We Are Here and We Are Ready
I’ve written a lot about my personal trials, refocusing and the shifting in my thinking about the current perils of being unemployed from my perspective (and about myself on a personal level). This post today is being written for those companies throughout the U.S. that have positions posted, but seem to be stalled in their hiring; or failing to do so. By “failing to do so”, this is not meant for companies that are still on a hiring freeze or those that do not have the budget to hire another person, rather, this is meant for the companies that are in the exact opposite position. They have opportunities needing to be filled and the budget to fill them, but they seem to be slow in doing so. It’s not that there’s an expectation for a day or a week turnaround. It is understood that this is a time consuming process, but on behalf of those of us that are in need of work and are actively seeking day in and day out; we need you, the company, to be better. Right now, we need you to come through for both of us as we are seeing your positions and are applying, but to no avail, there seems to be a lack of response from you. In addition, you need us, because until that position is fulfilled, either your business is being held back and/or someone is seriously overworked, which can still have a detrimental affect on your business. It’s difficult to be in this situation, but to constantly see opportunities that are available and some that consistently reappear with new listing dates, but with no response to the previous applicants before it is re-posted, is defeating. One can directly assume if there is no response; no interest. It is a fair assumption to make in today’s job application process. Yet, given what is going on in the economy and that it is not a secular issue, there should be better diligence in the application process.
It’s not that we don’t understand (“we” being the unemployed/laid off). Current economic conditions have caused many companies to reign in their hiring budgets. Many have tried to combine different types of positions into one to cut down on the overhead. And along with this comes the countless flooding of our voices reaching out to you via our resumes, contacts, emails, faxes, head-hunters/recruiters, online job listing services, phone calls and (if the job seeker is lucky) personal contact every time a company puts out a listing, even if it is for only one position. We understand that you have a bombardment of cover letters and resumes all detailing to you why the applicant is qualified and it becomes almost burdensome to try and respond, or to make a decision. But, let’s face it: for all the good and bad, we need you to make that decision. We need you to have your HR departments, or your hiring managers, be more conscientious in their hiring practices and to actually want to fill these positions (not have to, but want to). Not only do we need you to be better, your business needs you to be better, because it needs us to help it continue to succeed. With respect to the aforementioned, I do not want to demean the fact that there are many employees out there that are doing the best they can and a lot of HR representatives that are over worked and understaffed, trying to do what they may feel like is an insurmountable task; reviewing hundreds if not thousands of applicants from every corner of our country, for only a handful of positions. Filtering through tons of applicants, even from some who may not really be qualified, but still felt the need to just “try”. We know that it is a time consuming process and that many people are doing what they can to the point that it may not seem like there’s enough hours in the day. They understand, as do we, that no one wants to be in this boat and all of us are not going to make it out anytime soon, but nothing is more defeating than for companies to seemingly do nothing, while constantly post that they have an opportunity.
Given this, even more stringent criteria is being placed on filling open positions, which brings up another issue: relocation. In spite of the state line divisions within the United States, we are still one country. This means that an applicant in one state is not incapable of moving to another. Sure, it’s not the ideal situation for everyone, but it may be the only realistic situation for some. To those companies that have “no relocation” on their job postings: Stop for a moment and consider that if the only thing standing between you and an applicant, is the fact that you’re in another state, that doesn’t mean that the applicant isn’t qualified or is unwilling to move his or her self to your state for your opportunity without the need of your help. You can still talk to and consider those of us that are in different states. You can make it clear that you’re unable to assist with the relocation, if this is truly the case, and allow us to consider that choice of having to shoulder the entire cost of the move for the position in your company. This should be the case if only the relocation is the barrier. It’s clear that not everyone is able to relocate without some help, but there are plenty of other people who are able to consider this as an option. If you are able to help with relocating, then we would greatly appreciate it! However, I am confident that I speak for many others that would like to not be overlooked, due to an issue of distance, if they have the means of moving for an opportunity without your assistance. We all understand what is going on and some concessions will have to be collectively made, but distance should not stand between you and those of us capable of making the move.
In the process of writing this, I’ve started to notice that there’s been an uptick in people being hired and this is great news. It’s a positive feeling to an almost dreadful experience. Yet, I believe it is possible for us to collectively make it even better:
- For those of us that are out of work and see positions that are available, but of no interest to yourself, please pass them along to your other friends and/or colleagues that are seeking as well. Even consider posting the positions to group boards or social sites to spread the word for others that may be interested in it
- If you’ve found employment, make sure that when you’ve had a chance to settle in, that you look for positions within your company that are available and pass those along as stated in number 1
- If you’re currently working, please don’t take it for granted and refer to 1 and 2 to contribute to those of us that are still searching
The steps above are only part of a solution and will do some good, because as more people transition out of being unemployed, that means the next opportunity might swing towards the rest of us that are still in this boat. However, with companies like Disney laying off large numbers of people as they have recently done, that equally decreases the chance for those of us that have been out of work for a while (even those that have been out longer than my current running of 7-months) to find employment. In the end, we (applicants) understand that you (companies) are constantly being bombarded with resumes from persistent hopefuls. But, again, we need you to be better and for you to be dutiful; for both our sakes. Just as the seeker needs to re-evaluate him or her self and the options that are available to us; companies need to re-evaluate their processes and to make sure they’re not overlooking someone based on an issue of semantics and/or location. Reviewing a resume is a subjective process. One that is meant to quickly filter through a stack of applicants to a much smaller stack of potentials. Now more than ever, the process of reviewing resumes should be subjectively re-evaluated. Times are changing, but they are changing on both ends of the equation and that means that both sides must update their processes, and expectations. We have to do this together in order to find the balance that is needed in order for us to have a mutual benefit and sustainable impact.
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