Job Search – Why employers suck and why it doesn’t matter

By Scot Herrick | Job Search

Aug 15

For those unemployed, especially those unemployed a long time, there is a dominate theme that says the job market is the employer’s fault. Not necessarily that it is their fault because they are not hiring — after all, there is little demand that would force hiring — but because their requirements for new hires are unreasonable. Employers won’t hire because you don’t have the 4,163 critical job skills for the job. They won’t hire because you don’t have enough experience with your two-years of work in the field. Or the experience isn’t just right.

Yeah, it makes for an angry crowd. This, from Dice.com — where I also write — is a good representation:

It’s not as if the advice is bad. It’s that employers are unreasonable. And advice which may not be all that useful on this site or others isn’t what we’re grousing about, it’s the excessively rosy view of the job market. Because it makes the unemployed feel as if they’re utter morons for not being able to take advantage of it.

This is understandable. Let’s look at reality:

1. The job market is better

If two years ago job losses were running 700,000 per month and now they are gaining somewhere between zero and 200,000 per month, then yes, the job market is better. The news will tout that the job market is better. Perhaps even rosy when compared to losing 700k per month not so long ago.

But the US needs somewhere between 125,000 and 150,000 new jobs per month just to break even with population growth, much less to reduce the very high number of people who don’t have jobs or the millions more who are underemployed.

Naturally, this means employers suck.

2. Employers are hiring people

They are. But this is not a job seekers market by any definition. Employers, for better or worse based on their capabilities, are picky about who they hire. They can look for the person who has skills one inch wide and one mile deep in experience if they want to because new hires are a rarity. Without demand in the marketplace, hiring is a huge decision to make, even in large companies. Small businesses are even more wary about hiring:

Though South Coast Shingle Co. is in the black for the first time in a few years, [Ross Riddle, the president] is fearful of hiring more people in what he believes is a shaky economy.

“I hear politicians say that businesses have money and they should be hiring,” said Riddle … “But if you don’t have the demand, you don’t hire the people.”

This means that those who are unemployed the longest are having a mighty struggle to try and find work. So employers suck.

It doesn’t matter what the news about employment is to the job seeker

The news carries facts once in a while. And the truth is, employers are hiring some people, they are not laying off as many people, and the job market, as a result, is much improved compared to two years ago. Now, after having no food or water and walking through a desert, we have water. Just no food. It’s an improvement. It’s just not real good out there.

It doesn’t matter, the news, save to decide what you will do about it. You can take a rest from your job search to rediscover your strengths and self-worth, you can continue to learn the skills needed to do a job search, and you can practice those skills to get better. Or, you can give up.

What we can’t do is blame circumstances. Yes, the circumstances are impacting our ability to find jobs. Yes, we have to work a lot harder to land that new job. But work to figure out how to make the circumstances work for you, not against you. Find out what it takes to make yourself better than your competition who are whining about how circumstances are defeating them.

Doing the work and fighting to keep our self-esteem in a job search is not easy. It is, however, necessary.

Photo by quinn.anya

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About the Author

Scot Herrick is the author of “I’ve Landed My Dream Job–Now What???” and owner of Cube Rules, LLC. Scot has a long history of management and individual contribution in multiple Fortune 100 corporations.

  • Swivelstacks says:

    If you were in the unemployed position, you will have a totally different article. I hope you hit 55 and see how fast employers hire you. Get a Life.

    • Scot Herrick says:

      Well, I’m 57 years old and the first time I was laid off it was for 9 months. The second time I started this business and then started consulting about a year later. I have a life, thank you. And it is on my terms. Which is the point of this site — how to help people gain employment security and not whine about how unfair the world is while hoping for job security. Not going to happen until you change your perspective about what it takes to stay employed and the tools one needs to do that in today’s job market. That’s the point of these articles and the products I offer to people who want to achieve employment — not job — security.

      • Fuzionman says:

        I agree with you sir.  I have my own business and I am not whining.  However, you have to face the technical realities which are making themselves known to the whole of the human population in all countries….and that is that large scale automation is going to take the place of people in almost all sectors.  Now if people have to scramble for a job to meet the basic necessities of life with an ever dwindling labor market just watch Pandora’s box open and all hell break loose.  Just my two cents.

  • unfortunately if you are long term unemployed you will find yourself in a catch 22 situation.  Its difficult to get a job because you’ve got a big gap in your resume.

    • Scot Herrick says:

      It is hard, no doubt. The key is what you have going on during the gap. Was it a family situation? Volunteer work? Wanting to start a business? There are rational reasons for taking the gap — unless you are sitting on the couch or only searching for jobs. It is a time gap, so explain what you did with your time.

  • Fuzionman says:

    The whole “job market” notion is utter nonsense for an antiquated age. Hey guess what?  More and more jobs will disappear due to 1) Population growth in the United States due to immigration and births 2) Off shoring 3) Technological advancement making more and more jobs obsolete.   So if machines take over everything then what income will people have to buy goods and services?  More and more people are fed up of the runaround that comes with this ridiculous system that we are supposed to buy into. Prepare a resume, wear a monkey suit and go to an interview.  All crap.  Watch it all disappear within 20-30 years because it cannot sustain itself. Perhaps the only thing to do now is start your own business and hope to hell it works. 

    The only thing which may make things better is some sort of advancement in technology that allows people to get their basic needs met (aka food, water, clothing, shelter) without having to compete for resources in a “labor market” that will no longer exist because of automation.  The sad thing is that all the college grads out there do not know that they are being sold a giant lie.  This is the reality of things, and until we adjust as a human society to the reality of things we will see more and more job losses, poverty, and rapid increase in social unrest in the forms of wars, crime and riots.  No doomsday scenario here, just plain facts. When human thought can’t change and accustom itself to a new age, then human destruction will follow….period.

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