Written by Laura Smith-Spark, CNN
“I didn’t believe it when they told me that I was qualified.”
“I didn’t believe it when they told me I was interviewed. If I’m not getting a job, it doesn’t mean I’m bad. It means I’m not right for the job.”
These are lines from a letter that went from a job seeker to a job recruiter. I’d never expected people in business to think like this, but some respondents had.
One man was told he was the “greatest person on the planet.” Another was told to “get to work on a good personal track record.” A marketing professional said “I should have come in on a day when you didn’t want to come in.”
A U.S. news report cited an unnamed recruit who confessed that candidates were less likely to get hired during the current U.S. government shutdown.
We’d heard about the problem before, in a June 2017 story titled “Are you qualified? No, there’s no such thing”, but some actual responses stuck out to me:
“Your father was a carpenter.”
“Just because you have a moustache on your upper lip does not make you better than anyone else.”
The Government shutdown: The reasons for it have wide-ranging consequences for businesses large and small
Some were inspired by the public spat between U.S. President Donald Trump and members of Congress, who have been unable to agree on a deal to provide government funding.
The falling value of the U.S. dollar, and increasing consumer confidence, have helped businesses who advertise overseas to attract more applicants.
“If your suit doesn’t match your attitude, you’re on your own,” said recruitment agency Adecco in a statement.
Why is Trump fighting with Congress?
Joe Stuevold, an employment expert and partner at Joe Stuevold & Associates, said that in response to the election, there has been a big rise in the number of people coming forward to say they are qualified.
“As the economy continues to grow and jobs become more plentiful, companies are likely to have more and more qualified candidates,” he said.
For every qualified person applying, companies will be fighting over ever-smaller pieces of the labor market.
Despite this, a Wall Street Journal investigation has found that the U.S. government has a long way to go when it comes to hiring people of color.
Bizarrely, many applicants don’t read and apply from the right fields. (Of the 400k candidates who applied to the 800 jobs that filled CNN and Business Insider’s vacancies, only 4% read the job requirements from the postings.)
So which industries is hiring most and which are hiring least?
Big employers like Walmart are currently looking for an additional 35,000 jobs, while Domino’s Pizza has around 150 openings.
But the findings about government are the most startling, given that this is one of the places where government is most used by the average American.