Lately I’ve been interviewing job candidates because our credit union’s executive assistant had the audacity to follow her military husband to a new duty station.
I hadn’t interviewed anyone in a while. So I’ve been surprised by applicants’ vocabularies. Rather than pitiful begging, the air has been full of buzzwords, which proves—at least with today’s worker—the thesaurus is not a dinosaur.
|James Collins is Credit Union Magazine's humor columnist.|
After the billionth or so applicant, I found my mind wandering. What did their phrases really mean? Here are my guesses (tongue-in-cheek, of course):
There was one conversation with an applicant, however, that had a much deeper meaning. The woman had worked for a local government agency.
We were a bit perplexed, not grasping the logic of quitting a good job with great benefits and low turnover for something inherently more risky.
At her interview, our human resource manager asked her this question directly: “Why do you want to work for us?”
She stretched out her hands, sighed a bit, and responded carefully: “Because I want to be known as a person, not as an FTE [full-time employee].”
I thought about that comment for the next few days. As a CEO, I look at FTE reports weekly and sometimes daily. I question why we had overtime last week, and overlook the fact that perhaps someone stayed late to help a working family fill out some paperwork.
For all the buzzwords people think we want to hear, sometimes it’s the simple truths that mean more.
This credit union doesn’t have 52 FTEs. It employs 52 unique people.
JAMES COLLINS is president/CEO at O Bee CU, Tumwater, Wash. Contact him at 360-943-0740.