It’s starting to look like every post I felt I needed to delete for lack of relevancy now all of a sudden become relevant. Particularly today’s subject about my Human Resources experience which I have gone over in bits and pieces of my surviving posts; but ended up deleting a much larger post because I felt that it sounded too bitter. Lo and behold, there was a scandal within my new industry, and I would be hard-pressed not to talk about it and why it’s so impactful.
For those who do not know about the original scandal, it went a little something like this:
The casting agents for Balenciaga were accused of locking up over 150 models in a dark stairwell for over 3 hours while they took a lunch break. Some of the models came forward to a man named James Scully, who has also worked in the industry as a casting agent, and he was the one that blew the whistle. As a result the agents hired by Balenciaga were relieved of their duties.
Mr. Scully has been on record of saying that there were previous abuses of models within the industry and that he wanted to be a voice for those models whenever he could. He has also said that he could lose his position and frankly did not care because he doesn’t feel that it’s an industry he should remain working in if this is a regular practice. I am inclined to agree with him, not only as a working model myself, but as a previous recruiter in an HR company.
Some of the similarities between a casting agency and a staffing agency is they are contracted by larger companies to recruit talent for them. They also have criteria that they want for their talent (in a casting agency it’s based off of looks and resume as opposed to a staffing agency which relies heavily on a resume.)
This all seems like pretty cut and dry stuff on the surface but unfortunately it doesn’t work that way. With a mass influx of people coming in to basically apply for the same job, there is a tendency to herd people like cattle. Also there is a certain amount rudeness when it comes down to the treatment of the people that are selected. There has been many issues where employees that I worked with had genuine concerns when it came down to their pay, working hours and even how they are treated on the job; only to have their concerns and my concerns fall on deaf ears. It’s absolutely frustrating. When it comes to the entertainment and fashion industry, there is a little bit of extra acid they seem to add to the mix. Models and talent can be blacklisted if they don’t follow the demands of the casting agents. Even to the point of purposely going for the jugular and hurt their feelings but claim they should not be so sensitive. This is truly sociopathic behavior.
As a result of poor treatment, some of the talent that I had spoken to said that they never want to come back. Why should we, the recruiters, make the experience so unsavory? People talk with each other, and I know that some of my colleagues have turned away jobs due to negative reports about a company. These are missed opportunities, especially if there is a rising star within their midst. Balenciaga did the right thing by severing their ties and this will be an invaluable lesson to fashion companies that they need to pay more attention to who they contract out for work.