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It's a Buyer's Employment Market

This blog looks at an increasingly frequent obstacle faced by many job seekers.

You know the saying in real estate, "It's a Buyer’s Market"? Every time I write a resume for someone or discuss the employment environment, that statement pops into my mind only I’ve modified it to, “It’s a Buyer’s Employment Market”.

It's exasperating that qualified, eager job seekers practically have to stand on their heads to get anyone to notice them and their qualifications. An employer has the luxury of choosing a candidate that best meets the needs of his or her organization; that's a given.

Of course they want a highly qualified applicant who can do the job and fit into the company culture. Unfortunately some employers go a little bit further when trying to decide if an employee really wants the job and either intentionally or not, play head games.

Perhaps they may not call back after saying with certainty that they will, or maybe they’ll throw in an odd-ball question such as "If you were a color, a, bird, an animal or a movie star, what would you be?" I know, I know, some of those questions have merit but they don’t need to be used for every job opening.

I’m guessing that these “Buyers” don’t consider the underlying consequences of their actions; the desperation, fear, home foreclosure, depleted medications, family arguments, sleepless nights, and constant, encompassing worry. That’s not their problem. What they also don’t see is the first class ingenuity, budgeting, leadership, decision making and problem solving that goes on behind the scenes as an applicant tries to balance his or her life. These are areas that make a difference.

The Buyers Employment Market is eroding the confidence of a generation of job seekers. The skill sets are there but the dance to get the job is not for everyone. I suggest that these employers lighten up, learn how to interview properly and show some compassion because to use another expression, “You never know when the shoe will drop”.

This post is contributed by a community member. The views expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Patch Media Corporation. Everyone is welcome to submit a post to Patch. If you'd like to post a blog, go here to get started.

Debbie Meadows March 18, 2012 at 11:37 AM
Thank you for saying this.....I thought it was because of my age or my skills. I wasn't really sure because I never had a problem getting a job before.
Mattie March 18, 2012 at 01:04 PM
Ms Anderson, you hit on something very real, and very disturbing here. I have two grown, talented, smart and personable daughters who are currently working, but also looking for new jobs- for various reasons. The unprofessional manner in which some people schedule and conduct interviews, ask (frankly) stupid questions is amazing. Employers have this total sense of 'power' and entitlement now when it comes to hiring people. As you mentioned they also go way too far with head games and unnecessary criteria. You forgot to mention two very important hoops many of them make prospective employees jump through, lately: "The Time-Honored Beauty Test" (self explanatory) and the "Is He/She TOO Smart?" test. The last thing they really want is competition for THEIR position. They want a butt-kisser who will forever adore them and respect their authority... even if they are jerks.
Nancy Range Anderson March 18, 2012 at 04:57 PM
Mattie and Debbie, Thank you both for responding and you both hit it right on the head. It was hearing about the difficulties from friends and various clients that made me write this post. It is frustrating and can be a combination of all that you both have so beautifully stated; age, looks, too smart, salary, benefits....the list goes on. When I was in human resources I used to get into trouble because I used to ask. "What happened to the human part of HR?" In addition, many of the managers were not trained correctly on interviewing skills. Those managers were subject matter experts with little to no interest in interviewing. So, until the economic environment changes, there is very little anyone can do other than be prepared with measurable examples aligning how their past performance can help this particular company, study the website and various articles about the hiring company and be prepared with questions and statements about how their skill set can mesh with the company and its particular needs, etc. I know how you both feel, and it is frustrating and very unprofessional. Thanks again for writing. Nancy

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