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Online hiring systems frustrate applicants – baltimoresun.com

English: CV profile system that allows interac...

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.

via Online hiring systems frustrate applicants – baltimoresun.com.

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Amazon to give near-free tuition to warehouse workers – Jul. 23, 2012

NEW YORK CNN Money — Amazon‘s homepage got a very different look Monday, featuring a long update from the company‘s CEO about a jobs initiative for some of its lowest-paid workers.

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.

via Amazon to give near-free tuition to warehouse workers – Jul. 23, 2012.

Strange Random Learning Quote:

“The more that you read,
the more things you will know.
The more that you learn,
the more places you’ll go.”
Dr. Seuss, I Can Read With My Eyes Shut!

Like a thief in the office: stealing stationery and supplies

It’s the kind of thing that goes mostly unnoticed – an express-post envelope here, a couple of highlighters or a glue stick there. But is the stealing of office stationery really stealing?

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?

via Like a thief in the office: stealing stationery and supplies.

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

Hot-job lists often misleading, overrated – Life Inc.

English: 1942 photograph of Carpenter at work ...

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.

via Hot-job lists often misleading, overrated – Life Inc..

Strange Random Employment Quote:

“…the pleasantness of an employment does not always evince its propriety.” ― Jane Austen, Sense and Sensibility

Life Inc. – It’s me or the cafeteria food: Creative reasons for quitting

I quit!Given the job market these days, you may be surprised to find that some people actually are quitting their jobs.

Not only that, but they’re giving some pretty creative reasons for why they won’t be coming to work anymore.

Staffing firm OfficeTeam recently asked senior managers to tell them some of the more unusual reasons people have given for quitting their job.

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.

Among them:

“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.”

via Life Inc. – It’s me or the cafeteria food: Creative reasons for quitting.

Strange Random Quitting Quote:

Most people work just hard enough not to get fired and get paid just enough money not to quit” – George Carlin (American stand-up Comedian, Actor and Author. b.1937)

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