Welcoming(?)

Welcoming(?)

Andrew Samtoy
on Apr 07, 2014

Back in February, a local communications expert made headlines after a young woman in Chicago attempted to contact her - and received, in return, a hostile rejection letter.  The professional then shut down her Twitter account, email accounts, and her job postings board, which many said was extremely important for the communication professional community.  

Our community had some conversations about the situation, but not many about the state of Cleveland's job market.  The emails revealed more stories of an unfriendly job market for both outsiders and young people.  For both groups, Cleveland was a tough market to get into, and the email exposed difficulties in the job market that people didn't discuss beforehand.  

Conversation Starter

Now that we've had some time to reflect, what did the email controversy say about Northeast Ohio and our openness to outsiders?  

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Participants (14) See All

What do you think?

Anonymous
on 2017-09-20T21:45:40+00:00
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Recent Activity

Tim Kovach
on May 04, 2014
"This is kind of late, but here is a comparable example to consider. In DC, a city that is not..."
Tim Kovach
on Apr 16, 2014
"Yes, she aggregated job postings that I had already seen before. I imagine that most people..."
Andrew Samtoy
on Apr 14, 2014
"Shoot, I didn't see Rachel's post above.  "
Andrew Samtoy
on Apr 14, 2014
"Tim -  Were there any resources that compiled these emails you mentioned?  It seems to me that..."
Tim Kovach
on Apr 14, 2014
"As someone who was supposedly within the target demographic for her job listing emails, and..."
Rachel Ciomcia
on Apr 14, 2014
"Her job listing was beneficial because it had quality jobs, all in one place. It was targeted..."
Tony Ramos
on Apr 12, 2014
"Might there be a way to apply a wiki model to a job board? Open access, distributed control,..."
Andrew Samtoy
on Apr 11, 2014
"How do you see it rolling out?  Perhaps one industry, then replicating?  "
Adaora Schmiedl
on Apr 11, 2014
"Such good points - I think job insecurity drives a lot of what is perceived to be unwelcoming..."
Adaora Schmiedl
on Apr 11, 2014
"I believe what we talking about is a more wholistic approach to jobs - in working with folks with..."
Aseem N. Garg
on Apr 11, 2014
"Well, Kelly Blazek brought a wealth of experience to the table, which can't be replaced by..."
Luis Cartagena
on Apr 11, 2014
"Would be very interesting to see how many people actually take advantage of posting the job..."
Andrew Samtoy
on Apr 11, 2014
"I'm trying to imagine if this would be applicable to other forms of distribution where there is..."
Andrew Samtoy
on Apr 11, 2014
"Interesting... With some sort of structure, perhaps, to ensure quality, but not so much that..."
Aseem N. Garg
on Apr 11, 2014
"I think I meant "let's create a crowd-sourced, flattened, internetworked job bank." There are..."
Andrew Samtoy
on Apr 11, 2014
"Rachel -  I just responded with something similar; did she fill some particular need in the..."
Andrew Samtoy
on Apr 11, 2014
"By "turn it on its head," do you mean recreate it or turn it into more of a market?  She seemed..."
Aseem N. Garg
on Apr 11, 2014
"Now we're getting into Gladwell! ;) Tony, how can Cleveland turn the monopoly of Kelly Blazek's..."
Bridget Gibbons
on Apr 11, 2014
"And it doesn't even need to be personalized!  I'd love to just get a form letter with DENIED DUE..."
Tony Ramos
on Apr 11, 2014
"This might be a little bit of a stretch, but it seems that Cleveland is a bit more tolerant, even..."
Emily Bacha
on Apr 11, 2014
"Bridget, your post makes me think about the HOW. How do we change the system to make sure that..."
Bridget Gibbons
on Apr 11, 2014
"I hear a lot about this 'skills gap', here and elsewhere in the country.  But I think the other..."
Bridget Gibbons
on Apr 11, 2014
"But I don't want to be an entrepreneur.  I don't want to have to deal with my own taxes and have..."
Emily Bacha
on Apr 11, 2014
"I believe that the overarching answer to your question, Andrew, is that YPOs (young professional..."
Aseem N. Garg
on Apr 11, 2014
"I think that every job seeker needs to be an entrepreneur, in his or her own way. Finding a job..."
Bridget Gibbons
on Apr 11, 2014
"What I'd love to see is a return to the good old-fashioned employment agency.  Temp agencies have..."
Ashley Oeken
on Apr 11, 2014
"Engage! Cleveland's work shows that young professionals care almost equally about their job and..."
Ashley Oeken
on Apr 11, 2014
"E!C's ultimate purpose/goal can be shared through our vision statement: Cleveland will be a top..."
Rachel Ciomcia
on Apr 11, 2014
"Question-since the situation broke, the job listing that was being sent has stopped. Is there a..."
Rachel Ciomcia
on Apr 11, 2014
"In response to the question about what are the good things happening-we see it daily in the..."
Tony Ramos
on Apr 11, 2014 - 3:56 pm

This might be a little bit of a stretch, but it seems that Cleveland is a bit more tolerant, even welcoming, of an attitude toward monopolism than other cities or regions. Our area's greatest capitalist icon, John D. Rockefeller, set the stage and we've been players on it ever since. In her own words, Kelly Blazek seemed proud of what she perceived as her monopoly. Friedman was invoked elsewhere in this discussion; monopolistic practices and flattened, internetworked worlds are diametric opposites. And we all know which way the balance is tipping.

 

Responses(9)

Aseem N. Garg
on Apr 11, 2014

Now we're getting into Gladwell! ;)

Tony, how can Cleveland turn the monopoly of Kelly Blazek's job board on its head?

 
Andrew Samtoy
on Apr 11, 2014

By "turn it on its head," do you mean recreate it or turn it into more of a market?  She seemed to fill a very specific niche that Monster.com or the Cleveland.com job board did not, for some reason.  

 
Aseem N. Garg
on Apr 11, 2014

I think I meant "let's create a crowd-sourced, flattened, internetworked job bank." There are enough people in PR and communications who can pitch in to put something like this together, right? As the moderator of the job board, Kelly Blazek held all the power; let's democratize the process for Clevelanders looking for jobs!

 
Andrew Samtoy
on Apr 11, 2014

Interesting...

With some sort of structure, perhaps, to ensure quality, but not so much that one person is completely in control?

 
Andrew Samtoy
on Apr 11, 2014

I'm trying to imagine if this would be applicable to other forms of distribution where there is an imbalanced supply and a demand.  I hope that makes sense.  

 
Luis Cartagena
on Apr 11, 2014

Would be very interesting to see how many people actually take advantage of posting the job opportunities. From another view, this would have to be free of charge to the HR professional. 

 
Aseem N. Garg
on Apr 11, 2014

Well, Kelly Blazek brought a wealth of experience to the table, which can't be replaced by professionals who have only been around for a few years. However, what the new system might lack in experience will certainly be compensated for tenfold by a sense of open communication that is, in my estimation, priceless.

 
Andrew Samtoy
on Apr 11, 2014

How do you see it rolling out?  Perhaps one industry, then replicating?  

 
Tony Ramos
on Apr 12, 2014

Might there be a way to apply a wiki model to a job board? Open access, distributed control, social contract. etc. (Dan Pink's anecdote at 16:11 sums up the Encarta vs. Wikipedia battle nicely. See link. Scroll down to read paragraph alone, but whole vid is worth watching for other reasons.)

 
Expand This Thread
Bridget Gibbons
on Apr 11, 2014 - 2:30 pm

What I'd love to see is a return to the good old-fashioned employment agency.  Temp agencies have completely supplanted them, and all they do is match opening X with employee Y... there's really no thought of helping you beyond a generic entry-level job, which may or may not last long enough to get promoted above entry-level.  It seems like workers can't find jobs and management can't find workers.  So whose fault is that?  Is the elimination of Human Resources at fault?  All I see around me is talented, qualified people sending resumes and cover letters out and never getting a response.

I'd love to get a rejection letter saying why they don't want me.  After four years of looking to get out of my entry-level job with no success and no explanation of why I wasn't being considered for jobs even below my pay level, I gave up and went back to school to get yet another degree in the hopes that something, somewhere will happen for me.

 

Responses(3)

Emily Bacha
on Apr 11, 2014

Bridget, your post makes me think about the HOW. How do we change the system to make sure that talented, qualified people are recognized for their application efforts (it is an effort) and rewarded with the job they deserve?

Your line about getting a rejection letter saying why an employer doesn't want you, me, or the dozens of other applicants is an important one. Many - including Kelly Blazek - claim that millenials a sense of entitlement. While millenials are not entitled to get every job we apply for, I do believe we deserve a reason as to why we weren't considered for that job.

 
Bridget Gibbons
on Apr 11, 2014

And it doesn't even need to be personalized!  I'd love to just get a form letter with DENIED DUE TO:

[] inadequate education/certification

[] inadequate work history

[] dude, your resume is filled with spelling mistakes

or the like!

 
Adaora Schmiedl
on Apr 11, 2014

I believe what we talking about is a more wholistic approach to jobs - in working with folks with defined barriers it's called creating a career pathway. It sounds like we are creating artifical barriers to career progression.  If temp agencies are so inadequate - why do they exist?  Maybe employers don't see an alternative.

 
Expand This Thread
Ashley Oeken
on Apr 11, 2014 - 2:20 pm

Engage! Cleveland's work shows that young professionals care almost equally about their job and their community. What are young professionals looking for in either that Engage! Cleveland can help to facilitate? All ideas welcome :)

 
Rachel Ciomcia
on Apr 11, 2014 - 2:03 pm

Question-since the situation broke, the job listing that was being sent has stopped. Is there a gap in the community for job seekers or what other resources are filling the void? What's the need? 

 

Responses(7)

Andrew Samtoy
on Apr 11, 2014

Rachel - 

I just responded with something similar; did she fill some particular need in the community that didn't get filled in other ways?  What was so special about her job board - and can that be replicated, expanded, etc., to better serve the community?

 

 
Rachel Ciomcia
on Apr 14, 2014

Her job listing was beneficial because it had quality jobs, all in one place. It was targeted which made it easy to find jobs one in those field would be interested in without having to sort through unrelated posts. 

 
Tim Kovach
on Apr 14, 2014

As someone who was supposedly within the target demographic for her job listing emails, and someone who was always taken aback by the way she communicated with people (and was not surprised by what unfolded, as a result), I really can't say that I agree with the praise being heaped upon her job emails. I understand that, if you are strapped for time, having a few dozen job postings consolidated into a bimonthly email is handy.

That said, she very rarely included jobs that, if they were relevant for me as a job searcher, I had not already seen days, and sometimes weeks, beforehand. And given the highly competitive nature of the job market in this region, time is of the essence. So seeing a job posting for a nonprofit organization that may be of interest two to three weeks after it was initially posted was not terribly useful for me.

 
Andrew Samtoy
on Apr 14, 2014

Tim - 

Were there any resources that compiled these emails you mentioned?  It seems to me that that was the service she really provided; not so much creating them, but aggregating them.  

 
Andrew Samtoy
on Apr 14, 2014

Shoot, I didn't see Rachel's post above.  

 
Tim Kovach
on Apr 16, 2014

Yes, she aggregated job postings that I had already seen before. I imagine that most people engaged in a job search have a variety of places that they check regularly for positions that are relevant to them; I know I have/do. As a result, I rarely saw a posting in Ms. Blazek's emails (which were forwarded to me by a friend), that I had not already seen.

 
Tim Kovach
on May 04, 2014

This is kind of late, but here is a comparable example to consider. In DC, a city that is not perceived as friendly and inviting, compared to a Midwestern metro like Cleveland, there is a public affairs jobs site that a volunteer manages on his own time: http://publicaffairsjobs.blogspot.com/?m=1

 

He posts dozens of jobs everyday, doesn't do it for money or notoriety, and remains nearly anonymous in the process. This site provides a valuable public service and doesn't come with all of the strings attached that Ms. Blazek's did. I am truly astonished that she got and continues to get so much credit and support for her listserv. I don't doubt that she helped people, but she also benefited from it professionally and financially until it blew up in her face. Her listserv was far from unique, and she was far from the best at it. 

 
Expand This Thread
Andrew Samtoy
From the Moderator: Andrew Samtoy
on Apr 11, 2014 - 11:59 am

Two people so far have indicated that this might be an indication that we are eager to highlight the bad but slow to celebrate the good.  If so, is there anything we should do to celebrate what's going well?  What ARE the good things happening?