Job Hunt Essentials

Why Is It So Difficult To Get A Job When It Use To Be Easy – Step 5

The Maze for Jobs

I want to go over how the job landscape has changed and impress upon you the importance of figuring out what you need to do to survive and thrive.

Change Is Here

When looking for a job you can see how the landscape has changed.

Let’s look at a few of these changes and how they impact your ability to find a job...

  • Online Applications
  • Online Assessments
  • Impersonal Process
  • Long Hiring Process
  • More Group & Panel Interviews
  • Jobs Rapidly Disappearing

Online Applications

Remember the time when you could drop off a resume or send a resume and actually get a phone call back? While it still happens today it is not the “norm” but the exception.

Now practically every company requires you to submit an online application and many require you to take an online assessment.

NOTE: Smaller to mid-sized companies may not use an Applicant Tracking System (ATS). One of the strategies my coaching clients get is how to identify these companies and get access to the key people who make decisions.

What this says indirectly is you MUST have access to a computer, tablet or smartphone in order to complete the process to be considered for employment.

What if you are not as computer literate or tech savvy as you would like to be? It means you have another hurdle to overcome!

Just having a computer, tablet or smartphone is no longer sufficient. You must know how to use them to assist you to get a job.

Online Assessments

Even if you have the experience, education and qualifications you still may not get the interview.

You MUST pass the online assessment before anyone will contact you. It is important that you take your time and read the questions carefully.

What if you have problems with reading and comprehending and have to take these assessments? Or what if you are a poor test taker? It means you have another hurdle to overcome.

You might as well get used to taking these assessments as they are here to stay.

Impersonal

For many companies, the days of talking with applicants early in the prospecting process is practically non-existent.

That means the ability to get a human on the phone or via email to present your best “YOU” is slowly disappearing. You will rarely get to talk with an individual.

This, along with the online application process and online assessment, comes as a huge shock when looking for work after being employed for a long time and getting laid off.

This is the future of applying for jobs. Don’t believe me?

Back in 2012, I read in article in the Wall Street Journal titled, “Meet the New Boss: Big Data.”

Xerox used to hire people who had experience working in Call Centers. But their new computer software told them that “experience does not matter.” Stop for a second and reread that last sentence because it is a game changer.

The one thing you believe will get you another job (your experience) does not matter at Xerox.

What does matter, as indicated by the new system, was the individual’s personality. Specifically, “one who won't quit before the company recoups its $5,000 investment in training” is the perfect candidate.

What is good for Xerox but not so good for you is, “After a half-year trial that cut attrition by a fifth [20%], Xerox now leaves all hiring for its 48,700 call-center jobs to software.”

It appears the future of hiring will no longer include humans during the initial process. Only after you are selected by a computer will you get a phone call for an interview. Now that is not nice!

If you think Xerox was bad, Goldman Sachs Group has decided to significantly reduce on-campus recruitment and will use Robo-Recruiting.

According to the Bloomberg article, “Beginning with next year’s class (2017), on campus interviews will be restricted to MBA students as the firm tries to become ‘school agnostic’.”

“The bank will record interviews that will then be watched by a recruiting executive and scored on certain traits or characteristics.” Notice how you will have to answer interview questions via video and then someone will watch your response?

In addition, “The firm also will use a technology-based resume screening tool to try and identify traits such as grit, or life circumstances, that executives believe will better predict career success and longevity.”

As you can see, you better get used to dealing with technology to assist you to get a job or you can and will be left behind.

Also, there tends to be a long hiring process at many companies unless they need bodies for a seasonal increase, in which case hiring is faster.

Amazon is really good at scaling their staff for the holiday season eclipsing 90,000 new hires for a few months. Click here to see for yourself!

In most cases, for pretty decent jobs, you will go on at least 2 to 3 interviews. If the salary is fairly high and responsibilities are substantial then you will go through more than 3 interviews and most likely be tested in some aspect of the role.

The reason is companies are taking their time, wading through the masses to identify diamonds in the rough. This increases the wait time too!

I have witnessed many people get extremely frustrated with the time it takes to get feedback from employers. Especially, from jobs they know they qualify for and still hear nothing back within a month and sometimes more.

My suggestion is to be patient and continue to apply for jobs. It is just different now. Know what works, consistently do it and you will get a job.

Group & Panel Interviews

Since the hiring process is longer you will most likely end up having more group and panel interviews.

Group interviews are extremely common in retail, food service and hospitality industries as they get a lot of responses and need to drill down to the best candidates.

People who showcase personality and standout from the rest make it to the next round, which normally consist of individual interviews.

The panel interview is when several employees interview you at the same time.

If you have never been on one of these it can be nerve racking.

To have people constantly asking you questions and sometimes asking for clarification on an answer already given and digging deep into your experience all at once can drive you crazy.

However, if you know your stuff it will be a breeze. At the end of the day, it is all about do you know what you say you know, can you present it well enough to get the job, and do you fit in with us.

Group and panel interviews often scare people because many do not have any experience with them. Plus, there are other people around which increases the pressure to interview better.

Job Rapidly Disappearing

There are some industries that are rapidly losing jobs and if you fall into that category you must get retrained.

While you have a wealth of experience, skills and knowledge unfortunately there is not enough demand for what you possess.

You must find what is transferable and begin to craft a resume showcasing those skills.

Retraining can occur in many ways. For example, my field involves using computers, writing and marketing.

Practically everything I need to learn is online. I can use YouTube, various online learning platforms like Udemy, Udacity and forums.

But you may be different! What if you were in the construction business, a trades person or working with the power company checking meters that are now automated and are read from the central office?

The truth is the transition will be tough but it has to be done if you plan to work again.

The key is to do the research and pick fields that interest you and have some upside over the next 10 to 20-years.

Not Affected Negatively

Let me clarify that not everyone has been negatively impacted and is suffering. Please do not think that I promote a gloom and doom ideology.

The truth is many people are making nice salaries in real estate, technology, engineering, sales and in many more fields while others are struggling.

My purpose is to identify what is out there, do my best to explain why it exists and to help you take the best action for you.

I will be sharing with you my interview journeys, what I learned and so much more. However, I digress, so let’s get back on topic.

Your Next Steps

Now that you are aware of the changes that have occurred to complicate your ability to get a job it is time to come up with a game plan.

Keep in mind your plan should be fluid and adapt to the situations that arise. You should keep your plan simple and easy to track.

Here are a few things to keep in mind as you plan your transition:

  1. Be very clear about the jobs you do not want to do. This will help you to stay focused while pursuing what you desire to do. Many opportunities will be presented but may not fit into your plan.
  2. Identify all of your current skills, knowledge and experience then figure out how to translate them into skills that can be used in other jobs. I plan to record a video on this topic.
  3. What are you good at but do not want to get a job doing it. What you love, like and are good at are three different things. If they are all one thing then that is what you should be doing for a living. Sometimes you have to do what you are good at to make the money to help you do what you love.
  4. Identify the job you would like to have and get yourself a mentor quick. Find someone on LinkedIn or MeetUp and start developing a relationship with them. Just send them a quick message saying, "I am interested in becoming (their profession) and wanted to ask you a few questions to clarify a few things. I look forward to hearing from you. Thanks."
  5. Finally, figure out exactly how much you need to cover all of your expenses. Do not just take a job to pay the bills as you always have to figure out how you will make up the difference. If you must take a job that pays less then do it. However, I strongly recommend you do your best to upgrade your skills to command more money.

All I will ever ask of you is to apply what you read. It does not matter if it is from me or someone else. Just apply it to your life and see what happens. You will never know what will work until you implement it.

If you are serious about transforming your life and willing to put forth the effort, I can assist you to achieve your personal, professional and educational goals.

I only help people who help themselves! Hopefully, you will be one of the 100,000 people I will help this year.

I wish you much success in your endeavor to get a better job or to find a job. You have all that you need. You just have to figure out how to use it effectively.

Until next time!

Shawn "The Job Hunt Ninja" Nelson