Thursday, August 18, 2016

Extreme Hiring

I’ve hired a lot of people in my career. I’ve made some whopper mistakes along the way. I’ve also given people the ability to grow and thrive in new situations. Accurately representing skills, experience and interests is really important when seeking new opportunities. It’s startling how lazy people are when seeking a new position. Whether it’s grammatical errors or addressing the cover note to the wrong company or citing a different position than was advertised – there’s a lot of room for improvement. Many of today’s applicants are not short of confidence, however. Resumes have become thesaurus-like with the wide range of kudos that people give themselves. The slapping of oneself on the back is very much in line with the Presidential election 2016.

Donald J. Trump is the obvious example of hubris. Whether it’s congratulating himself on his ratings, his crowds, his triumphs or his plans – they are framed around his own exceptionalism. So much so that it’s easy to dismiss everything he says.

Hilary Clinton is less obvious because the Trump shadow is so significant. Her campaign surrogates have taken the boasting to a new and different level. President Obama during the Democratic National Convention echoed what many others have said throughout the campaign and has been a social media meme: “There has never been any man or woman more qualified for this office than Hillary Clinton.”

Really? How do you determine who is the most qualified? Is it based on actual experience? Then maybe somebody like Richard Nixon who served for eight years as VP would top the list? Perhaps the determination can be made by number of years in public service. James Buchanan would win that with 30 ¼ years in public office before he became President. By that same measure Theodore Roosevelt would have to be low on the list with only 4 ½ years of service before taking the Presidency.

An independent analysis by Electoral-Vote has been done comparing the efficacy of Presidents based on their experience prior to winning the Oval Office. There is no correlation between the greatness or effectiveness of a President and the years of experience before taking office.

Vox a progressive policy and politics site investigated the claim. It comes to the same conclusion as the independent analysis: “Qualifications are a fine thing to have. But history suggests they’re far from the most important thing when it comes to effective presidential leadership.”

No Person except a natural born Citizen, or a Citizen of the United States, at the time of the Adoption of this Constitution, shall be eligible to the Office of President; neither shall any Person be eligible to that Office who shall not have attained to the Age of thirty five Years, and been fourteen Years a Resident within the United States. 
ARTICLE II, SECTION 1, CLAUSE 5 of the U.S. Constitution.

Both Donald J. Trump and Hilary Clinton meet the minimum standards of eligibility to hold the Office of the President. Then again, so do I and probably lots of you readers.

Secretary Clinton is absolutely qualified to be President. She has an impressive resume from her service as First Lady of Arkansas to her role in Healthcare in the 1990’s to representing New York as a Senator and then serving one term as Secretary of State. Compared to The Donald her experience in public office overshadows his tremendously. Gary Johnson, Libertarian candidate for President, has eight years as New Mexico’s Governor – more governing experience than either Clinton or Trump.

Having a diverse resume doesn’t make her “the most qualified person” to ever seek the office. It’s just not true. It’s not true on so many levels – not the least of which is that “qualified” hasn’t been defined. More importantly – it doesn’t need to be true. It’s like those hyped up resumes that fly across my desk – she doesn’t have to be “the most qualified person to ever seek the office” in order to hawk her credentials and compare them against Trump. 

It’s this type of exaggeration – the one that’s silly and not needed – that makes some people suspect of her honesty. Just like when I review a resume. If somebody is going to take liberties on that – what else are they hiding that’s more serious? For somebody like Secretary Clinton who has a trust deficiency in the public mind – you’d think the campaign would be very diligent in not overstating anything.

It used to be that some humility went a long way towards the public choosing a President. The 2016 campaign of Extreme Hiring has changed that, and we’re all the worse for it.

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