Sunday, 15 November 2009

EU survey: Irish job applicant's address "important".

Years ago, 1986 I think, the girlfriend and I headed off to Holyhead to get out of recession-torn Ireland. Prior to doing so, she wanted to cash a cheque from her old dear, so we popped into Bank of Ireland on O’Connell Street.

As Irish-based readers (or those who were once and have since got out) will know, everything is a struggle here, and it was the same back then. There was some palaver about it not being my girlfriend’s branch, or something of the sort (it was her old dear’s), but the teller eventually relented and cashed the cheque on the basis that my girlfriend “had a good address”.

Unemployment was running at about 17 per cent at that time, but if you didn’t have a “good address”, the chances of small-minded, parochial, Irish employers taking you on were very slim indeed. So instead of jobseekers from say, Ballymun, receiving credit for getting it together enough to fight the odds and attempt to better their inherited lot, capable people from such locales were left on the dole. Not a “good address”, you see.

There’s an interesting snippet in today’s Sunday Times about a European Commission survey which found that “36% of Irish people believe a job applicant’s ‘way of speaking’ or accent is important (EU average: 30%) while what it describes as a ‘staggering’ 31% think a person’s address is important, compared with an EU average of 9%”.

Never mind ability, aptitude or suitability for the job in question then – you might as well have an Irish Mrs Bucket up there interviewing you, when it comes down to it.

On returning here in 1997, I didn’t think much had changed. Now I am sure...

Back to Gombeen Nation main page


Anonymous said...

Oh come on GM

How can you rail against this in one post and then rail against what you call 'skangers' in another. I imagine the 31% feel a good area is one that has no 'skangers' living in it. You can't have it both ways. You can't provide grist to the mill for these people in one post and then complain in this one.

The Gombeen Man said...

Fair point to raise. Thing is though, I'm not writing off anyone for being from a particular area.

Sure, some areas have more skangers than others... but that's not to say that everyone from a particular area is a skanger - not at all.

So, in fairness, while I have a go at skangers, there's no way I'd write off anyone on the basis of where they were from. Indeed, if I was an employer, I think I'd have more admiration for an applicant from a "disadvantaged" area, all other things being equal.

Anonymous said...

hi there G.M snobbery and upmanship have long tails in irl and in practice at all levels,all very ironic considering the bizzare shenanigans common in all aspects of irish life its asif they want to validate the english view of them, soooooooh many first generation jump ups, celtic tiger cubs are in for a rude awakening when they have to leave their kindergarten carryon in irl

Bernd said...

Hmmm ...

Reasons an Irish colleague of mine gave for vetoing Irish applicants for a position in a multinational:

"He once lived in a house of ill repute!" (The guy was actually living at an address where some notorious scumbag also lived, at a different time.)

"There is something wrong with his CV, he claims he spent half a year travelling in Ireland!" (Travelling in Australia or New Zealand was, however, a perfectly reasonable claim in his eyes.)

"He sounds like a ... er ... non-settled person." (He was mumbling, right, so were half our staff.)

"He had dandruff ... and dandruff is a sign of mental illness!" (I made a note not to wear anything dark anymore and to buy another shampoo ... he was serious.)

Mind you, this was the same man who, when the job specification demanded a very good working knowledge of German, hired a guy without any German at all. "Ah, he'll pick it up ..."

Why, Gombeen Man, am I not surprised ...?

The Gombeen Man said...

Yes, Mr BH... old attitudes and all that.

Bernd, nothing, but nothing surprises me anymore.