It’s hiring season again and potentially good news for job applicants that have pined for months to reenter the workforce. Oregon’s unemployment rate today is 8.4 percent while the nation hoovers at 7.7 percent. Many initial phone interviews received today from hiring managers like Nicole, a recruiter for Lab Corp., say that those calls are a result of an application made three months earlier. “We have received hundreds of applications for every position. It takes a while to go through all of the applications.”
Employers are taking their time to comb through applications to weed out the most suitable people to fill the available positions. Applicants are weighted on knowledge of the job tasks and ability to handle the amount of work within the allotted time. Another criteria is personality which reflects temperament to stick to the task and get along amicably with others in the workplace.
Nicole indicated that Human Resources departments are reporting that in previous years only 20 applications would be received for any position and now there are 200 applicants. The hardest part of filling a position is selecting an applicant that is both a good fit and will want to stay in the position for months or years.
According to the Oregon Employment Division this week, many overqualified candidates are applying for lower level jobs just to get back to work. However most of those applicants at the time of accepting the position will continue to seek a different job to leap into a more appropriate position where the pay is higher. A good move for a strategic job seeker and potentially a waste of time for the current hiring managers and training staff.
However some companies have a few tricks up their sleeve to fill positions, such as C.B. Richard Ellis, having a contract employee in a position every few months is their goal to avoid providing mandatory medical insurance and an unsatisfactory employee meeting criteria for unemployment compensation. In some positions at CBRE the sales teams are allowed a contract marketing person at no cost to the sales team for the first 90 days, then they must hire or terminate the worker. If the worker is hired the sales team is responsible for a portion of the workers wages and must share their commission. This anticipated shared cost has dumped many hopeful contract-to-permanent employees back into the pool of on-call applicants. Although this scenario offers a short-changed future to one party it is not illegal and there was not injury to either party as the contract worker fulfilled his contract.
Some companies that forgo temporary placement agencies hire employees directly and release them before they would qualify for either medical or unemployment insurance benefits. These positions should be ethically labeled temporary or contract so that the new employee isn’t surprised when he is terminated and can budget his wages to prepare for being unemployed soon. Labeling a job temporary also gives applicant resumes and future applications a boost to assist in explaining why the person left a job after a short period of employment rather than to haunt them during their job search.
Companies offering minimum wage entry level jobs such as hospitality, service and retail have reduced employee work week hours to avoid year 2014 mandatory medical insurance. Work week hour reduction is not illegal either, but it may be an incentive for employees to find work elsewhere.
Although the practice of work week hour reduction is optimal for the employers such as Papa Johns, the employee has to make personal economic sacrifices as a result. Those sacrifices are most often the inability to pay for critical expenses such as overhead, transportation, childcare and food. Employee moral and performance levels usually decrease after a reduction in pay.
In these cases it may be fruitful for employees to ask for three or four consecutive scheduled days per week or request to change their regularly scheduled hours to 12 or 16 hour shifts, so that they can seek additional hours at another workplace. Long shifts and short work weeks without overtime are common in the medical field. Having two sixteen-hour work days or three twelve-hour work days per week provides more time off. The additional free time could be viewed as a benefit to either relax or find an additional job.
Since employers are receiving 200 applications for every advertised job an applicant may have to apply for an equal amount of positions to acquire their next job. Job applicants are spending up to an hour searching for each suitable position and 20 to 40 minutes filling out the application. Applicants are feeling like they are spinning their wheels on the time investment to apply for a job that will result in no reply or an eventual turn-down email. On average applicants are receiving a phone interview from hiring managers from three percent of their applications.
Two of the more fruitful ways for job seekers to acquire employment is to register with temporary agencies and recruiters. These are companies that have call centers which hound local employers for job listings for both temporary and permanent positions. Applicants register their skill sets and experience which are constantly measured against available positions. It could procure an opportunity four times faster for an applicant.
Human resources representatives warn that applicants who are talking for the first time to a company employee during a pre-screen interview in response to a job application, may perceive that the person is an assistant in the hiring department. However, many of those initial interview calls are made by the person who will decide the fate of the applicant and it is important that the entirety of the call be at a friendly professional level including the introduction.