My first name is not passive; it’s not Talent. My Mom never gave birth to a child named Candidate; my Dad never told his friends, “This is my son, Human Capital.”

My Name Is…

My name is Monica, and I am frightened. I am a single mother trying to raise a family and protect them.  I am diligent, trustworthy, and I will make a company better.  My name is Monica, and all I ask is a chance, an opportunity to at least talk with you for just a moment, all I want is an opportunity to prove myself.  My name is Monica, I don’t want a handout.  I want to work to provide for my family, feed my children, and pay my rent.  Please take a chance on me, I promise you will not be disappointed Please? My name is Monica, and I am scared. Why?

My Name Is…

My name is Emory, and I am angry. After working for the same damn company for 36 years and consistently receiving great reviews and raises, all of a sudden my job gets outsourced to some third world country and I’m not even given a chance to interview for another internal job?  What we’re going in a different direction is the BS line the consultant tried to feed me; HR didn’t even have the guts to tell me this to my face. What am I supposed to do now? Drive for Uber? How am I going to pay for my kids’ college tuitions? Who’s going to hire someone who isn’t an anointed Millennial with skills that are “up to date”? Hell, when did using a smartphone app become more important than being able to build a smartphone? What’s wrong with these people? Don’t they know that they’re destroying our country? Why I wasn’t even asked to stay? Why?

My Name Is…

My name is Carl, and I am tired.  I am over 40 in Silicon Valley and I am sick of hearing that I am not a culture fit for your company. I am over qualified for the position. Since when did actually having the skills to do what is required to get that project done be a bad thing?  Why are all the startups ignoring me, blatantly telling me that I am too old? I have shaved off my beard, dyed my hair, I’ve been there and done that and got the requisite t-shirt.  Why do you have a team trying to accomplish a project I could do alone and before the deadline? The reason you are going under is that you are hiring friends and pretty people instead of those who know how to get the job done. You choose to fail without me instead of succeeding with me. Why?

My Name Is…

My name is Samantha, and I am so confused. Everything I’ve always wanted to achieve I have. While I was in school, I took some of the hardest courses. I volunteered in my community. I tutored high school girls. I have a high GPA. And all I can get is a job as a Receptionist while living with three other girls in Brooklyn? Look, I know we’ve been called the entitled generation but when did wanting to make a difference in the world come to mean entitled to a job that has nothing to do with your major and falling further and further behind on your bills? Why don’t you just ask me to help you and your company to be better? You’re not that much older than me yet you already know that I won’t be able to do the job? Why are you so afraid to take a chance on me? Why?

My Name Is…

My name is Hector and I am lost in understanding.  At eighteen, I joined the US Marines because I could not afford college and I wanted to serve my country and I am proud that I did. I fought in two wars. I took a bullet for this Nation only to come home to nothing. To be forgotten.  I am told that I could pose a possible disturbance due to PTSD, which I don’t have. I can not get a position anywhere, not even Walmart as a stocker. I carried out logistical missions, drove million dollar machinery and led men into battle when I had to. Yet here I am, one month away from being homeless because I cannot afford rent. My savings are almost gone, and all I find is stone hearted people that callously never return my calls or emails after they first talk to me. Why?

Our Names Are…

Our names are Derek and Steve, and we don’t know what to say to these people.  They are people you know – those resumes you’re holding. Not sure when we forgot that but we’re still left speechless by the outcome. These resumes aren’t the whole story for people who have names and lives – stories to tell and experiences that could change your company. 

Many years ago, we began our journey into this profession and have helped so many people get something better.  There have been struggles, sure, many whom we could not help or those we didn’t want to due to arrogance. Yet what is worse is the lack of support we receive from the bulk of those in our recruiting community.  

Far too many recruiters don’t practice the listening skills they’re seeking and make too many assumptions regarding what they believe you want to do, what they believe will make you happy. Far too many recruiters – seasoned and non-seasoned alike – believe they have ESP and are experienced psychotherapists. Damned what you say during a screen or an interview, they’ve already made up their feeble minds.

Too many recruiters practice the “fake it until you make it” training model, and actually believe they’re skilled enough to assess people’s functional and technical skills. Many won’t even admit they don’t know what they don’t know.

Feedback. None. They will even tell boldface lies to your face.

Lying, faking, and silence might be major pillars of a tawdry drama–romance–crime novel but in our profession, these three elements lead to only one thing:


About The Authors

In a collaborative co-writing effort, Steve Levy + Derek Zeller took turns writing paragraphs to develop this article and concept. If you want to learn more about either of these authors, google them. That’s your job after all.

By Steve Levy

Steve Levy is a globally recognized sourcing and recruiting innovator, writer and speaker, and tireless supporter of ERE, SourceCon and other global talent acquisition communities. He is the Manager of Technical Recruiting at Zip.Co, a globally growing “Buy Now, Pay Later” technology company. Steve used to have hair, but has replaced this with tattoos and a dry sense of humor.