Receive daily articles & headlines each day in your inbox with your free ERE Daily Subscription.

Not logged in. [log in or register]

Why You Can’t Get A Job … Recruiting Explained By the Numbers

by May 20, 2013, 5:03 am ET

Is your “six seconds of fame” enough to land you a job?

As a professor and a corporate recruiting strategist, I can tell you that very few applicants truly understand the corporate recruiting process. Most people looking for a job approach it with little factual knowledge. That is a huge mistake. A superior approach is to instead analyze it carefully, because data can help you understand why so many applicants simply can’t land a job. If you can bear with me for a few quick minutes, I can show you using numbers where the job-search “roadblocks” are and how that data-supported insight can help you easily double your chances of landing an interview and a job.

Your Resume Will Face a Lot of Competition

Although it varies with the company and the job, on average 250 resumes are received for each corporate job opening. Finding a position opening late can’t help your chances because the first resume is received within 200 seconds after a position is posted. If you post your resume online on a major job site like Monster so that a recruiter can find it, you are facing stiff competition because 427,000 other resumes are posted on Monster alone each and every week (BeHiring).

Understanding the Hiring “Funnel” can Help You Gauge Your Chances

In recruiting, we have what is known as a “hiring funnel” or yield model for every job which helps recruiting leaders understand how many total applications they need to generate in order to get a single hire. As an applicant, this funnel reveals your chances of success at each step of the hiring process. For the specific case of an online job posting, on average, 1,000 individuals will see a job post, 200 will begin the application process, 100 will complete the application, 75 of those 100 resumes will be screened out by either the ATS or a recruiter, 25 resumes will be seen by the hiring manager, 4 to 6 will be invited for an interview, 1 to 3 of them will be invited back for final interview, 1 will be offered that job and 80 percent of those receiving an offer will accept it (Talent Function Group LLC).

Six Seconds of Resume Review Means Recruiters Will See Very Little

When you ask individual recruiters directly, they report that they spend up to 5 minutes reviewing each individual resume. However, a recent research study from TheLadders that included the direct observation of the actions of corporate recruiters demonstrated that the boast of this extended review time is a huge exaggeration. You may be shocked to know that the average recruiter spends a mere 6 seconds reviewing a resume.

A similar study found the review time to be 5 - 7 seconds (BeHiring). Obviously six seconds only allows a recruiter to quickly scan (but not to read) a resume. We also know from observation that nearly 4 seconds of that 6-second scan is spent looking exclusively at four job areas, which are: 1) job titles, 2) companies you worked at, 3) start/end dates and 4) education. Like it or not, that narrow focus means that unless you make these four areas extremely easy for them to find within approximately four seconds, the odds are high that you will be instantly passed over. And finally be aware that whatever else that you have on your resume, the recruiter will have only the remaining approximately 2 seconds to find and be impressed with it. And finally, if you think the information in your cover letter will provide added support for your qualifications, you might be interested to know that a mere 17 percent of recruiters bother to read cover letters (BeHiring).

A Single Resume Error Can Instantly Disqualify You

A single resume error may prevent your resume from moving on. That is because 61 percent of recruiters will automatically dismiss a resume because it contains typos (Careerbuilder). In a similar light, 43 percent of hiring managers will disqualify a candidate from consideration because of spelling errors (Adecco). The use of an unprofessional email address will get a resume rejected 76 percent of the time (BeHiring). You should also be aware that prominently displaying dates that show that you are not currently employed may also get you prematurely rejected at many firms.

A Format That Is Not Scannable Can Cut Your Odds by 60 Percent

TheLadders’ research also showed that the format of the resume matters a great deal. Having a clear or professionally organized resume format that presents relevant information where recruiters expect it will improve the rating of a resume by recruiter by a whopping 60 percent, without any change to the content (a 6.2 versus a 3.9 usability rating for the less-professionally organized resume). And if you make that common mistake of putting your resume in a PDF format, you should realize that many ATS systems will simply not be able to scan and read any part of its content (meaning instant rejection).

Weak LinkedIn Profiles Can Also Hurt You

Because many recruiters and hiring managers use LinkedIn profiles either to verify or to supplement resume information, those profiles also impact your chances. Ey- tracking technology used by TheLadders revealed that recruiters spend an average of 19 percent of their time on your LinkedIn profile simply viewing your picture (so a professional picture may be worthwhile). The research also revealed that just like resumes, weak organization, and scannability within a LinkedIn profile negatively impacted the recruiter’s ability to “process the profile” (TheLadders).

50 Seconds Spent Means Many Apply for a Job They Are Not Qualified for

Recruiters report that over 50 percent of applicants for a typical job fail to meet the basic qualifications for that job (Wall Street Journal). Part of the reason for that high “not-qualified” rate is because when an individual is looking at a job opening, even though they report that they spend 10 minutes reviewing in detail each job which they thought was a “fit” for them, we now know that they spend an average of just 76 seconds (and as little as 50 seconds) reading and assessing a position description that they apply for (TheLadders). Most of that roughly 60-second job selection time reviewing the position description is actually spent reviewing the narrow introductory section of the description that only covers the job title, compensation, and location.

As a result of not actually spending the necessary time reviewing and side-by-side comparing the requirements to their own qualifications, job applicants end up applying for many jobs where they have no chance of being selected.

Be Aware That Even if Your Resume Fits the Job Posting, You May Still Be Rejected

To make matters worse, many of the corporate position descriptions that applicants are reading are poorly written or out of date when they are posted. So even if an applicant did spend the required time to fully read the job posting, they may still end up applying for a job that exists only on paper. So even though an applicant actually meets the written qualifications, they may be later rejected (without their knowledge) because after they applied, the hiring manager finally decided that they actually wanted a significantly different set of qualifications.

Making it Through a Keyword Search Requires a Customized Resume

The first preliminary resume screening step at most corporations is a computerized ATS system that scans submitted resumes for keywords that indicate that an applicant fits a particular job. I estimate more that 90 percent of candidates apply using their standard resume (without any customization). Unfortunately, this practice dramatically increases the odds that a resume will be instantly rejected because a resume that is not customized to the job will seldom include enough of the required “keywords” to qualify for the next step, a review by a human.

Even if you are lucky enough to have a live recruiter review your resume, because recruiters spend on average less than 2 seconds (of the total six-second review) looking for a keyword match, unless the words are strategically placed so that they can be easily spotted, a recruiter will also likely reject it for not meeting the keyword target.

No One Reads Resumes Housed in the Black hole Database

If you make the mistake of applying for a job that is not currently open, you are probably guaranteeing failure. This is because during most times, but especially during times of lean recruiting budgets, overburdened recruiters and hiring managers simply don’t have the time to visit the corporate resume database (for that reason, many call it the black hole). So realize that recruiters generally only have time to look at applicants who apply for a specific open job and who are then ranked highly by the ATS system.

Some Applicants Have Additional Disadvantages

Because four out of the five job-related factors that recruiters initially look for in a resume involve work experience, recent grads are at a decided disadvantage when applying for most jobs. Their lack of experience will also mean that their resume will likely rank low on the keyword count. To make matters worse, the average hiring manager begins with a negative view of college grads because a full 66 percent of hiring managers report that they view new college grads “as unprepared for the work place” (Adecco).

Race can also play a role in your success rate because research has shown that if you submit a resume with a “white sounding name,” you have a 50 percent higher chance of getting called for an initial interview than if you submit a resume with comparable credentials from an individual with a “black-sounding name” (M. Bertrand, University of Chicago Graduate School of Business).

Remember a Resume Only Gets You an Interview

Even with a perfect resume and a little luck, getting through the initial resume screen by the recruiter only guarantees that your resume will qualify for a more thorough review during what I call the “knockout round.” During this next stage of review, the recruiter will have more time to assess your resume for your accomplishments, your quantified results, your skills, and the tools you can use.

Unfortunately, the recruiter is usually looking for reasons to reject you, in order to avoid the criticism that will invariably come from the hiring manager if they find knockout factors in your resume. If no obvious knockout factors are found you can expect a telephone interview, and if you pass that, numerous in-person interviews (note: applicants can find the most common interview questions for a particular firm on

Even if You Do Everything Right, the Odds Can Be Less Than 1 Percent

Because of the many roadblocks, bottlenecks, and “knockout factors” that I have highlighted in this article, the overall odds of getting a job at a “best-place-to-work” firm can often be measured in single digits. For example, Deloitte, a top firm in the accounting field, actually brags that it only hires 3.5 percent of its applicants. Google, the firm with a No. 1 employer brand, gets well over 1 million applicants per year, which means that even during its robust hiring periods when it hires 4,000 people a year, your odds of getting hired are an amazingly low 4/10 of 1 percent. Those unfortunately are painfully low “lotto type odds.”

Up to 50 Percent of Recruiting Efforts Result in Failure

In case you’re curious, even with all the time, resources, and dollars invested in corporate recruiting processes, still between 30 percent and 50 percent of all recruiting efforts are classified by corporations as a failure. Failure is defined as when an offer was rejected or when the new hire quit or had to be terminated within the first year ( Applicants should also note that 50 percent of all new hires later regret their decision to accept the job (Recruiting Roundtable).

Final Thoughts

Unfortunately, much of what is written about “the perfect resume” and the ideal job search approach is based on “old wives’ tales” and is simply wrong. However, when I review the numbers that are available to me from internal company recruiting data and publicly through research done by industry-leading firms like TheLadders, Adecco, BeHiring,, and Careerbuilder, it doesn’t take long to realize that the real job search process differs significantly from the ideal one.

Rather than leaving things to chance, my advice both to the applicant and to the corporate recruiting leader is to approach the job search process in a much more scientific way. For the applicant that means start by thoroughly reading the position description and making a list of the required keywords that both the ATS and the recruiter will need to see.

Next submit a customized resume that is in a scannable format that ensures that the key factors that recruiters need to see initially (job titles, company names, education, dates, keywords, etc.) are both powerful and easy to find during a quick six-second scan. But next comes the most important step: to literally “pretest” both your resume and your LinkedIn profile several times with a recruiter or HR professional. Pretesting makes sure that anyone who scans them for six seconds will be able to actually find each of the key points that recruiters need to find.

My final bit of advice is something that only insiders know. And that is to become an employee referral (the highest volume way to get hired). Because one of the firm’s own employees recommended you and also because the recruiter knows that they will likely have to provide feedback to that employee when they later inquire as to “why their referral was rejected,” résumés from referrals are reviewed much more closely.

I hope that by presenting these 35+ powerful recruiting-related numbers I have improved your understanding of the recruiting process and the roadblocks that you need to steer around in order to dramatically improve your odds of getting a great job.

This article is provided for informational purposes only and is not intended to offer specific legal advice. You should consult your legal counsel regarding any threatened or pending litigation.

  • lonnie93041

    “Applicants should also note that 50 percent of all new hires later regret their decision to accept the job.” Most places big or small are nightmares to work for no matter what the pay is. Of all the jobs I had only two gave any recognition whatsoever for my efforts: the Navy and a Yamaha dealership in NM.

    My solution? I started my own business. I’d rather starve on my own terms than work for some selfish, unfair, greedy, stupid, insensitive, ungrateful boss ever again. At 57 I’ve had more than enough abuse. I will die in shame for the s@@tty situation my generation left you with by allowing the rotten to the core system to continue unchecked. Please have mercy and don’t violate my grave although I would if I were you.

  • Mark

    I have found that many (most) recruiters do not understand the specifics of the job too. They are reading the job description and being far too literal. It’s almost like a job ad will state that they are looking for someone with experience driving a white pick-up truck, but because I have only ever driven a red one I could not possibly do the job. Very insane hiring practices these days. Perhaps that’s why the turn-over rate for recruiters is so high.

    I was in touch with an engineer in Scotland looking for work last year. He told me a story of a German recruiting firm looking to fill an engineering opportunity for a company there. He mentioned that they went through 25,000 applicants in a year and could not find one person who met the requirements. That is total BS and pretty well sums up how recruiting is done by clueless recruiters. That job should have been easily filled with only 100 applicants. If 25,000 people apply and no candidate is found, then there is something seriously wrong with how recruiters are interpreting skill-sets and professional experience.

  • Chris Reich

    Agreed, the traditional hiring process is broken. However, there is a smarter way to find a job. More than 50% of available positions aren’t posted. By strategically connecting job seekers directly with hiring managers you can avoid all of this nonsense. Find out more at

  • Manchershaw Engineer

    I understand your frustration, but in the last case if they state an educational requirement or certification and you don’t have it, then you are not qualified for the position. There’s a difference between being able to do something and being qualified. There are going to be qualified individuals applying for the position, it makes sense that you were eliminated off the bat.

  • Focus Blue

    Job hunting is a total crap shoot. You’d have better odds winning a few coins at a slot machine. But this kind of scrutiny proves that employers are more interested in how many resumes they can process than they can fill positions.

  • Dirtbag359 .

    You’re right in terms of the fact that companies usually list educational and experience requirements. However it’s been frequently shown that a lot of the experience requirements on these job postings are unrealistic.

    One of the most frequently cited examples is this one from Peter Cappelli:

    “One manager told me that in his company 25,000 applicants had applied for a standard engineering job, yet none were rated as qualified. How could that be? Just put in enough of these yes/no requirements and it becomes mathematically unlikely that anyone will get through.”

    To add insult to injury many people have had experiences where they were told they were overqualified for positions in spite of rigorous experience requirements for.

    On the more humorous side you have example like companies asking for 5 years of HTML 5 experience back in 2011 or 15 years of cloud computing experience. In short a lot of companies don’t seem willing to develop talent anymore than have the audacity to complain when they can’t find anyone.

  • Manchershaw Engineer

    A company’s willingness to train to hire might have more to do with their current circumstances than anything. If you need someone certified to do something particular and don’t have the means to do it, it wouldn’t make sense to hire someone just to hire someone.

    As someone who creates listings, every requirement is there for a reason. If I need to hire someone with a lot of HTML 5 experience, then that’s why it’s there. It isn’t negotiable. If I’m not getting the right candidates, then my next step is to make the job more desirable. It’s not to hire someone unqualified.

  • Dirtbag359 .

    I think you might have misread the point. The example cited with HTML 5 was written at a time when HTML 5 wasn’t out yet (technically it was released for the first time 3 days ago). 2011 post asking for 5 years experience with a technology that was not released until 3 days ago in 2014 and had only been given a rough proposal in early 2008 (making 3 years the max amount of experience which only a handful of people would possess if that).

    It would be similar to putting out an ad today looking for mechanics with 5 years experience working on 2017 BMW’s.

    Overall it points to how companies are essentially looking for ‘unicorns’ and if they want anything resembling some of the more ridiculous job postings they’ve made they’d be well served to take a candidate capable of learning and providing training.

  • Sue

    Bloody hell this was depressing reading. Enough to put anyone off even trying.

  • Sue

    I prefer a more positive approach. Focus on what you can influence and forget about the odds – what differnce does it make knowing you’re up against it – you can only do the right things to perform your best. Self esteem is vital to the job of selling yourself to an employer, so why look at from a pespective that could make you feel small and insignificant.

  • Pingback: Hiring a Professional Resume Writer … Industry Secrets From a Resume Writing Insider! » Cold Collar

  • Pingback: Six Secrets to Effective Job Hunting - Primer

  • Pingback: Resume Tips: When Your Resume Isn't Working for You | Jobscan Blog

  • Pingback: 10 Things Smart PhDs Do NOT Put On Their Industry Résumés | cheekyscientist

  • Pingback: Choosing the Most Effective Resume Format: Chronological, Functional, or Combined | All About Writing

  • Pingback: The Top 10 Hiring Trends of 2014 | VoiceGlance

  • Pingback: Bakersfield Job Matches |

  • Pingback: Common Signs Your Resume Isn’t Working for You | The Savvy Intern by YouTern

  • Pingback: Networking to find a job? Focus on being generous

  • Pingback: The Pros and Cons of Relying on a Recruiter for Your Job Search | JobBrander

  • mcm69

    I returned to college after being laid off in 2011; got a B.A. in Psychology, have 25 years customer service/ sales experience, 45-year-old female. I’m self-employed (e-commerce while in college up to now) and put that on my resume so I didn’t appear unemployed. Otherwise it would have shown a 3-year gap in employment (while I was in school full-time). It could hurt me, it could help me, who the heck knows, and I don’t
    really care, I DID and DO work, it counts to me. I’ve plaid around with my resume so much, it’s ridiculous. I feel like the keyword master. I’ve applied to about 45 jobs online within a one month period, got 3 interviews (after reading this article, I actually feel lucky…), one may actually pan out to something….checking my references, background check, drug test, etc. and it looks very hopeful after a great interview, but I keep applying until I have an actual offer on the table. I try not to go insane in the meantime. I look at it as a numbers game, but I also pay meticulous attention to my public profiles, such as great pics/ good info on LinkedIn, Monster, Facebook, etc. I feel everyone’s pain trying to reenter the job market, it can be so discouraging. While I don’t dispute them, I can’t sit here and just believe these “stats”, that I’m too old, too this, too that…..I am creating my own stats, and with a little finesse, hope to beat this ridiculous and seemingly ineffective recruiting system.

  • BPD

    Age discrimination is HUGE and RAMPANT in the hiring process. To deny it is to be delusional.

  • Marty Garozzo

    There is no Rhyme or reason to the hiring process . There is no personal connection,no one knows your face ,your family, your work ethics or your experience. Your one of a thousand applicants,one of a thousand resumes, no one knows you as a person and if you are an older applicant with experience you are automatically sent into cyberspace black hole never to be given a chance for that job, even though it is supposedly illegal to discriminate against seniors . It is a very impersonal and frustrating time to find a job these days. Things really do need to change for everyone

  • Marty Garozzo

    Thank you totally agree

  • Marvin Blok

    Interesting to read that the recruitment process is only a matter of seconds. Means that a recruiter makes a decision for a go or a no go within 10 seconds. I understand the issue that recruiters receives a large volume of resumes and the available time that the recruiter has is very short. Your resume is your business card of your own enterprise and it is quite interesting because commercial and public organisations are now more looking for staff with soft skills and these soft skills you can’t read it from a Resume. I think that is one of the biggest problems at this moment with applying for jobs online and that Recruitment companies has a program that screens or matching the resume with the job vacancy and I do not think that is the best way because recruitment process is still a people business.

  • Lilgirl

    Excellent response. Ageism is alive and well.

  • Lilgirl

    Appreciate your response.Transferable skills are a non starter for HR today. Turning ones back on this concept has HR skipping over attributes like loyalty, maturity, street smarts, and calmness in the face of panic. These are all learned in due time (read: older worker) but are not valued by HR today.

  • Lilgirl

    Boy, does your last statement ring a bell.

  • Lilgirl

    actually, I have never seen it denied. No one would dare…

  • Lilgirl

    I heard something somewhere that said, if you owned a company, they kick out your resume because you supposedly can not learn to do it someone else’s way. This, of course, is without ever speaking with you. I think they will say or do anything to eliminate resumes because they don’t have any other good reasons to eliminate 250 or 500 of them. I even read an article that said some hiring managers are going back to SAT scores. if that isn’t an absurd and ridiculous, I don’t know what is.

  • Lilgirl

    To that end, just what can you influence? People like to know the odds because in a small way it tells them that it is not their fault and they are not crazy. This is a small contribution to the complete confusion you are left with when you have a masters degree and can check off experience and achievements in each of their requirements. Not even a phone call? Good luck finding out why.

  • Ashley

    So in summary… We’re all just set up to fail and never get a job!!!!!!!!!

  • Mike O’Horo

    IMO, the article’s stats are accurate. Applying for predefined jobs is insane, as the author has convincingly illustrated. So, if the odds are stacked against you in this way, why do you subject yourself to this mechanism?

    Instead, I encourage you to view this as a marketing and sales problem. Through that lens, why would you ever tolerate any contact whatsoever with HR or Recruiting? If you’re talking to them, you’ve already lost. They have no demand for you (marketing) and can’t buy you (sales). By definition, that’s a waste of time. Sales people know that you never, ever waste time with people who can’t buy.

    You’re the product. What do you have to sell, and who would logically need to buy it? What problem can you solve? In which industry would you likely find a frequent occurrence of that problem? Within that industry, where is the logical sweet spot, i.e., companies big enough to need you and afford you, but not so big that it’s impossible to get access to the person experiencing the problem? Within those companies, who likely lives with your problem every day, and is therefore motivated to be creative in solving it?

    Where do such people congregate, physically or virtually? Are there local “watering holes” where they hang out, or conferences you might attend to meet them?

    In any space, there are blogs or other forums where the industry conversation about your problem is robust, and where you can participate, learn about the industry, contribute to the conversation, make an impression, and get to know people, any of whom may seek your solution or know someone who does. This is called “product sampling,” and it’s the oldest and most effective marketing tool ever devised. You’re letting them sample your thinking, and how you interact. Some of them will conclude that you’ve got something to offer.

    If you persist in participating in a resume-based game that’s completely rigged against you, you’re a fool, and will have only yourself to blame for your frustration and anxiety.

    Quit being passive, waiting for someone else to do all your work for you, i.e., to define, and make available with a simple document upload, a job you want. If a mouse click is the limit of what you’re willing to do, most people would conclude that you’re not as serious about getting ahead as you delude yourself to be.

    Create your own job by demonstrating relevance in the right conversations. Some of those who perceive you as relevant will give you a chance to be useful. If your usefulness conveys business impact, you’ll be seen as valuable. Isn’t that what you’re hoping someone will take from your resume, that you’re relevant, useful and valuable?

    Take control and give yourself a chance to win.

  • John Ferris

    I think you are 100% correct. Recruiters are not even qualified in the position they are hiring for. When did positions rely so much on recruiter hiring anyway? When I came out with my M.A. in 2005 my applications went to the head of the department of wherever I was looking for a position. Today you can’t even find their email to send to. Recruiters are not qualified to hire in any industry – they are HR people who should be working on benefits and labor policy – not hiring (except at the back end once hired).

  • Joseph Em

    Oh hogwash…employment is about people, and the shift toward automation and inexperience “recruiters” to select candidates is just plain laziness and takes the “people” part out of it. Try having someone that’s actually done the job READ the resumes. A 22 year-old corporate drone is not the best choice for candidate selection.

  • Dustymack

    Don’t forget that you have to answer questions that don’t even pertain to the job. like “where do you see yourself in five years”. Or “why do you want this job”.

  • ua2

    And this is why after two grad degrees from top 25 schools in semi-quantitative subjects, I’m still unemployed after 5 years – with some volunteer experiences sprinkled in the interim.
    My 20′s have been an utter disaster, and as I just turned 30, things aren’t looking up either.
    I literally don’t know how anyone gets a job anymore besides being offered one during college or grad school.
    And yes, I was offered a job in grad school on a great career track but it was in 2010 and was rescinded due to the economy.
    any call back I ever get is pure luck after just spending hours every day throwing apps and feeling the masochistic pain of rejection which has completely numbed me emotionally to anything else.

  • Mike O’Horo

    IMO, the issue is “credentialism,” which is intellectually lazy. “Oh, she went to Stanford; she must be good.” Or, “No degree? Must not be qualified.” My research into hiring bias has shown that most biases are subconscious, which means the holder of them isn’t aware of them and can’t do anything about them, so they produce false positives and false negatives.

    Google’s SVP of People Ops, Laszlo Bock, is on record saying that “Too many companies rely on clumsy software products that sort and filter resumes based on keywords. And too many recruiters do the same thing, looking for fancy schools or company names instead of at what you actually did. I haven’t seen anything to suggest that resumes predict performance. Resumes are a very poor information source. Work sample tests are actually the best predictor of performance…”

    In the book, “The Rare Find,” you see how those with what are called “jagged resumes,” i.e., a few too many jobs, or gaps in employment, are often future stars who simply haven’t found the right situation yet.

    Here’s are two recent, concrete examples.

    1) The CEO of our startup (we build software that lets companies publish “Tryouts,” which are requests for specific work samples) met with an HR executive who had been described as a progressive thinker. After the product demo, the HR guy complimented our UI/UX. Our CEO thanked him for the compliment, explaining that he was the designer, and pointed out that if he applied to this company he wouldn’t be considered because nothing on his resume said, “Product Manager” or “UI/UX Designer.” The HR guy got it immediately.

    2) After hiring an engineer through a Tryout he published, the Director sent us an email saying “Because we were able to see what he could do, we moved to an interview and then to an offer. Seeing his resume later, I realized that we would never have considered this guy based on his resume alone. It didn’t look like he had enough experience. I’m glad the Tryout kept us from missing out on a good team member.”

    Five years of experience doesn’t mean you can definitely do the job, and one year doesn’t mean you definitely can’t. Neither are useful data.

    making a hire ne of our early beta customers sent us an email

    Credentials mean nothing. Whether or not you can do the job is the only thing that counts.

  • Mark

    WJ: Totally agree. I used to get contract work all the time (prior to 2014). However, after 2013 it all stopped, and the only thing I can think of is because the recruiting business has a HUGE turnover rate; hence, they are constantly hiring new people who know extremely little about the specific requirements that make people good candidates. I am continually astounded when I talk to these recruiters as very few of them have even a basic understanding of my skills, expertise, background, education, training, and of course work experience. They only speak to the client/employer once, and the rest is them trying to interpret a job description, which of course they don’t really understand anyway; hence, they are perpetually submitting all the wrong people for various jobs (usually just friends and colleagues), and then they get fired for not producing enough….and the cycle continues :-).

  • Mark

    I answered that “where do you see yourself in 5 years” question incorrectly once :-). I said that I see myself in the same business but as a manager (rather than the technologist of the job to which I was applying)….not realizing that the two people who were interviewing me were indeed the managers LOL.

  • Mark

    This is so true, especially for government positions. They follow a very strict formula, and pretty well need a minimum of 10 applications, and then interview at least 4 people for every advertised position (which is also very expensive). However, because many governments are unionized they cannot hire people from the outside because they are not in the union and don’t have seniority. If they do hire someone who is more qualified from the outside the position will simply be grieved by the union and all is for not. So governments, almost as a rule, will never hire you into a role that requires experience and expertise. In Canada you will need to apply for the very bottom (of the proverbial totem pole) type job to get in, and then start to work yourself up over the next 20-30 years….and if you already have 10 or so years of experience, who will want to take a job like that and have less seniority (or say) than someone with 1-2 years of experience in the exact same role?

  • Alf Delli Fiori

    Dr John Sullivan , the article was very informative, and even through all the recruiting process there’s the Psychometric Testing, and police checks to contend with, it would be interesting to understand the benefit of of the screening process of Psychometric Testing during the pre employment stage and the Knockout rate of the acceptable candidates.

  • CreativeScience

    US employers can get a better deal on labor in Asia, there is no incentive for US employers to hire Americans who cost much more to employ than people in Asia.

    Both the USA and Asia have a superior education system and a huge body of highly skilled people. So both regions of the world have the qualified candidates all employers are looking for. But in Asia, it costs 90% less than it does in the US.

    Plus the US Government imposes a 45% corporate income tax on large US corporations when in Asia the corporate income tax on large corporations is no more than 10%. What US corporations make in Asia using cheap labor they can import and sell into the West at retail price. This results in huge profits at low tax rates for US corporations that outsource, refusing to hire Americans and only hire employees in Asia.
    Add to this the NAFTA “free trade zone” imposed upon the USA in 1994, and this eliminates the Import Tax on foreign made goods imported into the USA.

    The only reason US corporations actually advertise job postings IN the USA is so that they can attract cheap H1B Visa immigrants for hire. The law states that US employers must advertise to the American public first before they can hire cheap H1B Visa immigrants not protected by the US Department of Labor.

    All the fake job interviews US employers give to Americans (US Citizens) is just a scam to look good to the authorities. In reality, US employers hate to hire US Citizens because it will cost them too much money due to the laws required by the US Department of Labor regarding the hiring of US Citizens.

    The only US Citizens that are hired in the attempts to DUMB THE USA DOWN and make it into a consumer nation are senior citizens, women, union members, government employees, illegal immigrants and entitlement parasites.

    All the highly qualified and experienced technical professionals that happened to be American (US Born Citizens) are not wanted in the USA. It is no surprise that online (Internet) self-employment and going into business for yourself as a contractor are becoming a new norm in the USA.

    Skilled technical professionals in the USA are learning to create their own jobs by creating their own line of products/services and marketing them worldwide through the Internet. Transactions can be handled from bank to bank through E-Commerce and products can be shipped via the postage system. Any information consulting services can simply be downloaded or sent via E-Book online.

    This is the real reason why there aren’t very many jobs in the USA. Employers can get a better deal on production through foreign outsourcing, automation and hiring contractors than they can with hiring direct employees.

  • Donald C

    Just about what one would expect in todays world. The young are great at using YELP vs a conversation as to where to eat. or how to have a conversation vs posting your thoughts in a text. Yep, alive and well is the No experience, but educated (u get the job) because you will work for peanuts, have no speeding tickets and your credit is perfect because you have none…. Buy a house, get ripped off, credit goes bad and you lose the computer sweepstakes…
    One reason I am glad I am in the Engineering, electrical field. At one time it was highly packed with people, no more. It takes work, practice, continued hands on education to do my work and you cant google the answer to why a contactor works sometimes and not others… No it isn’t a ghost !
    Sad to…. Age can hurt.. I don’t think it is so much that as you get older you slow a little. You do end up working much smarter (climbing down the ladder vs jumping off the platform)… But, in the background, someone is stating, their older and use more medical, thus our insurance is going up. Going to be a lot of lawsuits from this soon as sooner or later a computer software is going to get busted blocking out the older folks…