scorched earth

scorched earth

Andrey Kuzmenko

From ancient times, in all countries and in all peoples, there were decrees that one should understand the consequences of one’s actions and categorically not do fools on an equal footing. Regardless of
socio-cultural context human civilization brought out a set of rules to minimize life’s problems: do not spit in the well; Don’t cut the bitch you’re sitting on; both ring and respond. were going
centuries, epochs changed, and the wisdom of the ancestors began to be perceived as truism, as obvious banality, as something that does not carry valuable semantic load: do not do what is not worth it, and you
achieve what you want. However, ignoring the fundamental laws, regardless of the nature of such laws (physics, psychology, sociology), leads precisely to the same consequences from which we
prudently warned the wise ancestors thousands of years before the hour of C. Of course, the business environment and management practices were no exception. It suddenly turned out that
the obvious win-win situation can be transformed into its opposite. What does it take? Yes, just for everything, to “burn a clearing” …

Houston we have problems!

Recently, employers in the US are increasingly faced with the following situation: the personnel department recommended an employee for a vacant position, he passed the interview, agreed to
offered conditions, agreed on the day of leaving work, as suddenly the employee took and disappeared. As he dived into the water … At the same time, as they say, nothing aired. Well, it didn’t happen, it didn’t happen –
It happens. But the fact is that the phenomenon has become so widespread that it has become noticeable within the national economy: almost every fourth of the surveyed applicants (28%) is ready
The “chasm” after the successful interview ended! In this regard, even the article was published in Forbes, the Russian-language translation of which can be found at the link. It states that every such “disappearance” is costly
to the employer at almost $ 4500 .. How to estimate this amount? Well, for example, a man who gave up at a US flying school and wishing to get a job as a civil aviation pilot can count
for a salary of $ 50-60 thousand a year, which is about the same $ 5 thousand a month. Mnemonic rule: an employee who does not come to work costs a company one of his monthly salaries. In a situation with
Rates are rising in the IT sector: both in the United States and in Russia, under existing realities, earnings are higher here than in a number of other industries, and given the criticality of many projects to the time factor,
the situation at the employer can be catastrophic. As they say, who has not had time, he is late … forever. And this despite the fact that an explanatory employee is very difficult and often quite long after
time. In addition, IT professionals are characterized by increased labor mobility: he collected things, picked up a laptop, and found himself in another country. How did the Americans get to that life? Author of the article
Forbes transparently hints at one of the reasons, and I will use this hint to share my own thoughts about it.

We will call you back!

This phrase has become a parable in the tongues! Many have heard and spoken many. But not everyone knows where she left and what she really means. I also didn’t know it until a few years
so I did not get into the hands of Gavin Kennedy’s book “You can agree on anything!”. It has a very short paragraph in Chapter 17, “How to relinquish authority:” By the way, professionals are not very
love saying “no”, which is reflected in the classic phrase: “Thank you, we’ll contact you later”, and at the bottom of the page, in a note from the translator, is the original phrase in English: “Don’t
call us, we’ll call you ». The exact translation sounds like “Do not call us, we will call you”. Unexpectedly … Obviously, the first part of the phrase (Don’t call us), which is missing from the Russian translation in
to its original meaning, there is something key! I began to understand further and the situation became clearer.

If we consider the English language in the context of Western business culture, the meaningful translation into Russian will be something like this: now we are not ready to start with you
cooperation, because you are somewhat “not enough” to meet our requirements and wishes, but if it so happens that suddenly we will not find anyone better (which is unlikely), then here you and
we will call. Obviously, in most cases, there will be a more successful job applicant in the competitive job market than the one who was “promised to call.” However, “in the majority” does not mean “at all”!
In real life, there are situations where both “cancer and fish”, and instead of “crucian” it is quite possible to hire a “pig”. It is clear that not from a good life and not in any sphere, but the fact remains. Thus
so, at first, the phrase was not a “polite refusal”, as it is now called, but a strategy of engagement with the extractor: a rather specific tool for a very specific situation. And till
at times it worked, but then something went wrong …

And what if …

At some point, the staff responsible for recruiting staff at Western companies (especially in the US) decided to “drop” the first semantic part of the phrase and focus entirely on the second. already
it is difficult to say that this was the reason, but employers, represented by staff members and managers, decided to change the existing order in “their favor”. Simply put, a phrase from a section
instrumental was forced into the category of rhetorical, only here is the “official announcement” for those who on the “other side” did not. And why? We have the same business we are in
we use resources optimally, and there is nothing to spend time and money on any nonsense and other misfortunes. We have capitalism! Is it unpleasant for the applicant? But, as science science teaches us psychology, man
he is responsible for his emotional reactions, which means that this is solely his problem. Let him rejoice next time! And, in fact, that can counteract the prospect of such a “red
agility »? But the paradox is that there was no need to oppose the applicants’ side. For some reason, the employers’ side forgot that changing the entrance conditions is obligatory
will change the output. With careful burning of the soil to the basalt base, it suddenly turned out that it is no longer possible to grow anything here … Surprise!

The principle of “contract binding” is the cornerstone of the relationship between human society. By unilaterally changing the rules of the game to their own advantage, they were tempted to encroach absolutely
should not. To underestimate the fact of the original arrangements – is to translate interaction between people to a qualitatively different level, where everything (!!!), and not just one broken rule ceases
work, or rather, start working differently. Strict rulers of antiquity stopped this very cruelly: once, and there is no head in the amateur to redraw the basic way of public
interaction. And the applicants simply went to the “next level”, where they were so carefully pushed out. If we are not ashamed to turn the situation around in our favor, we will do the same! Well, for what
fought …

The IT industry has its own “corporate” wisdom: if something works as it should – don’t touch it! And in this situation, it works best! If there is any tool already tested,
has shown its practical utility and has clear limits of application, it is not necessary to do it “better”. A simple and short phrase that in some cases sounded the same people
for other people, it was understandable, productive and productive in the following context: if an applicant is objectively unsuitable for a vacant job, then he or she should be denied immediately
(Reasonable, tactful and friendly); if they did not refuse right away, but promised to call under certain conditions, which means “social contract”, then they would call. I would venture to assume
that the final trigger for the collective unconscious American was interviewing or appearing on such popular TV talk shows by staffing agencies that
enthusiastically uttered phrases like “In his career with 17,000 times he said” we will call you “, but never called”.

What about us?

And almost 30 years ago, the Soviet era ended and the New Age began, without exaggeration. The past is gone, and the future has only to be created. In this case, let’s be honest, nobody really
did not know how to do it. The Soviet system of education did not train cadres for a capitalist society, but economists (western format) were needed right away,
jurisprudence (commercial law), public relations, management, marketing and a bunch of other amazing disciplines for the Soviet man. And besides, it turned out that in the majority
the inhabitants of the post-soviet space were quite mediocre in foreign languages ​​and had a far-flung view of foreign culture (in the broad sense of this
words). As a result, the introduction of foreign techniques and approaches usually took place with the copyist, without any comprehension and adaptation. Once in the West, the interviewers ask why the hatches
round, we will ask that too. If they say “we will call you back” at the end of the interview, and they do not ring as a result, so will we. The event is rich and successful, everything has been there for decades
worked out, called best practices, that’s how we do it and eventually live.

In real life, it looked something like the one described in Alexander Derevitsky’s wonderful book: “when I had to interview with an avalanche of contenders rushing to me after
successful newspaper recruitment announcement, I was wrong – I trusted the recruitment of future employees to the secretary. I needed good sellers. It was important to me that they were nice people. And I asked:
“Lena, miss me only those you like.” – What about the others? – Let them leave their phone number, we will “call them back” …

And this is infinitely wonderful: “do not hang up, your call is very important to us, you will be answered by the first freed operator”, and you spend thirty minutes “hanging” in roaming and you cannot understand,
if your call is really that important, why didn’t anyone answer it?

They and we

In the context of American culture, indignation and further reaction began to grow because of the breach of the “collective bargaining agreement”, and we began to develop along the path of interpersonal conflict. to ours
the age-old question: “Do you respect me?” – an unequivocal answer was given: “Not only I do not respect, I do not even consider a person.” If Americans perceived the situation as a change in the rules of the game in the market
work, then we had a rollback to the institute of “class struggle.” Here is a quote from one profile blog about staffing: “… But my colleague, on the contrary, never calls back candidates in this case
refusals, and I was wondering why? I am not her manager and I cannot force anything to do, but here we had a conversation on this topic … I asked her why, to which she replied that earlier
she had always been involved, but when she was matched several times, did she start thinking that she might not even call? … The deciding factor was the candidate who started threatening her and,
after she just hung up, cut off all the company’s publicly available phones. That is why she does not call anyone at all in case of refusal … ”. Instead of
in order to mutually negotiate, positional confrontation began. And in both cases the result is losses. The hammer with the wai-fay and the touch-screen did not justify itself. To kill ordinary with a hammer
nails are much more convenient, faster and at no extra cost. The wise ancestors were once again right: nothing grows on the burned earth …


As for the practice of management in the field of information technology, it should be remembered that people working in it, as a rule, are well educated, intellectual, and most importantly, involved in large-scale information
streams: The internet has really changed the world and the people in it. In addition, many were abroad as tourists and some worked there. Therefore, they can answer in their personal experience
the question “how is it really?”. Enthusiastic juggling beautiful phrases managers will always be perceived by people as something with a minus sign. If the company really is
values, goals, relationships, processes, and results that are not ashamed of, employees do not need demonstrative presentations for their perceptions. When a manager tells employees every day about
the importance and value of feedback, and he is pleased that he can not be called simply by saying “we will contact you”, then he definitely cuts the bitch on which he sits …

IT personnel, team building

Business in number

IT-Manager Magazine [№ 01/2020],

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