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Thursday, December 3, 2009

Why are there so many open jobs? Recruiter Job Summit 2009?

Today the White House is holding it's Job Summit. Rather than wait for the government I want to hold an online Recruiter Job Summit. First, I don't want this post to be a pity party. I want to gain and share true insight and real solutions on how to Fight Unemployment.

I've worked as an agency recruiter for the past 12 years and own a small staffing firm in Orange County, CA. Like a lot of Americans I spend hours online viewing open jobs on company website. While my goal is to try and build new client relationships I feel a lot of people have come to the same conclusion as me. Why are there so many open jobs? According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics Job Openings and Labor Turnover Survey (JOLTS) Survey on the last business day of September, 2009 in the United States there are 2.5 Million job openings (

This morning I spent an hour on I plugged in the skill set of a candidate I am representing trying to locate open positions for her which may be a good fit. After reviewing at least 10 open positions in her area I am scratching my head as to why she is still unemployed. She has 10+ years of relevant industry experience, great communication/presentation skills and an advanced degree. What's the problem? Are companies simply NOT HIRING?

Most jobs on company websites have a "when open" date. I've noticed these dates vary from 1 day to 8 months. With 10%+ unemployment how can a job be open for 8 months? I've also spoken with companies who say, "We really need your help, this jobs been open for 6 months and we can't seem to find the right person". What does this really mean?

Are companies simply posting jobs, collecting resumes and interviewing candidates as an illusion? Are they waiting for times to get better and than will contact previously interviewed candidates and see if they are still available? Are they waiting for the "perfect candidate" to magically appear?

What can we do?

First, there is no perfect candidate and they will leave after 3 years just like every other employee.

Companies need to focus on the positive. Find reasons TO hire someone versus reasons NOT to hire someone? After all, a potential employee should be challenged in a new job versus know everything.

Employers need to focus on the value an employee brings versus the costs.

Can the government help? The rhetoric in the whole stimulus package has changed from job creation to job retention. Can the government help companies by giving them tax breaks if they actually hire new employees? After all, there is still profit for the government if an unemployed individual gets a job versus lives on the dole.

Are their resumes not well written and they need to go to to Rev Up their resume (shameless plug)?

Your thoughts?


  1. This: there is no perfect candidate and they will leave after 3 years just like every other employee.

    I read job description after job description in which the company wants you to have had extensive experience doing exactly what you'll be doing in the position in question. There is no willingness to provide on-the-job training. And no one who's had three years of experience as a Program Assistant wants to apply to be a Program Assistant again; they want to move up.

    Additionally, and this may be pronounced because I'm looking in the non-profit sector, I find that employers are very, very concerned about my commitment to xyz field. They want to examine every club I was or wasn't in in college, every internship I did or didn't take, every activity I do or don't pursue, and see whether they prove that I'm really interested in them as a company and not just looking for any job. I guess they're worried that in this economy, people are just applying for anything and "will leave after three years."

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