There has been a lot of talk about an article The Huffington Post did on companies bypassing people who are unemployed because they been out in the workforce for a long time. I’ve read numerous blogs after the story went out and I had three conclusions. One conclusion is I’m not shock by the result. It’s the “recency effect” bias we all have. It is not about what you’ve done, but what can you do for me.
The second conclusion is in this still rough economy, companies do not want to take risks and worry any “false” move and the company is tanking.
The final conclusion is I want to talk about why people are unemployed: US!
I want to discuss three separate culprits of why people are unemployed for this long: the job seeker, the recruiter, and the hiring manager.
To the Job Seeker:
I know you have been looking for work for a long time, but you have to know the rules of the game. Your resume has to be at most two pages with no grammatical errors, no falsifications, and it’s simple, neat, and focus on the position you apply for AND matches the organization’s vision. This possibly could be 3-5 different resumes you have to do. Get a nice suit and tie at a thrift store for interviews and remember to clean up (the suit and yourself). Prepare yourself by going to internet and research companies and people and discuss what they like to prepare for networking or an interview. Check your posture and make eye (or head contact) to the interviewer. Remember: play by their rules.
If you been unemployed for so long, there are different avenues you can take: go to a temp agency to regain your skills; volunteer; network to conventional and unconventional areas, and/or blog about your experience and problem solve. If you’re social profile is professional, put it on your resume; it’s the recruiter’s version of Easter Egg Codes. Be open of why there is a gap in your employment history but don’t sit around hoping for a job…FORCE THE ISSUE ON THE EMPLOYER TO BE CONSIDERED (but not too much that could annoy the recruiter)!
If you still don’t have a job, it is likely someone was either a more qualified candidate or a better fit with the company. That does not mean failure, it means you have polish your skills and play the game wisely.
To the Recruiter:
You are there to find, source, and scout talent. Technology is a helpful tool, but it is not the answer to find candidates. At times, you have to read the resumes yourself since some can tell great stories of what the company needs, which technology can’t do. Keywords only tell part of the story. You have to find the whole story which could be satisfying or not. Also, you are the extension of the company brand. Not only you have to tell the job seekers about the company, but you tell why you join this company you are recruiting for. If your answer is money…you lost a chunk of the talent pool. Finally, another part of your job that no one thinks about is if the applicant and hiring manager mesh. It was you that forward the resume to the hiring manager. You have a bit part on the selection process. Make sure all sides are comfortable before the hiring manager makes the selection.
Although you are a recruiter, it doesn’t mean you just recruit for your own company. You can provide guidance to job seekers of where they should apply and who do you know in that company. Any bit of help will encourage the job search.
To the Hiring Manager:
I know you have a lot on your plate, but there is much more than skill to fill the position. You would like to prefer someone who has continuously done it than someone who has been in the job market for a long time. Look beyond the resume and talk, listen to the tone and body language to see if they want to be there. There are some that you want to play it safe, but there are some that would be daring. The only question is can you trust the daring? This is the most important attribute if the working relationship work: chemistry and it must start in the beginning.
I would also like to add there’s no candidate that is perfect from the start date. If you expect a perfect candidate walking down your company, you are sadly mistaken. It is up to you that you can handle talent and develop the employee to where he/she would be at.
Just think of the job show like a variety game show: if you impress the three main people (including yourself), you’re in the mix. If either of three was not impress of your interview, you’re likely out of the running. A job search will have a winner and a bunch of losers, but remember this: the hiring process is subjective. You might be viewed as not a good fit for one company, but viewed by another company as the right personality and right for the employer. Everyone has their favorite flavor; just hope you’re the one selected.