Nevertheless, in spite of our experience, most American's seem to have a very naive view of various elements of the HR process. They believe, against all experience, that many HR mediated processes are fair, that there are rules to the game and that the game is not entirely crooked. They believe that people only get fired for just cause, that everyone gets the same shot at opportunities, and that corporations work hard to get the best person for the job, not merely the one that has surface validity or who expresses the same corrupt values as the people they will work for.
Of course the reality is different. And not all of these differences are necessarily bad. For example, one reason that not everyone gets the same opportunities, is that for most people I know at a fairly senior level, their jobs are created for them, in some sense tailored to the person who is being hired. That has often been the case for me in the past, and is very much the case for many friends who are further along in their career. Of course one side effect of this is that not everyone gets the same opportunity.
Related to that is the phenomena where jobs are not listed until there is a candidate in mind, or that a job is listed but will not be filled, or that the real qualifications are not the ones that are listed, or that the job is listed for pro forma reasons only, or that the job opening(s) is/are created as a way of gathering data about one's competition.
The single biggest lie is that people get hired without having contacts at the company that hires them. In other words, that it can be done anonymously via the internet, a cover letter and a resume. It turns out that there are people for whom this has occurred, but it is not very common in my experience. Usually you need someone inside pulling for you.
But there is one part that is new. It used to be that there was a job board that was never quite up to date, with job openings tacked to the wall. Or a book of job openings at the corporation that was unwieldy and difficult to use. But now all corporations have Internet job boards online and what is great about these job boards, which the potential job seeker is required to use, is that they, in my humble experience, are rarely up to date and often are just wrong.
But recently I had a very egregious situation and proved to myself that the job listing did exist, but only if you knew the correct term to search for. If you just did a general search for all job openings, it might or might not appear.
In other words, the Internet has helped create a whole new dysfunction for Human Resources to exhibit: the database-backed web page that is broken.