After a couple of weeks down the All of Government rabbit hole, forgive me for taking a break from Wellington-based blog shenanigans. No doubt I’ll be back, but it’s time for something a bit more carefree today.
No doubt you will have seem the antics of Finland’s PM over the past week. A private video leaked online shows the 36 year old Sanna Marin attending a house party at an undisclosed location. Firstly, she is videoed not only dancing, but singing as well. Some could even describe it as socialising, with other commentators going as far to say she was “enjoying herself”. This obviously raises the debate on should people have a nice life? Actually, not quite. We are meant to debate if this is “appropriate behaviour” for someone who is leading a country. Marin has since found herself in even hotter water, with pictures of 2 people kissing, without their tops on, in a house that comes included with Marin’s job. And get this: the people kissing…they both have vaginas! And boobs! Gross huh?! Marin has since come out to apologise for the inappropriate behaviour, as she is only supposed to live in the house, not live in the house. Clearly.
Of course, the reaction of sane world has been “who the hell cares that a politician knows how to have fun”. This has not stopped Marin feeling pressured enough to take a drug test to prove that she wasn’t on the gear. And in a surprisingly conservative Finland, many are calling for her head. There’s a couple of things to note here. Although most commentators rightly don’t care, it’s interesting to see how many people, sympathetic to Marin, mention her age. “It’s just a young woman enjoying herself” etc etc. Commendable in its sentiment, but actually, what difference does age make? By referencing it we infer that it is some way the naivety of youth causing a lack of judgement, or that fun of that variety is the preserve of the young. I plan to get drunk and make a tit out of myself until they prise the pint glass from more cold, dead fingers. Anyway…
It wasn’t that long ago that recruiters and employers alike were encouraged to check candidates’ social media platforms. And as recruiters, we’d tell our candidates to clean up their profiles. Like neck ties and describing things as “gay” this was seen as sane and reasonable behavior. And we weren’t just checking for membership of paramilitary groups. No sir. At a festival? Dodgy. Clutching a cigarette? On shaky ground. Toking on a jazz cigarette? No chance. Not so long ago, we would absolutely reject or hinder a candidate based on a profile pic. Given the featured image of this blog is my old Facebook profile photo, I probably missed out on opportunities myself. My story at the time was that I defended a Mom & Pop Grocery Store against the Yakuza. Truth be told, I have no idea what happened. Now that’s drunk.
I like to think we live in more enlighten times. And as recruiters, even if we don’t feel enlightened, we need to act like we are. We are often the first gatekeepers to employment. We’re the first hurdle a candidate has to jump to get that dream job, and as such, our prejudices are extremely powerful. Personally, I do not care what my candidates (or politicians) do in their free time, providing they don’t harm others, or display a prejudice that will go on to harm others. They can be Furries, LARPers, adult babies, cross-stitchers, ravers, amateur porn stars, or goblin-zappers. Chris Luxon, whose hobbies include real estate speculation, God, and telling women what to do with their uterus, could be the organiser of the Auckland Wrist-Deep-Fisters Anonymous Meetup, and it wouldn’t alter his ability to lead a political party. Consenting adults and all that. Even when it comes to illegal drugs, I’m ambivalent. Proffesionalism is about doing a good job at work, and treating people with respect. What you did last night, providing it doesn’t seep into today, is none of my business. Some of the best service you’ve received may have come from a hangover. If you deal with Recruiters often enough, I can guarantee it. And that’s why I don’t check Facebook anymore, and you’d have to be really attractive to get me anywhere near your Instagram. We should be filling our time with assessing someone’s ability to do a job. Not wasting it playing social media detective.
Anyway, there’s your interlude. I’ll be back to bashing government procurement teams again next week.