MBA&M PROUDLY PRESENTS….
REVEAL OF:PROLOGUE & THEN AND NOW…
WHY QUALIFIED PEOPLE DON’T GET HIRED OR STAY WITH THE COMPANY
BY MOLITA POWELL
As the economy changes, we see the role of the company and its leaders change to reflect a new vision. The result is a revolving door where the number of employees who exit is greater than those allowed re-entry.
Who can ignore the local and world news about the increasing unemployment rates everywhere? News on the radio and online continually remind us of the state of the economy; how many jobs were lost each week, each month versus how many new jobs were created during the same time period.
People who have been working for years at the same company, or may have just changed jobs are now a local and national statistic of the unemployment rate–perhaps through no fault of their own but a result of unfavorable decisions made by long trusted decision makers and industry leaders.
It was reported that many of the recent layoffs consisted of highly qualified workers who were having a difficult time finding new employment. Some people may be taking the much needed break and started looking for new employment only when their unemployment compensation was close to running out. This may account for the length of time they remained unemployed.
Admitting that times have changed is no cliché. Most of us can recall our experiences going through the motions from getting laid-off and the process of looking for new employment. We remember what it was like each time starting as a new employee and observing the differences in leadership styles across the various industries.
We observed the manner in which the managers and supervisors interacted with the employees, the amount of attention they gave, when the leaders interacted and under what circumstances. We then make the connection as to why so many qualified applicants are not getting hired. After all, they have what employers need and are looking for now. Why are they not getting hired?
Unemployed workers are reading self-help and how-to books, and following the step-by-step instructions to prepare them for their next work opportunity. They are attending workshops and joining support groups to network. They go to job fairs, meet with hiring managers and leave resumes with companies looking to hire. Still, they remain unemployed.
Why do some careers have a higher turnover rate than others? How do companies determine who stays and who gets the pink slip? Is there a hint of inequality that goes into the decision making?
Does this same inequality determine who gets the job, how much they are paid and the amount of visibility they get within the company?
This book is meant to change our internal dialogue
when we become unemployed, whether voluntarily or involuntarily. Included are some insights for the unemployed and underemployed who are actively looking to get back into the work force or looking for a new challenge. Know there are no short cuts, quick fixes or easy streets to get back to being employed.
There are some things we have no control over. We need to recognize what we can change and proceed accordingly. Take the initiative to manage your own career. Utilize the free resources available to get started. Connect with your network of friends and find the motivation you need. Take a break before jumping back into another position.
Remind yourself that getting laid-off from one position is not always a negative. It can be a humbling experience the first time around or if you’ve been unemployed for an extended period of time. Use the time off to re-group and take inventory of your current job skills and experiences. This is your opportunity to decide whether you want to continue in the same career or choose another path. Once you’ve made your decision, act on it.
Then and Now
The online Wikipedia Dictionary defines employment as ‘A contract between two parties, one being the employer and the other being the employee.’ The online Meridian Dictionary gives an additional meaning as ‘Being an activity or the like that occupies a person’s time.’
In this book, qualified people are also referred to as talented and high performers. They include anyone who has worked in the same position long enough where they can leave and work with another company in the same or similar industry, utilize their skills, knowledge and education to do the same or similar type of work with little or no supervision.
So many of us invested a lot of time and money in our education in hopes of getting that one job where we can put all that knowledge and skills to good use. So is there
any wonder that we want to be selective in our choices of employment and employer?
We look for jobs within a certain geographical radius and perhaps a more specific location closer to home, the downtown area or a shopping area. We may choose an area close to a school or university, or closer to our kid’s school.
In other words, the location has to be convenient. We put the same thought process into choosing the places to work, the size of the company, the various departments and the type of products or services that make up their core competency.
Well, that was a very long time ago when we had options. We would target the company within our primary area of study and apply there. We would submit the job application along with our resume and a cover letter via air mail or fax, and then wait. Here we were taught that if we did not hear back within a reasonable time after applying, we should follow up with the Human Resources Department and inquire as to the status of our job application. Sometimes the response would be promising.
Back then, we were able to have a conversation with the person doing the hiring and discuss our qualifications over the phone. We received insights as to whether we possessed the skills and knowledge that matched what they were looking for. Here, we could also find out whether the position was still open, whether there were additional positions opened or if they had anything where we could be a good fit. It may not be the ideal position, but it got us in the door to learn those skills for which we were lacking.
The other practice that employers did was to hold on to our resumes for future needs. Back then, one could count the number of applicants applying for the same position.
There were times when companies would have to extend the advertising period until they had enough qualified applicants from which to select for an interview.
It was not uncommon to be notified by mail if the position was closed, if we were not selected for an interview or for the position for which we interviewed.
Fast forward to today. We submit our resumes online and we wait, and wait, and very rarely do we bother to call to check on the status. Why? There are so many more applicants just like us applying for the same position and we apply to so many places, some unknown.
We would hear employers say today that they would get as much as 400 applicants for one position. That would be 399 “Dear John” letters sent, or 399 email replies. All we can do is keep applying until we get a call, any call.
We are putting in a lot more mileage to go to the new job. We are working in jobs we’ve never done, and that are not even related to our hard earned college degree. Why do we do this? We do this because our choices have become limited. There are fewer jobs available for the number of qualified applicants actively going after the same positions.
So now, we have to be willing to be flexible and to compromise in some areas. Sometimes, we even have to
make sacrifices. We have to be willing to take the pay cut, drive the distance and work the unfavorable shifts if needs be. It’s a matter of extreme necessity that we become open to make these life adjustments. Consider the consequences when we decide the job is too far out or the pay is not quite enough for us to maintain the lifestyle we had come to enjoy.
Have you checked the news recently? Do you know how many qualified people you are now competing with for that job you are still on the fence wondering if you should take or not? Do you know how many people would not hesitate for a second to say “Yes, I accept the offer”? Do you know how long some of these qualified people have been waiting in line for a call back or even a job interview?
Many people have had their unemployment compensation run out or close to it. People can’t afford to be as selective anymore to turn down any offer that finally came their way.
If you were lucky enough to hit the jackpot and get a job interview, it would mean your resume passed the appearance and content test. Every job hunter must have that all important resume. It should be clean, well-organized, easy to read and brief.
When companies receive hundreds of resumes to filter through, you want yours to be eye-catching for the right reasons. Is the person doing the screening able to scan your resume in under a minute and determine whether it’s worthy of a second opinion and for consideration?
When preparing your resume, consider what you want them to know about what you’ve accomplished over the years, and your potential. It may not always be what you wrote on paper, but how it’s written. Are you familiar with the saying, ‘it’s not what you said, it’s how you said it’?
Many people would write what they think the employer want them to write. There is nothing wrong with that if you can show support for it.
It’s not uncommon to have several versions of your resume. In fact, it’s recommended that you design your resume to the position for which you are applying. Chances are you may be a Jack or Jill of all trades. However, you do not want to show them all off at the same time unless you are writing your autobiography, and that will be after you get hired.
Focus on the skills the position requires. Highlight your skills which closely match the qualifications, especially if your experiences span across several business types. If however, you held several positions in the same field of manufacturing, food service, health care, real estate or in whatever industry, highlight them. Be brief in your descriptions and be specific. Use bullet points if necessary. Your experiences should show consistency, longevity and expanded knowledge of the industry.
There was a time when interviewers wanted to know the short-term goals (within the first year) and the long-term goals (5 to 10 years) of the prospective employees. These goals showed that we were interested in staying with the company for a long time. Then, it was easier to collaborate with the immediate supervisor to meet some of those goals.
Today it’s difficult to say where we would like to be in the next 5 to 10 years since no company is immune to closures or downsizing.
The interview questions today look for competencies and skills set to determine experience and expertise. Companies want to know how engaged you are in the company. The more engaged you are, the greater the likelihood you will stay with the company. This may or may not always work in the favor of the potential employer or employee.
There are so many variables now that job hunters need to be aware of when trying to find a job in almost the same way as the employers who are looking to hire. Today we have to look at how liquid the company is and how long they’ve been in business. After all, we don’t want to get hired by Company X today only to be laid off tomorrow. Or, get hired and not be able to receive equitable compensation and benefits due to cut backs.
We can never hear too much or too often how important it is to be prepared, both physically and mentally. Know what you are looking for and be prepared to present yourself first and foremost. That is the first thing you are judged on by the interviewers and the person at the front desk. Their opinions count in deciding whether or not you get hired to join their team. You lose points for being late so make sure that ‘Be on-time’ is on your to-do list for the job interview.
We see a lot of interstate and intrastate migration of qualified professionals and sub-professionals across state and county lines searching for any job they can get. Some immigrants return to their home country or travel north to try their fortune in Canada. These folks are in touch with the reality of the job market and know that companies are moving jobs to where it’s more economical to operate. Therefore, if you need one of those jobs, you have to be willing to travel to where they are located.
The current economy has left the unemployed facing such financial hardship that some may be more willing than others to take a cut in pay. Prospective employers know that this willingness does not always translate to accepting the low pay. The ones who do accept are more likely to continue looking for higher compensation and will leave as soon as they do.
About the Author:
This is the first book for Molita Powell. Her career has taken her from San Diego, California to Dallas, Texas. She has worked in small, medium and large companies across several industries and witnessed the growth, re-organization and demise of some of those companies. Others are struggling to keep up with competition and with the changing tides of the economy.
About the Book:
Why do you think the younger folks get hired over someone with experience? They are more eager to learn and adapt to a career change, and come cheaper.
It’s good to have transferrable skills, but do not put yourself in a financial bind where you regress in your career. Too often we see career-focused, qualified individuals in new careers and work in jobs that are out of character for them. These are the same ones who were always sharply dressed in the latest trends, and the proud owners of the newest electronic toys.
The problem is, while they were busy working, they were not managing their own finances. When the regular paychecks stopped, they found themselves scrambling to pay for even their basic expenses. In order to not lose the things they’ve accumulated, they were forced to accept the first job they were offered. This is a job and pay they would not have otherwise taken.
This is yet another reason why we see companies not hiring qualified individuals who carry a large amount of debt. They may also not hire young people for high salary positions. Companies are looking for qualified and financially responsible workers who they can trust, train and promote to leadership positions to make financial decisions on their behalf.
Financial responsibility is an actual requirement for church members wanting to become Deacons. Financial institutions use this to fill positions that involve the handling of money.
If individuals are not able to manage their own personal finances, would you want them to handle yours? Glenn Shepard said it best, ‘Don’t take financial advice from people who are broke.
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