In recession, hiring is like an exhausting search for “the one”

will you marry me

Will you take me to be your lawful employer to have and to hold, in sickness and in health, until a better salary do us part?

You would think that having legions of overqualified, unemployed overachievers would make filling a job that much easier. Not so, says the Wall Street Journal. Apparently, hiring managers have become a tad greedy, what with all the thousands of sad resumes pouring in smelling of sweat and desperation, screaming “GET ME OUT OF MY PARENTS’ BASEMENT.” In fact, some companies are taking four times as long to fill their positions, because they’re “holding out for better candidates.”

“Nowadays, if managers speak to a really great candidate, instead of hiring him, they take it as an indication that there must be 10 even better people out there,” says Todd Safferstone, director of CLC Recruiting, a unit of the Corporate Executive Board.

That’s right, no use even bothering to impress them anymore.

“Hiring managers hear the news and see the high unemployment rate and tell us that they want to continue looking for better candidates,” she says. “They want the perfect candidate, when the reality is, there is no perfect candidate.”

Ah, just like something we may have learned from an ex-boyfriend or two…

9 thoughts on “In recession, hiring is like an exhausting search for “the one”

  1. This post makes me recall all the priceless job hunting advice I receive while I reside in my Dante-esque level of hell that looks like my old bedroom in my folks house, where instead of pushing boulders up a hill, I’m pressing buttons that send resumes into a bottomless pit of despair and broken dreams where unworthy applications and those lonely socks go. Specifically this gold nugget: “Just apply everywhere! Even if you don’t meet all the requirements, apply anyways. You need to be less picky, and besides.. you never know! They may pick you up anyways.”

    Hmm.. indeed. While I’m at it, I’ll start buying lottery tickets too. Besides.. you never know!

    Honorable ‘great jobbing advice’ goes to: “You need to network more.” and “Maybe you should start leaving your degree off your resume. It might be sending the wrong signals.”

    Fantastic.

  2. “Just apply everywhere! Even if you don’t meet all the requirements, apply anyways. You need to be less picky, and besides… you never know! They may pick you up anyways.”

    That’s what I did exactly for months. Unfortunately, it only contributes to the problem by overwhelming human resource departments with thousands of underqualified applicants. This is probably why some companies stopped considering unemployed people for job openings.

  3. I totally agree! One of the most frustrating things about the job hunt is the black hole where your resume goes unnoticed until its slow, invisible death. It’s true what they say: it’s all about who you know… :-/

  4. Yup. I’m currently living that dream of being at my parents house and wanting to off myself every fucking day while I scrap for temp jobs. I hate HATE HATE HATE HATE what the internet has done. There is no way to reach a person or simple walk into a place and interview.

  5. Really? Because I graduated in the 1990 recession that lasted, whoo boy, at least 8 months, and despite the slight dip in the economy, employers were able to pick up on my can-do attitude. I just marched into their (somehow non-security protected) office, handed them an ink-jet printed resume, and told them what I could do for them! It wasn’t easy to make it through that 3-month job search, but I hung in there, and I hope that’s an inspiration to you all!

    Alternate version: Things were REALLY bad for almost a full year in the 1980s, but I hung in there, without student loan debt and in an economy where low-skill jobs still paid almost a living wage, so that’s how I know you can too!

  6. Searching for “The one” can be very hard in this great recession. The job market is horrible and being unemployed really hurts your love life.

    Recessions suck: Everyone is getting laid off and no one is getting laid!

  7. “They want the perfect candidate, when the reality is, there is no perfect candidate.”

    I suppose that the “perfect” candidate will be perfect for the job AND be one of the lowest bidders. Ideally the “perfect’ candidate should command a premium wage, but in a nation where we have a gigantic oversupply of college graduates and where global labor arbitrage is slowly transforming us into an impoverished third world country, they can search for the perfect candidate and pay him peanuts.

  8. Pingback: Having no job is apparently not as bad as having a really shitty one | Ivy Leagued and Unemployed

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