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Why drop-down menus kill

Why drop down menus kill human capital

Who does not like drop down menus? Creating them or using them…all – users seem to love them alike. It is just something simple, easy to use, easy to come up with, and easy to create from a technical standpoint. The drop down menu is the way to go.

Internationally, the drop down menu enters a new dimension.

There are many recruiters and human resources generalists that take care of hunting down the right candidate for an open position.

They write a job description, the specifics and details of the hire, try to put some behind the scene hints in there and post it on all applicable job boards. It will be shared with colleagues and they network it in groups they belong to hoping that one of them will present the right candidate to them on a silver plate.

That would be the easy way.

Most likely this is what is going to happen…

The job post has a link that takes the candidate to the ‘online application process’. Sometimes it gives the candidate the choice to apply through the company website and at other times the candidate application process starts with the registration on the job board’s own website.

The candidate has to go through the drop down menu screening… nothing major you would think, but after reading this article, dropdown menus will never be the same for you again. Promise!

There is no such thing as a universal drop down menu either. Most every site,,, to name a few have their own. Not to talk about all other databases and email platforms with databases attached and of course corporate sites.

You are here because you are interested in International business, correct?

Well, let me tell you there is a world out there that is not America or Europe or the Middle East and none of these countries have the exact same educational system and/or graduation degree titles etc.; an imperative factor on job application databases.

What do you do, if your school is not listed? What do you do if there is no official ‘translation’ for the education/graduation level that you have mastered in your home country? You have not even gotten to the point to express and explain your nationality or educational home base.

That question they all keep to the very last… at least in the United States of America. In Europe, nobody truly cares as except for the new situation that Brexit creates. Before Brexit, all EU-citizens were eligible to live and work in all EU- countries, which is the majority of countries in Europe. So prepare yourself and do not wonder. That question won’t come up. Not that they are ignorant, it simply does not have priority.

Well, that for sure is not the case in the United States and many other countries such as Australia to again, just name a few.

After you’ve pulled out your hair in an attempt not to lie but also not having a clue of what your degree or diploma compares to with the ones listed… post graduate or graduate degree, associate degree … and so on and so forth. What does that compare to in Europe? Asia? India or Mexico? Again, just to name a few.

Just because nobody talks about it, does not mean this misleading database mishap does not exist.

The limitation of human capital reaches new heights due to this as if the hiring manager or assistant (would that be a post grad, associate grad, no grad?) did not check mark the ‘other’ candidates from the education dropdown menu, the candidate never gets to go on the ‘to be considered’ pile.

Not because he would not fulfill the requirements, simply because he had no clue of what to chose from the drop down menu.

Silly right?!?

Same with the school name not listed. The moment one cannot chose one of the schools listed in there, one gets to the ‘other’. With the exception of some super smart international databases where you can actually type in your ‘own school’ name, but does that get you on the ‘to be considered pile’? Probably not as you could not overcome the first ‘highest degree of education’ drop down.

By now the drop down became already engraved in your brain and it should be like this as:

Simply because his education is not listed. The school he attended is not listed. There is no official equivalent for the highest degree earned in the language he is trying to apply and last but not least, the visa status he owns which grants him/her permission to work in the target country, is not listed in the drop down menu does not mean he is not perfectly qualified for this position. Especially when the company is seeking someone to work in another country for them. This person might be the absolute perfect fit ever imaginable, but he/she won’t get considered because of the above.

But the candidate does not know yet. All the candidate has, is this silent voice telling him or her that this part was not good, after he has worked his way through writing a CV streamlined to the job description, spent 2 hours on researching the company and writing a compelling cover letter (that now get limited to 799 characters, but that’s another topic in international job hunting) just to get to the point after typing in all his qualifications, interests, answering all the equality questions just to get to the point that he does not equal to any local applicant!

There is no translation for his school degree and people are wondering why they cannot find the right candidate for the open position that lasts longer than a few months!?!

Are we pulling from the right pool?

Copyright by Andrea K. Priller| September 2016

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Dear Ms. Kastner,

Your inquiry is timely regarding a new edition of the exhibitor seminars by the German Association of Machine Tool Factories (VDW) in preparation for the METAV 2000 and has set in motion a good deal of related thought. We could assume after making this service offer to the exhibitors at METAV 96 that a significant loss of know-how in the metal machining industry has occurred as result of the industry downturn from 1991 to 1993. The great response to the seminars held on January 17 and 18, 1996, in Düsseldorf and Stuttgart confirmed these considerations. The number of attendees was exceeded the maximum, an additional event was held on March 12, 1996, in Mainz. Through your systematic and pragmatic demonstration of the theme “Trade Show Preparation“ from setting-goals for stand design, invitations, operating the booth and the instruction/training of booth personnel up to the convention post-production and success analysis, you understood exactly how to give not only to trade show newcomers but also to senior executives tips and encouragement with optimal preparations. 130 participants were able to profit from this. The subject matter of the seminar was divided in preparation for the EMO (world’s largest Trade Fair for Machine Tools) Hannover 97. On April 8 and 9, 1997, around 80 participants were systematically brought on-line for their functions through your lively and positive style in presentation. In retrospect, we would like to thank you wholeheartedly for your services. For the METAV 2000, further target groups and therewith interested parties were acquired through new exhibition subject matter like demonstrations of the complete production process chain. To do this the implementation of considerations regarding offering proven services, which were specially-[tailored] to this audience, was very appropriate. Once more including you in the team in order to insure professional convention seminars, is an advised prerequisite.

Hans-Ulrich Kokoska

Management Akademie
To whom it may concern

Hereby we certify that Mrs. Andrea Kastner considerably supported us in performing the course “Export Consultancy Training”. This project running during a 1 month period (02/2000 – 01/2001) was addressed to the target group of Palestinian high-level personnel (scholarship holders) in export near task ranges. The program was promoted by the Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation & Development (Bundesministerium fur wirtschaftliche Zusammenarbeit und Entwicklung – BMZ). The MA Management Akademie executed the program in cooperation with the Carl Duisberg Gesellschaft (CDG). Mrs. Kastner supported us as a specialized trainer, coach of the participants and as an export expert in all questions concerning the program. In particular she executed the following tasks independently: Lectures to the extent of approx. 50 lessons to different topics of International Marketing (practical decision making, product introductions, methods of the marketing analysis, trade show marketing etc.). Organization and expert support concerning trade show visits (METAV 2000 including evaluations and analysis of various exhibition concepts or public relations concepts by the example of the Messe Duesseldorf). The trainings were executed in English. Mrs. Kastner has fulfilled all her transferred tasks to the fullest satisfaction of our house, the CDG and the project participants with very good success. Besides, we also estimate her communicative talent in dealing with the critical intercultural, her highly specialized competence and her outstanding commitment during the whole program. We hope to be able to cooperate with similar projects again with Mrs. Kastner and wish her furthermore professionally as well as in private a lot of luck and success.

Dr. Burkhard Hermeier

Management Akademie

Director, State of Tennessee,

European Office

June 28, 2006

To Whom It May Concern

As European Representative for the Memphis Regional Chamber until 2005, and thereafter as Director for the State of Tennessee, European Office, head-quartered in Neuss/Germany, I have known Andrea Kastner for more than 3 years in her capacity as a Business Consultant. We have had regular meetings and met at several occasions, trade fairs, and other business events. I have always appreciated and valued her professional advice as an experienced professional in various industry sectors. She did not have to, but when she came across a contact with a potential for a FDI project, she informed me of this opportunity. Mrs. Kastner is a hard-working, creative and solution-oriented self-employed professional with a quality contact base both in Europe and in the United States. She has an extraordinary human resource and marketing/sales experience and is an excellent contract negotiator with superior written and verbal communication (English/German) skills. She is highly respected, both as a person and a professional by her business partners and clients alike. In closing the brief detailed recommendation, as stated above, based on my experience with her, I can unreservedly recommend Mrs. Kastner, to whom it may concern, for any intermediate or senior marketing position, being it employed or contracted to her as an independent business agency.

Rainer Heumann

State of Tennessee
HR-Recruiting – Filling Sales position in a critical market situation with an outsider

GEFA Leasing

Dr. Thomas Reichel – Head of HR

Dear Mrs. Kastner:

We are very pleased to observe Frau Knoth’s improvement. Her colleagues at the branch office appreciate her job skills and understanding of the succeeding steps in sales. She is, in my opinion, the ideal sales manager, who has acquired a thorough knowledge in the position she was hired for and then takes the next step. I must tell you that your suggestion to give this assignment to Frau Knoth shows that your professional people skills are outstanding. Your ongoing support and guidance of Frau Knoth, based on your own skills and experiences, was of great significance to our company. We thank you sincerely for your efforts and hope to work with you again in the future. Gefa

GEFA Leasing
To whom it may concern:

This letter will introduce you to Andrea Kastner. She was born and raised in Germany but has been in the U.S. extensively over the last twenty years. Because of this, she is well aware of the differences in culture between North America and Europe and how to relate and work with people from both sides of the Atlantic. Her business experience has extended beyond the two continents listed above, but I’m sure she is better able to present you with her complete resume. My intent here is to offer a little insight into what she would be able to do for you and your company. I first met Andrea in 1997 when we were entering into discussions with a German company to determine if we would market one of their products here. She provided us with the company’s background, handled the initial negotiations, and facilitated my subsequent trip to Germany to meet the people and tour their facilities. She understood the nuances of both marketplaces, the similarities of our business and backgrounds, and more importantly, the differences in our thinking that had to be overcome if we were to have a successful partnership. Several years into the relationship, she was also pressed into service again to rectify some personnel and operating problems that had developed within the German company’s new facility here. During that time, she also accompanied me on a difficult and very touchy service call to one of our customers in the southeast, where she acquitted herself very well. Andrea has done her homework. She understands the markets and the local people in the marketing areas. She also has the background to quickly gain the product knowledge required to support the marketing activities. She can spot potential problem areas and help you steer around them. She knows the proper steps to take to set up a remote marketing operation and what kind of an organization that is required to support it. If partnerships with local companies are required, she has the contacts and knowledge to set those in motion. In short, if your plan is to set up an international marketing operation, Andrea can do a lot to get you started along the proper path. As someone who has not only studied as well as taught the procedures, but has actually put them into practice, she can prevent your company from making some costly mistakes in implementation and help you succeed in your long term goals. Please feel free to contact me if you have any more questions

Günter Jäger Geschäftsführer

Barclays Industrie Bank GmbH

Project: New client acquisition at the ‘K’ – The World’s No .1 Trade Show for Plastics and Rubber

Dear Mrs. Kastner,

We are pleased to confirm that working with your company has lead to increased sales. Your thorough preparation and skilful completion of the assignment has been highly satisfactory. Thank you very much for the excellent cooperation, your professionalism, and the high degree of success achieved.

Barclays Industrie Bank