Speculations On The Job Search, Speed, And Innovation

I've ranted about the issues with a modern-day job search more times than I care to count.  If you've counted, accepted my awed accolades, you're more anal-retentive than I am.

Now I'm less than sympathetic towards the stupidities of the search for employment than I should be.  I'll concede that.  It's not that I'm annoyed at any one person, but at the general outlandish weirdness and problems in the job search of today.  Really, you think it'd be easier.

So, of course, I mull over the pain points of the job search.   One that hit me recently is speed.

The Job Search is faster and we really never were prepared for that.

Ancient Geek that I am, I actually recall typing up and photocopying resumes and using mail and faxes.  I am also not so ancient that I remember early in my career using fax software to speed up the job search process and get things out faster.

At the time I never thought of it.  Word Processor + Fax Software (and eventually email) meant faster job search.  Good, right?

Of course, I never thought that maybe speed isn't such a good idea.

So, over time people found ways to speed up getting their resumes to folks.  Online resources let them find opportunities faster.  All those in the job search today have tools that couldn't be imagined two decades ago – and in some cases a decade ago.

Now what happens to the people who are trying to find employees?  Well as I've noted before they're getting inundated with resumes.  Of course they have many tools to turn to like recruiters and job search sites as well, to speed things up for them so they can get this out of the way (and avoid a ton of resumes being dumped on them).

Ever see a job post go up and suddenly vanish?  Ever hear of a job opening open – then suddenly its over and they have enough resumes?  Yeah.  It's a time of insane speed.

Despite the job search technology being what it is, despite resume services and search sites, I don't think as a "culture" North America has adapted to the sheer speed of the job search's various aspects and elements.  Certainly ever recruiter I know seems to be coping with issues of speed, and everyone I know doing a job search is go-go-go.  They have to be.

Now what's the point of this?  Twofold, really.

First, general commiseration and empathy.  Look it's a pain for everyone.

Secondly, well . . . I see opportunities here:

Think of how, if you can keep up with this crazy pace (or even get ahead of it), what advantage you have in the job search.  If via spreadsheets, good use of tools, or just sheer application of caffeine, you have an advantage.  Even sympathy for the recruiters you work with may help.

Think of how people are tired of the speed issue, of having to crank out resumes or being overwhelmed with potential applicants.  Think how tired they are of all of this.  Think of the business opportunities if you help out an HR department, if you can be the High Speed Recruiter, or if perhaps you can help make that word processor better for resumes.

Yes things are insanely high speed in the job search.  No we haven't adjusted.

But maybe we progeeks have an opportunity here . . .

Steven Savage