The adoption of the online application into America’s workplace marks the end of the search for the “right fit” by employers.
This past week, I attended an information session for a summer internship with the FDIC, also known as “That little sticker that makes sure a failing bank doesn’t take your money with it.” Among other baseline qualifications such as U.S. Citizenship, currently attending college, and having enough credits to qualify as a junior, the FDIC input a 3.25 GPA requirement. Personally, I fit all of the above specifications, apart from my 3.1 GPA. I really didn’t think much of it seeing as industry leaders across the board tend to give Davidson students the benefit of the doubt when it comes to their grades.
After waiting for the room to clear so as to avoid the embarrassment that was about to ensue, I asked the representative how stringent the specifications were when considering the application process. His response “We can’t budge on the GPA expectation. I understand that a 3.25 at Davidson is more difficult to obtain than many other places, however the way our online application is set up, we simply can’t do it.” He went on to explain that despite the quality of your application, the program is built to filter any application sent in with below a 3.25 GPA to avoid unqualified applicants from wasting people’s time.
Sure I was a bit disappointed to hear that I had been deemed unfit to even apply for a job, but more than anything else, I was disappointed that I had been turned down by a computer program. It seems that increasingly websites are used to filter applicants to places like businesses and schools, so does then why do businesses and colleges continue to claim that it is about the “right fit.” In my mind, the right fit for a human social dynamic cannot be determined by a computer program. In order to truly understand how to find a qualified candidate, you must envelope yourself in the culture that a candidate could potentially exist in. You have to know how personalities will class, or basic social norms could be violated. Will these violations of expectations become a problem for your school or your business etc.?
However, this uniquely human process has been reduced–watered down to GPA expectations or SAT scores. This doesn’t seem to be fair to ask a computer to do something only a human accurately could, but then again, what do I know? I only have a 3.1.