Why Everybody’s Hiring but Nobody’s Getting Hired



The Disconnect 

  • The Bureau of Labor Statistics says there are 8.4 million potential workers who are unemployed, but it also says there are a record 10.9 million jobs open
  • The rate at which unemployed people are getting jobs is lower than it was pre-pandemic, and it’s taking longer to hire people. 
  • Meanwhile, job seekers say employers are unresponsive.

There’s no single party to blame here. Corporate hiring practices can be convoluted and too reliant on machines, and many applicants aren’t being realistic or strategic enough in their work search efforts. Although these trends have been exacerbated by the pandemic, many of them pre-date it, and they’re not going away.

  • The pandemic has made people rethink their lives and their work, and some individual job seekers may be applying for jobs they want but aren’t suitable for. About half of the FlexJobs respondents searched for jobs outside their current field.
  • “A lot of reasons that job searches fail is people want to go from unemployment to the next job they would have had if they kept their old job,” 

Hiring lacks a human touch — sometimes literally

  • HR departments are leaning too heavily on technology to weed out candidates, or they’re just not being creative enough in terms of how they consider applications and what types of people could be the right fit.
  • Hiring software and the proliferation of platforms like Indeed, LinkedIn, and ZipRecruiter have made it super easy for employers to list countless positions and for jobseekers to send in countless résumés. The problem is, they’ve also made it super easy for those résumés to never be seen. Artificial intelligence-powered software scans résumés for certain keywords and criteria. If it can’t find them, the software just filters those people out.  “You’re not getting rejected, you’re just never getting past the technology.”
  • The increasingly AI-focused application process makes it even harder for applicants to be assessed by a human being. According to Glassdoor, the average number of applications for a job at a publicly traded company is about 250; the average number of people interviewed is five.
    • “People are expected to come onto the job and have the experience, have the skills, have everything, and few people do,” Steward, from the Aspen Institute, said.
  • The endless quest to make hiring efficient has rendered it inefficient. Candidates who are great fits for 90 percent of the job are screened out because they’re not perfect for the other 10 percent. 


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