Why the Job Search Is a Conflagration of Hostility And Insanity

Watching the job search the last few years from all sides of the issue, I’ve tried to wrestle with why things just aren’t working.  Why can’t qualified people find jobs even when there are openings?  Why is the hiring process so insane and dysfunctional?  Why do so many recruiters and HR people seem like lost voices of sanity?

Why do people who are looking for jobs and employees want to tell me how bad everything is when I’m trying to eat lunch?

I’ve suspected before that the job search/hiring process is ossified.  I still stand by that thought, but I’ve wanted to add another issue I see burbling up out of the fetid swamps of the economy; we’ve been harmed by an adversarial approach.

First, the job seekers.  Man, they want jobs.  That’s understandable.  But after awhile it’s got to make a lot of people feel, well, kind of hostile and put upon.  How many times do you hear about some grand new job search technique, or optimized scanner-ready resumes, or something else that really comes down to “beat the system?”  I’m all for working the system, but I’m wondering if we’ve passed some BS event horizon where that’s all we’re trying to do.

Recruiters and HR?  They need people.  Only it’s more confusing, more erratic, the laundry-list job requirements don’t make a lick of sense.  Everyone is yelling at them, no one is happy, and they’re working in an ossified system that doesn’t work in the first place.  When you do find someone the requirements have changed, and in these tough times your neck is on the line if you get the wrong person.  So you want to get people without going through the BS, and maybe get a break.

These aren’t exactly cases of two groups seeing eye-to-eye.

So my theory is the job search situation’s already pretty massive problem has been made worse by increasing hostility among the various participants who are trying to “work the system” to avoid trouble, find what they need, and not get themselves fired.

Judging by the bitterness that I see, I’m betting this is a factor, especially the last two years.

That’s not a recipe for healthy interaction.  Or hiring.  Or anything else.

The hiring process is about delivering and finding value.  When people are too angry, too busy working the system, too busy treating the job search like a con job or a ninja assassination, they’re not delivering or finding value.  Right now I don’t think “value” is a big enough part of the entire hiring equation.

For me, I feel bad for recruiters and job searchers I know.  It’s why I try to introduce people.  Real connection cuts the hostility and the B.S.

Me, I love clever additions to the job search that actually work – the special resume tweak, the smart portfolio, etc.  I like seeing stuff that’s real.

We need to connect.  We need to stay with what’s real.  We need to dial down the hostility and frustration to do that.

I’m just not sure how easy it’s going to be.  Lunch is gonna keep getting interrupted for awhile . . .

Steven Savage