Why easy to fill jobs are going unfilled
I cannot emphasize how ridiculous the jobs market is currently. And I don’t mean in a good way either. For example, under pre-pandemic circumstances if I advertised a role for a Customer Service Advisor, not our normal remit but typically the easiest to fill job I can think of, I’d be bombarded by 250 applicants. Yet in 10 days and 3 adverts later for a Customer Service Advisor role in the middle of Bristol paying £3.5k above the market rate, I’ve had 13 applicants so far. Yes 13, you heard that right.
Now you might think well only 1 person will get the job so whether it’s 250 or 13 as long as the right person applies then all good right? Maybe, but that is definitely not the case. Visa’s for PHD graduates from 5000 miles away don’t tend to be issued for sub £20,000 Customer Service Advisor roles.
What’s going on?
The Pandemic, Brexit, Furlough, the PINGdemic, Working from Home, the oversubscription to University education and every company under the sun looking to hire all at the same time have produced a ludicrous cocktail of a distasteful employment market.
On the one hand the so called “hollier than thou” employees are very much of the “Those corporate giant bullies had it coming” mentality. And on the other the Corporates are of the “What can we do to be seen as more appealing to work for than the next company”. The problem with this, and no offence intended, is that employees with average skillsets, mediocre qualifications and generic experience have developed exaggerated values of their worth to the employment market.
And employers, so desperate for talent, are bending over backwards for people who are plain average and yet who display little loyalty to them and often jump ship again before they deliver a return on investment.
Is this just to do with the Pandemic?
The pandemic accelerated issues already in place. Most of the issues we have, have been simmering in the background and growing over time. 50% of people leaving school now go to University despite the fact that there simply isn’t the demand for that volume of qualified people in oversubscribed subjects. Social Media has influenced people to seek a certain lifestyle which isn’t sustainable or realistic for most. Brexit, the Pandemic and Furlough have combined to drive the people who would take certain jobs nobody else now wanted back abroad. And technology has given people the belief that they can pursue careers and businesses working from home.
68 million people
At the last count 68 million people lived in this country. Yet all bar 4 of my applicants so far for the earlier described customer service advisor job aren’t even in the UK. So are people just not applying for jobs anymore? Maybe I should go out to them rather than wait for them to apply?
Well not quite. Firstly I had a Graduate Engineer role and 250 people applied in 1 week. I filled it in 3 days. Plus we advertise and search so cover both bases anyway. The problem is that there is an acute and dangerous imbalance in what people are prepared to do for employment. Increasingly people will only accept or consider one type of career role they want. And the issue is that so do the other 10,000 people they’re up against. Without foreign workers it does appear that the majority of UK workers would rather rely on family or other financial support than compromise and take something realistic.
Us and Them
The other problem is the distrust many have for employers and companies. Yes, some companies are bullies and have taken unfair advantage of people in the past. But most employers are reasonable and decent enough. There is an increasing theme that there is an Us and Them culture whether deserving or not.
The current situation of the employment market is that seemingly every company is looking. The majority of jobs don’t actually require unrealistic skills. Yet a concerningly large proportion of the eligible candidate market simply won’t consider any compromise on what they’ll consider.
You have way too many qualified people with mountains of debt and unrealistic expectations from the oversubscription to University. Companies that already had chronic skills shortages before the Pandemic are now brought to their knees. House Prices are so unsustainably high that unless you go for a high paying job it’s beyond your reach. Companies that are having to bend to the whim of average employees wants just to retain them. And a landscape so technology influenced that for as many problems as it’s solved, it’s caused just as many inadvertently.
Did I miss anything?