(Stages of a Career and Profession and Career Trajectories)

What are some of the specific problems in matching people to jobs?  What is the process of recruitment and selection? (Also consider retention and exit/expulsion – once you get the job, why do you leave? Fired, bored, moving up the career ladder…)

The process is a two-way street: the occupation needs recruits as well as the individual needing a job.


  1. The recruitment procedures follow the law of supply and demand.


  • Standards are raised where applicants are more than enough for available openings. g. standards for college entrance going up, but new lesser possibilities open up – junior college


  • Standards are lowered and recruitment efforts intensified or expanded when applicants are far fewer than openings. g. army recruiters, engineers in the colleges, business professors, the tendency to hire college professors before they have their Ph.D. if they look promising in boom times.


  • Standards may be relatively stabilized by artificially restricting the flow of the supply even though demand increases. This is done by deliberately controlling the entry channels for applicants. e.g. union control of apprenticeship openings. or the AMA control of the number of medical schools and enrollment within them – consider performing arts schools – should they give them a union card and law schools who graduate students who can’t pass the bar.  Why train students and grant degrees when the market is jammed with taxi drivers with PhDs or with lawyers admitted to the bar who are working as temps?


  1. Recruitment begins before an applicant is ready to apply. Obviously necessary for highly skilled jobs which require long training.  – job ceilings and educational ceilings as a way of blocking off possible future applicants for jobs.  – is this self-selection out of the process?


  • occupations that are in trouble worry about this issue of early recruitment – farming?? Railroad??


  • Leaders have to strategize and help in the recruitment effort – career military. How do you recruit and retain military doctors and career officers in general?


  • Some fields get early recruitment and commitment early on because of the greatness- or great personalities that are produced in these occupational fields. e.g. maestros, Olympic teams and coaches, professors, great jazz musicians, more generally, great s/heroes , leaders, supervisors with great administrative or leadership skills.


  1. such students are then willing to follow the calling despite difficulties, hardships or lack of reward.



  1. Both recruiter and recruited are interested in the problem of the best – or the most appropriate selection or the best organizational fit of individual and job.


  1. Some early selection takes place for positions in elite or special occupations


  • The successful begin early to place their children in advantageous positions – boarding schools – See Oswald Hall on the Early Stages of a Medical Career – sororities and fraternities and rules about legacies – development of movie stars who are children of movies stars, writers, etc.


  • Placement is not only affected by privilege and special advantage, but also by proximity and the opportunities afforded by it.


  1. Some early selection closes off possibility of other occupations
  • Families of acrobats, beggars, thieves
  • Education
  • Language, and other barriers – castes
  • Gender – Rosie the Riveter shows how women recruited in emergencies sent home in peacetimes


In fields that need immediate workers such as high tech fields such as medicine, should standards be lowered to admit the making of new and quick professionals who can rely on on-the-job training to help fill the void in worker shortage? How long are we willing to wait for qualified medical doctors? You will live if you eat undercooked bread, but can you be guaranteed to the same if a raw or undercooked medical doctor practices medicine on you? What dictates entrance into a profession and what controls the quality of the worker once they are in the profession? What other supply and demand questions give rise to selective recruitment and retention, and to quality control?

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