Labor · Saul

Opportunity Cost of Interviewing

Jimmy is invited for an interview regarding a copier salesman position with Neff Copiers. During the interview, it is noted that Jimmy’s resumé shows his previous but recent employment as a lawyer and the interviewers are curious why he would want to switch into sales. From their standpoint, going from a legal career into copiers’ sales seems like a demotion.

Upon making his case, Jimmy takes the chance to analyze his decision from a cost-benefit analysis standpoint. He admits that he doesn’t have traditional sales experience, which would definitely be a significant cost to Neff copiers, if he gets employed by them. The tradeoff is that his skills as a lawyer are transferable to a sales job because it still involves “selling” to different people. His argument is essentially that the skills he gained as a lawyer are general, human capital, which can be transferred to a more traditional sales role.

Before leaving, he decides to come back and make his case using the foundational economic concept of opportunity cost. While they wait to interview more candidates, they are giving up that opportunity to see if he can really do it. When hiring candidates, there are a variety of quasi-fixed costs, and many students don’t recognize that the cost of hiring a worker goes beyond their wage. The second half of this scene provides and excellent chance to explore the opportunity cost of not only the missing salesman, but also the two managers who could be doing other things with their time. Jimmy’s story about his experience with copiers is an attempt to make the opportunity cost of waiting seem more real to the two managers.

Once Jimmy gets the job he highlights how dumb the two are because they know nothing about him. He argues that there they haven’t done their due diligence in hiring because he could be a crazy person. This level of asymmetric information in labor markets is why the search process can take longer than traditional competitive models suggest.

Looking to emphasize jus the human capital aspect and transferability of skills? Check out the clip that includes only the beginning of this scene.

See more: Asymmetric information, Better Call Saul, cost benefit analysis, general human capital, hiring costs, human capital, interviewing, labor, opportunity cost, search costs, skill transferability, specific human capital

Labor · Saul

General Human Capital from a Legal Career

Jimmy is invited for an interview regarding a copier salesman position with Neff Copiers. During the interview, they not that Jimmy’s resume shows his previous employment as a lawyer until shortly before the interview and they are curious why he would make such a drastic change. From their standpoint, it seems like a demotion to go from a legal career to a sales job.

Jimmy takes a chance to analyze his decision from a cost-benefit analysis standpoint. He admits that he doesn’t have traditional sales, which would definitely be a cost of hiring him. The tradeoff is that his skills as a lawyer are transferable to a sales job because it still involves “selling” to different people. His argument is essentially that the skills he gained as a lawyer are general human capital and can be transferred to a more traditional sales role.

This scene is the shorter version of a longer scene, which includes Jimmy arguing in favor of his employment from an opportunity cost perspective. If you have the time, check out that clip!

See more: Better Call Saul, cost benefit analysis, general human capital, human capital, interviewing, labor, skill transferability, specific human capital

Labor · Saul

General and Specific Human Capital for a Paralegal

Jimmy and Kim are looking for a paralegal for their new firm, but they both have very different needs. Jimmy is in a rush to get through the interview because he has a commercial airing later and the phones will be busy. During the interview, they ask some different screening questions to see if the applicant is qualified. During the interview, Kim asks why the candidate wants to leave her government job with good benefits for a paralegal job. She notes a variety of unpleasant conditions of working with the DMV, notably the bureaucracy.

People are willing to accept lower levels of compensation if the working conditions are more pleasant. This scene is a good example to use when discussing compensating differentials. Workers are not only income maximizers but instead care about the non-pecuniary aspects of employment. Another component of the interview was the identify particular skills she may possess, either general or specific. While the candidate isn’t familiar with specific training associated with being a paralegal, she highlights some of the general human capital that she believes would aid her in her new role. These include patient and attention to detail, as well as interacting with elderly clients. She also notes that she has experience with Microsoft Word and Excel.

See more: Better Call Saul, compensating differential, general human capital, human capital, interviewing, labor, skill transferability, specific human capital

Jesse · Labor · Mike

Squatters

Mike and Jesse need to get in touch with a dubious individual, who currently lives in a blocked off house. Mike’s plan is to wait until the person comes out of the house on his own. However, Jesse thinks he can speed up the process. After he fails to talk the person out of the house, he starts digging a hole in the front yard. Very soon after, the individual comes out and asks Jesse if he can continue digging instead. This account emphasizes that Jesse has skills that Mike does not, and, therefore, he can contribute to the success of the daily operations.

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