but what we need to remember is that because of our hunger for mental food, just described communication phenomena works in both direction i.e. barriers to communication implicate misleading processes and vice versa.
"The word 'pseudo' means fake. The surest way to spot a fake is to know as much as possible about the real thing—in this case, about science itself. Knowing science does not mean simply knowing scientific facts (such as the distance from earth to sun, the age of the earth, the distinction between mammal and reptile, etc.) It means understanding the nature of science—the criteria of evidence, the design of meaningful experiments, the weighing of possibilities, the testing of hypotheses, the establishment of theories, the many aspects of scientific methods that make it possible to draw reliable conclusions about the physical universe."
*) - Distinguishing Science and Pseudoscience, Rory Coker, Ph.D.)
Science and pseudoscience are both but different sides of the same coin, human creativity. They are both products of human imagination and continuous effort to understand the universe. They are the effect of our genetically determined human brain matrix specialized in perception, cognition and modelling.
They are both cures for mental emptiness mentioned in the previous paragraph.
The main difference between them might rely upon distribution of effort of supporters. In the case of science concentrated on proving, verifying, enriching, applying, and expanding while in the case of pseudoscience on proclaiming, dressing up, camouflaging, etc.
It is important to admit that the best results in the progress of science were always obtained by using of human imagination. Basing on what they know, people were extrapolating their knowledge in order to find new truths. Simple imaginative models about possible truth led them often to the greatest discoveries.
"Imagination is more important than knowledge. For knowledge is limited, whereas imagination embraces the entire world, stimulating progress, giving birth to evolution."
*) Albert Einstein
Imagination and creativity are the most natural human skills. They grow as we are growing, expanded through the right training, or they stop to evolve expelled by mechanical learning of ready-to-run formulas and rules.
Creativity is based on knowledge, experience and imagination. If it's possible to imagine, it might be possible to realize. Imagination is more important than knowledge because true knowledge itself is built through imagination. Being creative means having the skill to use knowledge in imaginative way, bringing into being new things to reality.
Is all pseudoscience a fake? - May be not! But the presentation way, non-scientific environment, usually attracted kind of people, etc. make very bad recommendations, repelling true scientists from taking any part in the fields, thus creating the barriers which inhibits farther possible research and verification.
What about communication barriers' part to play? As usual more barriers in one place less in the other one. While sensations are making the most valuable material for media, we are bombarded by bunches of nonsense from different sources every day. Even printed material, considered usually as verified and trustful, books for example, might be fakes as well. Total liberty in publishing whatever makes informative jungle, a perfect place to be lost. Science-fiction movies and books while entertaining many, if simply perceived as source of knowledge might be damaging as well.
Is anything wrong about fictions? No, of course not! It's stimulating, entertaining, giving us a bit junk food like nourichment for our mind, but it's OK, any way as they stimulate imagination.
We may even love, be fond of it and it's still all right while we are not loosing distinction between them and the reality. In the other case it's difficult to predict consequences. Of course ones such problem happens the lack of genuine communication might be to blame for.
While in schools we were continuously fed by prescribed knowledge but after that we are left to be fed by ourselves as this continuous access to the proper knowledge finished abruptly.
While observing what happens next, we can see that the price of books and difficult access to information make some individuals unhappy while others, less interested, feed themselves from accessible, less reliable, sources and do not complain.
For those looking still for knowledge to progress it may take a fortune to keep their education level up to date independently. Scientific information being mostly free in the past has been currently overtaken by rights/access holders in order to make profits. This phenomenon is particularly visible on the Internet expected to bring new hope for the developing countries and perceived as nourishing source for knowledge-seeking individuals.
Many people are scared by current development of powerful establishments blocking access to knowledge on the Internet. These companies make profits without adding any value to anything, which itself cannot be even evaluated before buying, and which often does not belong to those publishers. The issue is well known and cause many protests from the society.
We should worry about our libraries, the last bastion of free knowledge. They are becoming museums of the past. The price of knowledge rises constantly while popular education level is decreasing. Students and professionals have to pay hundreds or thousands for books and access to other resources. Unfortunately libraries have no money any more.
The time, the basic properties tables of materials were included in our physics and chemistry handbooks, belongs to the past. Now any single professional volume containing such information costs about $2500. Shall we buy it to consult any single matter?
Barriers create more barriers and the process continues. The rule: "What is rare cost more" is functioning according to the law of the economy. Is the market for knowledge really so narrow?
Shell we do something about this or shell we tolerate all those commercial sharks using rule "Who really need it, will pay it"
By allowing people to block access to genuine communication we are supporting misleading and deceiving one. Let's imagine that our children, students and all knowledge-seeking individuals have already easy free access to pseudoscientific disinformation, and other nonsense on the Internet.
Shell we permit the monopolization of creativity and development or shall we start to worry about societies deprived from these essential human rights? We talk so much about human rights and free access to information but information is not knowledge and consuming is not creating.
Monopolization leads to regress. Of course this monopoles will collapse one day, dying naturally, as this is normal in their evolution but waiting for it means social cost and civilization damage, so it's up to us to decide.
11. Communication and Employment
Employment is an agreement (contract) between to parties, one being the employer and the other being the employee. Similarly as any other agreements employment is a final product of communication process. Particular differences between the employment and other type of agreements remaining in the fact that employer has usually a power or rights to control and direct employee what and how the work should be done.
The power of the employer over the employee is often delegated to other employees. These delegations create hierarchies and structures in the work environment. There are many legal regulations related to the employment. What is important for us is that most contracts can be easily terminated after prescribed time periods but some cannot without involving agreed penalties especially while hiring people on higher positions.
The contract of employment despite all regulations and exceptions was, and remains today, a contract between a dominant party and a servant party. The bargaining power of an employer is greatly superior to that of the employee however some rules concerning so called 'unjust termination of employment' may prevent employer to finish the contract freely.
In the real life employment process looks more like hazardous game then communication process.
Misemployment is a nightmare for both employers and hired. Unfortunately employers don't speak about this problem publicly. They blame usually everything but not themselves. Wrongly hired people just give up and try to adapt or quit. The situation is caused mainly by general communication problems, disinformation, and several structural barriers in place. Let's examine them one by one.
Everything starts with needs
Employment or hiring process is nothing but typical communication process. Unfortunately some people think that it is a game. Of course it may be perceive this way but we have to acknowledge that the best result of the game is when both sides win. This involves cooperation. Usual game playing is related to gains and losses which is not desirable in making any employment choices. Of course salary negotiations, which make parts of hiring processes involve game playing but those are different stories.
Let's have a look at our communication principles and barriers already mentioned in the previous article.
How these principles and barriers can be translated to some truths related to hiring.
Let's try to formulate them.
Direct communication means communication between the candidate and competent/decisive person(s) from hiring company. It may be argued that the last direct communication process usually happens after some preliminary selections. Unfortunately the most of direct contacts may happen after series of wrong preliminary selections, or even worst, the righ people might have never applied.
How it is possible?
First, very often advice given to both parties in the hiring process looks like advice for gambling. The candidate is advised how to impress the employer and the employer is told how to detect discrepancies in the candidate stories. I hope not many employers follow this advice but I am sure many candidates do which force employers to play the same gambling game anyhow.
Following such methods leads undoubtedly to failure, contrarily when both parties concentrate rather on what is expected and what can be delivered, currently and in the future, real communication may occur. This can be done easily, but the problem remains if the final interviews follow wrong preliminary selections which are usually made by external agencies.
First selection is based on CV content which is not read but scanned. As this content has tendency to be shorter and shorter, it does not contain any relevant data but the irrelevant one plus some key words which are detected and noticed. This is why most candidates are instructed by adviser to put such key words in they CVs. Detected key words are compared against the list of key words related to the post to be filled.
The interpretation of those important words and their relations is totally subjective and automatic. What is important is the frequency of appearance of desired words in the scanned CV. It become obvious that ideal candidate must have learned nothing and must have been doing nothing except what is necessary to fit to the new job now.
Unfortunately current technology and ever changing environment of the modern workplace demands large spectrum of knowledge and experience plus possible specialization in a few particular fields. Such good qualified people won't pass this kind of selection.
It may be argued that they are not needed in certain primitive manufacturing industries but what is observed prooves rather contrary as those primitive industries hire highly skilled immigrants for usually low positions not only because they are cheaper but certainly because the are better smarter and can be put anywhere. The question is how long employers are able to keep them.
Despite of some exceptions, the selection method described above leads to stagnancy, regress and invokes unnecessary cost in the future when primitive companies will fight for their survival. It can work well in simple cases when replacement workers are needed and the company does not want to spend any time and money for any training and adaptation.
After first selection been made, candidates may expect to be called for closer evaluation which takes place in the job agency.
The problems associated with this direct evaluation of candidates by job agencies are multiple and difficult to overcome.
First, many communication barriers which occur are impossible to be avoided.
What makes a particular paradox is that more narrow or specialized skills are required less competent examiners seem to be. Factually, what they can check are some general personal qualities of candidates their appearance and communication skills.
It may be of some value providing that the background levels of the examiners are at least the same or higher as presented by the candidates and the attempt to communicate is provided on the right level. Of course it is not necessary to mention that fluency in language might be misstakeen with proficiency in the field.
As a result, job agencies produce output which reflects they own levels, skills, abilities and understanding. Their knowledge about important subjects might be null. Nevertheless their output feeds final selection processes made by employers.
What is worst is that there is no any factual communication taking place during those preliminary processes. The client (employer) name and profile and its teal needs are not revealed so as any relevant information about the job.
The candidate cannot give any relevant information nor feedback concerning the question whether or not he is able to do the required job. The examiners usually are not prepared and have not competency to make such judgement.
As a matter of fact what is discussed during those preliminary interviews are not the subjects but something else which by the rules is not revealed. While both sides should guess instead of communicate we have some cases of gambling not of communication.
Of course this situation take place not because agencies protect employers from be overwhelmed by people trying to contact them directly but rather because they are afraid to loose their intermediate positions in the process thus loose their money.
Job agencies create by their presence and current functioning one of the serious barrier related to job market and employment. Not only both sides are separate from reality but both are feed by information of little or no value. They are also missled and disinformed. The employment game is unfair and it's the devil who's giving the cards. Lets take a lok at some symptoms. Here are some of them:
1. less jobs - more job agencies 2. more skills or knowledge - less sucess in finding a job 3. to be continued...
Back to Witold's Office Overcoming barriers