Making a song and dance out of hiring

Guru was disgusted to read that B&Q has been asking potential employees to dance to legendary Jackson Five poptastic tune Blame it on the Boogie over pre-interview tea and coffee.

It is entirely inappropriate that anyone be made to do such a thing – after all, everybody knows that the Macarena is the only dance to be seen doing the actions to.

But what kind of employees is the DIY retailer looking for? Those with a love of frizzy afro hair-dos, 1970s disco hits and controlling fathers?

Just because he appears to have a few screws loose doesn’t make Michael Jackson the right person to be selling DIY kits to bored, middle-aged fathers on a Bank Holiday Monday morning.

And surely a little relevance to the trade would have been useful. After all, you wouldn’t ask wannabe ballerinas to knock up a few shelves prior to an audition.

So, Guru respectfully suggests that if the Do-It-Yourself behemoth really insists on getting down with the big kids – its potential recruits – that it plays a bit of MC Hammer, Jimmy Nail, Chaka Demus & Pliers and, obviously, the Carpenters.

Of course, if B&Q was serious it would have asked them to do a hot tap routine.

Jargon-busting is a bridge too far

While munching on the muesli (not, in fact, a euphemism, but the honest art of early morning mastication), Guru let his mind drift and indulged in some ‘blue-sky thinking’ about how to ‘think outside the box’.

Suddenly he was hit by a ‘thought grenade’ that pushed the envelope in an unexpected way – by exploding it.

Picking up the shattered shards of his post, Guru noticed a survey by recruitment consultancy Office Angels that said it was time to call time on the old jargon and sweep in a new batch of nonsensical verbal vernacular.

Now Yours Truly has run up against many an Office Angel in his time, but can honestly say that while he admired their soft skills, he really didn’t think that deep thoughts were on the radar, as it were. 

However, 1,600 ‘workers’ contributed to the survey, and dipping into this ‘thought soup’, things did indeed begin to stir – ideas, that is.

Guru began to question whether he was still ‘singing from the same hymn sheet’. Had all the years of ploughing his solitary furrow led him to take his eye off the ball? But then if he was going to ‘open up his kimono’, he would need to ‘park that thought’, ‘raise the anchor and let it drift’.

But the thought that old jargon should be kicked into touch and be replaced by new, more relevant lingo seemed a bridge too far, a walk in the dark, a fate worse than death – after all, the random use of junk phrases is yet another example of what makes Britain great.

For while the Yanks may come up with most of the verbal diarrhoea that lays strewn across our great empire, the Brits’ capacity to regurgitate and adapt this linguistic garbage into half-baked near-truths and nonsense is second to none.

The bottom line has to be that jargon has its place in society and any attempt to ‘sunset that idea’ needs to be firmly wrapped up in cotton wool and put out to grass.

Sponsorship goes to the Finnish

The first corporate sponsor is on board for the Personnel Today teams’ entry into the Osborne Clarke Challenge, part of the Asics Reading Half Marathon, which takes place on 25 March.

That honour goes to Nordic Staff, a specialist multi-lingual recruitment consultancy that focuses on finding suitable employment for staff who speak Nordic languages. (Guru once had a job at Santa’s Grotto in Helsinki, but being surrounded by small men in green garb forced him to resign for ‘elf’ reasons.)

All corporate sponsors that pledge £25 or more to either or both teams (the boys’ This time it’s Personnel and the girls’ HR Cheetahs) will get a mention in this column, and will feature on our athletic attire and in promotional photos.The higher the pledge, the bigger and more prominent the logo.Personal sponsorships are also welcome.

Click here for more information and to sponsor the teams. All proceeds go to The Children’s Trust.

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