The emailed rejection came as no surprise to Bill Skibinski, though the Abingdon resident believed he was more than qualified for the entry-level job he’d applied for online.
After spending two years seeking full-time work, Skibinski is convinced that the computerized screening systems most companies use to hire actually work against job candidates, no matter how qualified they are.
“It is a frustrating and unfair process,” said Skibinski, who is working part time as a contractor while completing a master’s degree in environmental planning at Towson University. “You don’t hear a thing through the Web process, but that’s really the only way you can” apply for a job.
Most large employers, even the federal government, use so-called applicant tracking systems to find qualified candidates. Increasingly, smaller companies are turning to them, too. Software screening is designed to help employers manage overwhelming volumes of applications and eliminate applicants who lack the required skills.
But some experts blame these systems for eliminating qualified candidates and for contributing to a shortage of skilled workers — a problem companies say they face even in a market glutted with job seekers.
More than a third of employers in a June CareerBuilder survey said they currently have positions they can’t fill because of a lack of qualified candidates. And that’s hurting business: A third said vacancies lead to overworked employees and a lower quality of work.
The e-commerce company said it will provide its warehouse employees with up to $2,000 of the tuition costs for training in well-paying, high-demand careers. Among the acceptable fields are aircraft mechanics, computer-aided design, machine tool technologies, medical lab technologies and nursing, Amazon said.
Labeling the initiative as an “experiment,” Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos wrote that the so-called Career Choice Program will give warehouse employees the opportunity to advance their careers, even if their field of choice is unrelated to Amazon.
“It can be difficult in this economy to have the flexibility and financial resources to teach yourself new skills,” said Bezos in his hompage statement. “We’re excited about it and hope it will pay big dividends for some of our employees.”
As its guide, Amazon is looking at the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics to dictate the fields for which it will fund training. The government agency has been reporting for years that, despite high unemployment, there are many companies in well-paying fields that are eager to fill positions. An education gap and lack of adequately trained professionals have made hiring for those positions difficult, particularly for science, technology, engineering and mathematics jobs.
Strange Random Learning Quote:
- How Amazon.com Kills Wal-Mart and Target (fool.com)
- After protest, Amazon workers finally get AC (bottomline.msnbc.msn.com)
- Jeff Bezos’ plan to make more people miserable (dickdestiny.com)
- Inside Amazon’s Idea Machine: How Bezos Decodes The Customer (forbes.com)
- Bits Blog: At Amazon’s Warehouses, Cooler Times (bits.blogs.nytimes.com)
In a survey of 2000 employees conducted several years ago by Kelly Services, one in four Australians admitted taking home and keeping minor stuff that belonged to their employer. It’s not as chronic as other parts of the world, such as the United States, where three in four people honestly declare their dishonesty. Apparently, the worst offenders are men with tertiary qualifications.
In a poll released last year by an office design firm in the UK, respondents said pens are the most common item they steal, followed by paper, postage stamps, mugs, toilet paper seriously, and staplers. Other workers had stolen pot plants, filing cabinets, desks, chairs, and even – somehow – floor tiles.
Earlier this year, a 69-year-old man in Germany was arrested because he had nicked truckloads of office supplies from a range of workplaces – 25,000 kilograms’ worth, actually – much of which he kept stored in his basement and attic.
It seems many employers are cracking down on it. I recall first joining the corporate workforce 15 years ago and marveling at the fully stocked stationery cupboard open and available for any employee to use. These days, every workplace I visit has the cupboard locked, with the keys restricted to the reliable hands of only a couple of people.
The other question to ponder is this: what precisely constitutes stealing? Some would say a pen, worth only a few cents, is no big deal – but stealing a box of them is a crime. Likewise, a thin pad of post-it notes might be OK, but a thick wad is probably wrong. Is stealing ‘stealing’ no matter the quantity?
Strange Random Stealing Quote:
“The thief, as will become apparent, was a special type of thief. This thief was an artist of theft. Other thieves merely stole everything that was not nailed down, but this thief stole the nails as well.” ― Terry Pratchett, Sourcery
- Tea Gardens Thief (theinsightlopedia.wordpress.com)
- Janitor steals 25 tonnes of stationery (thelocal.de)
- Thief takes, returns same car twice (upi.com)
- Thief steals US flag from man in chicken suit (sfgate.com)
- Thief fails to dress for the occasion (nzherald.co.nz)
- Police In Manalapan Hunt For Car Thief With Strange MO (newyork.cbslocal.com)
Hot-job lists tout occupations with endless positions to be had in a host of professions. But in reality, these lists can be meaningless when it comes to ultimately landing a job.
I’m stressing this today because every time we run studies on growth occupations — done by private companies and the government — we get a flurry of comments from readers about how some of the so-called hot jobs aren’t hot at all. Some of you are unable to find jobs or good pay in the professions these lists extol as booming, and others were laid off from these supposed growth gigs.
Here’s a sampling of comments we got after a story ran Wednesday on the 10 hardest to fill jobs, including everything from nursing to skilled trades:
“My son has been looking for a decent machinist position since he got out of college,” wrote Old Dad.
And HookedOnSprockets, a skilled construction worker, noted: “I laugh at the people who call me; they are desperate for workers but unwilling to pay fair wages.”
A question I posed on Twitter about whether hot-job lists were bogus was largely met with yeas. This tweet is from seasoned college recruiting expert Sharon Wiatt Jones, aka @WiattJones: “Yes, they often include college professor. Only about half finish Ph.D. and tenure track positions declining fast.”
Indeed, just because a job is labeled hot, doesn’t mean you’ll find a plethora of jobs where you live, or a fat paycheck. And even if there are lots of jobs that need filling, that doesn’t mean an employer will hire you, because maybe you don’t have the exact experience, or you may be a victim of age discrimination, labor experts stressed.
Strange Random Employment Quote:
- Get Advice from an Age Discrimination Law Solicitor (jessielenon.typepad.com)
- The perfect application: how to write the cover letter recruiters dream of (pennlive.com)
- Create a Behind-the-Scenes Blog to Augment Your Résumé [Jobs] (lifehacker.com)
- Hourly Employment Job Search (answers.com)
- Job Hunting Tips (skybluecross.wordpress.com)
- Available Flexible Jobs Continue to Increase Despite U.S. Hiring Slowdown (prweb.com)
- Perhaps the Most Under-utilized Job Search Tool (kimberlyjmyers.wordpress.com)
- Younger generation in China happy to change job frequently (wantchinatimes.com)
- The Best And Worst Jobs For Your Health (huffingtonpost.com)
- Revisiting “Where the jobs are…” (cccblog.org)
- Matching EI recipients with jobs requires … jobs (cbc.ca)
- All Jobs Blue – Australian Job Vacancy Website (lifewordspictures.wordpress.com)
- If You Must Have a Day Job, (whatifyoucouldnotfail.typepad.com)
- 12 dangerous résumé mistakes (prdaily.com)
- 6 Things on Your LinkedIn Profile That Shouldn’t Be on Your Resume (mashable.com)
- How To Find A Job At The Airport (answers.com)
- Current EI reforms should be just the beginning (macleans.ca)
Not only that, but they’re giving some pretty creative reasons for why they won’t be coming to work anymore.
Managers reported that employees had quit to watch a soccer game or take in a movie, because they needed to feed their dog and because they wanted to join a rock band, reality show or beauty contest.
For others, the office atmosphere was literally too much. The 1,300 employers surveyed offered all sorts of sensory-related reasons their employees had quit.
“He quit because he didn’t like the way the office smelled.”
“One employee didn’t enjoy the cafeteria food.”
“An individual did not like the sound of file cabinets being slammed.”
“A person quit because he hated the carpet.”
“One worker did not like the colors of the walls.”
“The employee quit because the office building was unattractive.”
Strange Random Quitting Quote:
- When People Give Up (webnerhouse.com)
- Apple wants to create a cafeteria that only serves its employees (technologytell.com)
- Don’t Quit (annep71009.wordpress.com)
- The Secret to Success – Quitting (warriorwriters.wordpress.com)
- The push and pull of determination and results (fruitionville.wordpress.com)
- Yahoo CEO Scott Thompson Quitting Over Fake Resume [Report] (inquisitr.com)