Article 43

 

Job Hunt

Monday, April 26, 2021

Down Skilling

image: jobs

I think it’s great if companies stop complaining that we’re TOO STUPID for the jobs out there, stop INSISTING ON DEGREES to apply for jobs pouring coffee, or insinuate that we’re LAZY BUMS that would rather starve than work.

It BEATS THE USUAL threats of outsourcing, offshoring, REPLACING AMERICAN WORKERS with robots or H1-B visas, or the lie we’ve been hearing for years about a SKILLS MISMATCH.

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Employers Eager to Hire Try a New Policy: No Experience Necessary
Inexperienced job applicants face better odds in the labor market as more companies drop work-history and degree requirements

By Kelsey Gee
Wall Street Journal
July 29, 2018

Americans looking to land a first job or break into a dream career face their best odds of success in years.

Employers say they are abandoning preferences for college degrees and specific skill sets to speed up hiring and broaden the pool of job candidates. Many companies added requirements to job postings after the recession, when millions were out of work and human-resources departments were stacked with resumes.

Across incomes and industries, the lower bar to getting hired is helping self-taught programmers attain software engineering roles at Intel Corp. INTC 0.63% and GitHub Inc., the coding platform, and improving the odds for high-school graduates who aspire to be branch managers at Bank of America Corp. BAC 1.20% and Terminix pest control.

“Candidates have so many options today, said Amy Glaser, senior vice president of Adecco Group, a staffing agency with about 10,000 company clients in search of employees. “If a company requires a degree, two rounds of interviews and a test for hard SKILLS, candidates can go down the street to another employer who will make them an offer that day.”

Ms. Glaser estimates one in four of the agency’s employer clients have made drastic changes to their recruiting process since the start of the year, such as skipping drug tests or criminal background checks, or removing preferences for a higher degree or high-school diploma.

Cutting job-credential requirements is more common in cities such as Dallas and Louisville, where unemployment is lowest, Ms. Glaser said, as well as in recruiting for roles at call centers and warehouses within logistics operations of retailers such as Walmart Inc. and Amazon.com Inc.

In the first half of 2018, the share of job postings requesting a college degree fell to 30% from 32% in 2017, according to an analysis by labor-market research firm Burning Glass Technologies of 15 million ads on websites such as Indeed and Craigslist. Minimum qualifications have been drifting lower since 2012, when companies sought college graduates for 34% of those positions.

Long work-history requirements have also relaxed: Only 23% of entry-level jobs now ask applicants for three or more years of experience, compared with 29% back in 2012, putting an additional 1.2 million jobs in closer reach of more applicants, Burning Glass data show. Through the end of last year, a further one million new jobs were opened up to candidates with no experience necessary,Ӕ making occupations such as e-commerce analyst, purchasing assistant and preschool teacher available to novices and those without a degree.

It all marks a sharp reversal from the immediate aftermath of the financial crisis, when employers could be pickier. Economists say job requirements were harder to track then, because many companies didn’t post positions publicly and many resums werent delivered electronically.

Now, recruiters say, the tightest job market in decades has left employers looking to tamp down hiring costs with three options: Offer more money upfront, lower their standards or retrain current staff in coding, procurement or other necessary skills.

Rodney Apple, president of SCM Talent Group LLC in Asheville, N.C., said if companies won’t budge on compensation, experience or education requirements, he walks away.

We tell them,"I’m sorry, but we can’t help you fish for the few underpaid or unaware applicants left out there,” he said. SCM finds workers for dozens of small and midsize companies seeking supply-chain managers and logistics and warehouse operators across the U.S. Mr. Apple said talent shortages are more extreme than he has seen in nearly 20 years of recruiting.

Average wages have climbed steadily in the past year, but rising prices of household goods have made those pay raises less valuable to workers, keeping pressure on employers to increase salaries or re-evaluate their target hire.

To attract more entry-level employees, toy maker Hasbro Inc. HAS -1.20% divided four marketing jobs, which it previously designed for business-school graduates with M.B.A.s, into eight lower-level positions. The new full-time roles included a marketing coordinator, retail-planning analyst and trade merchandiser, all involving more routine activities supporting higher-level staff in the division.

Hasbro hiring managers originally sought candidates with a two-year degree for the jobs but ultimately dropped any college requirement, a spokeswoman said. The Pawtucket, R.I. company received more than 100 applications and hired nine people.

The new shift, called down skilling, bolsters a theory articulated by Alicia Modestino, a Northeastern University economist: When more people are looking for work, companies can afford to inflate job requirements to find the best fitand did so as unemployment spiked in 2008.

As college graduates and midcareer professionals raised their hands for jobs as hotel managers and bookkeepers after the recession, hires with more qualifications took a larger share of positions normally filled by the 75 million U.S. workers who lack a college degree.

After the recession, Terminix raised the bar for over 1,000 pest-control branch- and service-manager positions to require a two-year degree or a bachelor’s degree. In January, it reversed course and made degrees “preferred” but not mandatory, said Betsy Vincent, senior director of talent acquisition.

Anthony Whitehead worked for five years as a Terminix branch manager in Florida before he was promoted to regional director in early July. That position now accepts candidates with college degrees or equivalent experience, helping Mr. Whitehead clinch the role despite his earlier decision to enter the military instead of college.

Mr. Whitehead, 35 years old, said his approach to jobs requiring a degree has been apply anyways if I have the right experience, and then have the education conversation “if I need to,” he said, acknowledging his luck in working for companies like Terminix with flexible requirements.

A lot of employers are loosening college requirements even as the proportion of Americans with a bachelors degree continues to rise. Bank of America Corp. currently has 7,500 job openings world-wide and fewer than 10% require a degree, said spokesman Andy Aldridge. Mr. Aldridge said a surprising number of jobs could be filled by nongraduates, including most of the bank’s tellers and employees handling customer-service and fraud-protection calls from cardholders.

In June, the bank unveiled plans to hire 10,000 more retail workers from low-income neighborhoods over the next five years, with or without degrees, said Chris Payton, head of talent acquisition.

Not every company is relaxing requirements: Economists say positions that require high levels of technical expertise, such as information security, still need advanced knowledge.

The tech industry has been quick to dismiss credentials like a bachelor of arts degree as irrelevant, especially in emerging fields such as data analytics, where demand for talent has risen faster than universities can churn out new graduates.

GitHub, recently acquired by Microsoft Corp., said it hasn’t required college degrees for most positions in years. Degrees are optional for many ‘experienced’ hire positions at chip maker Intel, which also has a ‘tech’ grad job category the company describes as fitting candidates with relevant classroom or work experience from technical programs, such as coding boot camps.

Intel’s career website advertises roles, including a lab employee testing experimental devices in Santa Clara, Calif., and a components researcher improving the semiconductor process in Hillsboro, Ore., as available to candidates with a two-year degree, military training or other nondegree certifications.

Write to Kelsey Gee at kelsey dot gee at wsj dot com

SOURCE

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Employers toss out degree requirements as college costs rise

By Stephanie Ruhle
MSNBC
April 26, 2021

The price tag on a college degree continues to rise, and more companies say the cost isn’t worth it to have a successful career. Stephanie Ruhle reports on employers’ recent moves to abandon degree requirements and even pay to train workers without college educations. Northeastern University Executive Professor of Educational Policy Sean Gallagher and Vice President of Grow with Google Lisa Gevelber join to discuss the shift.

SOURCE - VIDEO

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Grow With Google
Indeed
Updated April 26, 2021

GROW WITH GOOGLE offers classes online only. This school offers training in 2 qualifications, with the most reviewed qualifications being Google IT Support Professional and Google IT Support Professional Certification. Time to complete this education training ranges from 2 months to 2 months depending on the qualification, with a median time to complete of 1 year. The cost to attend Grow with Google is $49. When asked how they paid for their training, most reviewers responded, “I paid for it myself”.

The most commonly reported benefits of attending Grow with Google are “Flexible class hours” and “Affordable”, but respondents also mentioned “Good teachers” and “Helpful career services” as notable benefits. Grow with Google has been reviewed 2 times, with an average rating of 4 out of 5. 100% of reviewers would recommend Grow with Google to a friend.

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Posted by Elvis on 04/26/21 •
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Sunday, September 20, 2020

Part-Time Jobs For Older Workers

image: jobs

If you’re over 50 and looking for work, part-time jobs are a great solution. Learn about the options.

By Dan Woog
Monster contributor
May 2019

“Your company won’t always take care of you. So you’ve got to take care of yourself.” That sobering advice, from syndicated career advice columnist Jim Pawlak, is hitting home with an increasing number of men and women who were raised to believe that doing a job well translates into a lifetime of comfort but instead find that job security is rare. Unsurprisingly, jobs for older people - workers over 50 - are especially being sought out.

ACCORDING TO THE BUREAU OF LABOR STATISTICS, more than 40% of adults age 55 and older are either working or looking for work as of March 2019. And a report from United Income said that 20% of adults over age 65 are either working or looking for work as of February 2019, compared with 10% in 1985.

The good news is that older workers may have fewer financial obligations than younger colleagues. With children are out of college, and homes possibly paid for, older candidates have some flexibility in the jobs to consider.

For these men and women in search of the best jobs for seniors over 60 and for workers in their 50s, part-time jobs may be an answer, although it will probably mean taking a more junior position, because, as Pawlak notes, there are no part-time positions in management.

Part-time jobs for older people are more likely to be lower-level positions in industries like retail and health care. And even for these positions, older workers must still brush up on computer skills and evaluate whether they need to expand their skill sets. But with a bit of insight and creativity, older workers can land part-time jobs that provide stimulation and challengesand pay more than minimum wage. (Have a look at all the part-time jobs available on Monster.)

Flexibility can pay off

When looking into available opportunities in your 50s, and even when researching best jobs for seniors over 60, remember that all your experience has gifted you with some valuable transferable skills. You might find you have better luck finding work outside of your industry.

Steve Reilly spent three decades in INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY, but when work in that field dried up, he turned to real estate. He enrolled in the necessary courses, researched firms in his area, and sold himself as someone with both technical and organizational skills. “It’s different than getting paid for work every day,” he says. “But I love the challenge of helping people - not organizations - deal with problems.”

Michael, who asked that his last name not be used, had to dumb down his resume to get work in a Phoenix frame shop. Thirty years of hiring engineers and running MIS projects priced him out of similar work in a field flooded with younger, cheaper employees. So he turned to his earlier background as an artist, removed unrelated degrees from his resume, and landed a job.

Plenty of jobs for older people start out in a similar way and then grow over time. Michael’s hours vary, but he’s made himself valuable because he volunteers to work any shift. He’s earning less than he once did, but he’ll soon be a manager.

Dave Harrison and his wife, Marianne, were also looking for work. They weren’t laid off, but after retiring in their late 50s and moving to Florida, they wanted to work again. In their new community, they networked and asked everyone they met for advice. They applied for full-time positions. When granted interviews, they offered to work part-time to help prospective employers save money.

Eventually, Marianne got her job as an aide in an academic office that way. Dave’s job as an assistant in the office of a youth sports organization was advertised as part-time.

The key is that “we took jobs where the tasks were less than we could handle, and the pay was less than we hoped to earn,” says Dave. “We knew if we got our foot in the door, we would earn our way to more responsibility and more pay.” They set a target of one year to prove to their employers that they could do more than they were hired for and should be compensated accordingly.

They proved themselves indispensable. In less than a year, Marianne was managing logistics for a graduate MBA program while her husband became executive director of a 1,200-player program.

“No one would hire us part-time at a salary we deserved,” he says. “We had to prove our value during the first year, and swallow our pride about wages.”

Advice for older job seekers

Some of the best jobs for seniors over 60 and workers in their 50s may not be what you’re expecting right off the bat, but its important to cast a wide net and keep an open mind. Dave Harrison recommends a few strategies when seeking out jobs for older people:

· Examine all potential job opportunities, full-time and part-time.

· Consider less-than-desirable assignments.

· Go above and beyond what an employer expected.

· Give an employer enough time to appreciate your contributions before asking for more compensation.

Lastly, he stresses the importance of working in a nonbureaucratic environment. ”You want a place that is small enough so that one person’s efforts can be seen and acknowledged,” he says.

Could you use some help in the later years of your career? Join Monster for free today. As a member, you can upload up to five versions of your resume and cover letter - each tailored to the types of jobs that interest you. Recruiters search Monster every day looking to find people with the work ethic, experience, and skills for top jobs. Get found and get to work.

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Posted by Elvis on 09/20/20 •
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Thursday, August 20, 2020

Preying On The Job Seeker 19

Twice the past month on jobs I applied for - one at a good-old American telecommunications company, and the other a city government job - the self-identification page for race threw me for a double-take:

latino2.jpg alt:image job app ethnicity latino or other

The first drop-down box for ethnicity is either “Hispanic/Latino” or “Not Hispanic/Latino.”

latino1.jpg alt:image job app eeo drop-down

Being a red-blooded Caucasian/White American male, born, living and looking for work in the United States, I selected “Not Hispanic or Latino,” then “White,” and finished filling out the forms, which wound up being an utter waste of time.

I got “thanks but no thanks” denial emails minutes after applying, surprised at how fast that was. 

Maybe some MACHINE scanned the forms and found a field or two that automatically disqualified me.

Kinda makes one think that Latinos and Hispanics are the majority workforce, and/or preferred job candidates.

God help the WHITE WORKING MAN.

More Preying on the job seeker articles:

[1] - [2] - [3] - [4] - [5] - [6] - [7] - [8] - [9] - [10] - [11] - [12] - [13] - [14] - [15] - [16] - [17] - [18] - [19]

Posted by Elvis on 08/20/20 •
Section Job Hunt • Section Preying On The Job Seeker • Section Dying America • Section Workplace • Section Personal
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Monday, April 13, 2020

Preying On The Job Seeker 18

image: job application

While shopping for a new car a few years ago, the salesman asked for my name, address and phone number for his records.

No problem, I gave it to him.  All dealers do that, so they can call and hound you to death.
.

While signing up for credit monitoring on the internet after the OPM THING, I had to pick the right answer from some pop up that queried the credit bereaus - one of them being “Which of the four addresses below did you not live at the past ten years?”

Sounds like a great question to help prove you’re you.

.

Back to the car dealer.  I looked over the guy’s shoulder and seen he had a list of every address I ever lived at - for the past 30 years !

Then a bell in my head went off - whenever I shop for a new car, I give my name, phone and address to whoever the salesperson is, at whatever dealer I’m shopping at, in whatever city I’m living in - and just now realizing dealers likely share this information that can easily be used for fraud. 

.

Fast forward to today.

Ever fill out an internet job app for FEDEX ?

I just did, then abandoned it on the last page, because it wanted the addresses I lived at the past ten years, to maybe get hired.

There’s nothing on the form that says what they need that info for, and will or won’t do with it:

Residency History
Please enter all of your addresses for the last 10 years with a date range for each address.
You MUST begin with your CURRENT residence and work backwards.
Click “Add Another” to enter additional addresses.
Click “Next” when you are finished entering the addresses for the 10 year period.

Physical addresses only. No P.O. Boxes.
If you were homeless, please enter “homeless” into the address field and list the city and state you were homeless in.

Fedex Express requires the full 10 year period to be completed, BEGINNING with your CURRENT address.
Failure to provide the full 10 year period will result in your application not being considered.

So much for an exciting new career stacking boxes.

No way am I filling that thing out.

Especially with no conditions.

More Preying on the job seeker articles:

[1] - [2] - [3] - [4] - [5] - [6] - [7] - [8] - [9] - [10] - [11] - [12] - [13] - [14] - [15] - [16] - [17] - [18] - [19]

Posted by Elvis on 04/13/20 •
Section Job Hunt • Section Preying On The Job Seeker
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Wednesday, March 13, 2019

Not Even Robots Read Resumes

I Built A Bot To Apply To Thousands Of Jobs At Once - Here’s What I Learned

By Robert Coombs
Fast Company
March 23, 2017

As this job seeker’s “faith in the front-facing application process eroded into near oblivion,” a lower-tech strategy took its place.

I have a great job, and theres no rush to leave. As a director at a national nonprofit I’ve built some fantastic teams, but over the past year they’ve gotten so good at what they do that I’ve begun to wonder whether I’m still needed. So I started slowly casting about for new challenges, initially by applying (perhaps naively) to openings at well-known tech companies like Google, Slack, Facebook, and Squarespace.

Two things quickly became clear to me:

Im up against leaders in their field, so my resume doesnҒt always jump to the top of the pile.

Robots read every application.

The robots are “applicant tracking systems” (ATS), commonly used tools for sorting job applications. They automatically filter out candidates based on keywords, skills, former employers, years of experience, schools attended, and the like.

As soon as I realized I was going up against robots, I decided to turn the tables - and built my own.

How I Built A Job-Application Machine

I’m no engineer but I play with technology a lot. Ive been known to find ways to automate things (social media, data processing, web content, etc.) out of boredom or creativity or both. So I cobbled together a Rube Goldbergian contraption of crawlers, spreadsheets, and scripts to automate my job-application process, modestly referring to it as my “robot.”

My robot aggregated hiring managers contact information, then submitted customized emails with my resume and a personalized cover letter. Soon, I was imagining myself telling the story of how I’d turned my job search into a super-precise job firehose.

I tracked how many times my cover letter, resume, or LinkedIn profile was viewed. I also tracked email responses (including from autoresponders). It wasn’t a particularly elegant mechanism, but it was ruthlessly efficient. The first time I fired it up I accidentally applied to about 1,300 jobs in the Midwest during the time it took me to get a cup of coffee across the street. I live in New York City and had no plans to relocate, so I quickly shut it down until I could release a new version.

After several iterations and a few embarrassing hiccups, I settled on version 5.0, which applied to 538 jobs over about a three-month period.

Not Even Robots Read Resumes

To cut to the chase, it didn’t work. I’m still looking for the right gig - and it may not shock you to hear that my robotized approach hasn’t paid off.

But before you remind me that I did exactly what every career coach and recruiter tells jobseekers not to do, hear me out: I wasn’t just blasting the same content to every imaginable job listingfar from it. I tested different email subject lines, versions of my resume, and cover letters. I built my robot in order to adjust and optimize as many variables as possible when applying to each new job, just like an individual might, one application at a time.

But while I saw some variation in response, there wasn’t much. It seemed like nothing made a difference in actual human reads. One A/B test used a normal-looking cover letter and contrasted it with a letter that admits right in the second sentence that the email was being sent by a robot:

I thought this A/B test of my cover letter would have yielded significantly different responses. It didn’t.

Now, one of those letters should have performed either a lot better or a lot worse than the other. For my purposes, I didn’t care which; I just wanted to stand out from all the other applicants. But it didn’t seem to matter because, as far as I could tell from this experiment and others like it, nobody reads cover letters - not even other robots like ATS algorithms.

When they were opened, my robot-generated letters performed a little better, but just barely.

By targeting internet companies in particular, I’d chosen an industry with a high likelihood of reliance on resume-processing algorithms. And without the tech pedigree (and corresponding keywords) to sneak by those filters, I had a steep hill to climb, robot or no robot.

Friends were quick to point out the obvious reason that this approach wasn’t working. Most told me I had to know someone who would pass my resume along to a hiring manager. By trying to game that system, I inadvertently learned how powerful it really is. One 2014 study found that 30% - 50% of hires in the U.S. come from referrals, and referred candidates are over four times more likely to be hired than non-referrals.

According to one hiring consultants estimate, referrals lead to a whopping 85% of critical jobs being filled.

Referrals are the minority of applicants but are five times more likely to be hired.Data: Brown et al.

It’s Not Just A “Numbers Game” It’s Many Numbers Games

But even if companies give preference to employee referrals, they must be on the lookout for candidates with unique qualificationsor so I thought.

“‘Out-of-the-box‘“ hires rarely happen through LinkedIn applications. They happen when someone influential meets a really interesting person and says, Let’s create a position for you.”

I asked Scott Uhrig at Agile.Careers, a coaching program for high-tech executives, how a nontraditional candidate would fare in a fiercely competitive job market. He explained that “it’s easy to find candidates that fit cleanly within a mold.” Beyond that, though, recruiters are usually not very helpful; they are looking for candidates in the center of the “bullseye.” From his vantage point, recruiters don’t have time to search for something outside the norm.

Amy Segelin, president of the executive communications recruiting firm Chaloner, put it a different way: “Out-of-the-box hires rarely happen through LinkedIn applications. They happen when someone influential meets a really interesting person and says, Let’s create a position for you.’

So that was two strikes against the time-honored tradition of submitting a resume and crossing your fingers. But I wasnԒt just handing over a resume. I was handing over a lot of resumes. The law of large numbers suggests that something should get through the ATS and stand out, even next to candidates whose buddies bumped their resumes up to the top of the pile.

Uhrig explained that there was another numbers game at play, too. Roughly 80% of jobs are never posted - probably closer to 90% for more senior jobs, he told me. “The competition for posted jobs is insane. ATSes do a horrendous job of selecting the best candidates, and - perhaps most important - the best jobs are almost never posted.

Other recruiters I’ve spoken to since running my robo-experiments suggested that most positions on job boards were either posted by an HR person whos since changed jobs, or they have already been filled. (Or, in the case of a lot of tech companies, they’ve already decided to hire someone on an H1B visa but need to post the position to fulfill requirements.)

In short, it doesn’t matter if you submit two, three, or 10 times as many applications as the average candidate - they’re rarely going to work out in your favor, for factors beyond your (or your robot’s) control.

Less Applying, More Networking

So where has this left me, aside from somewhat disheartened? Well, for one thing, it leaves me a little bit wiser. As my faith in the front-facing application process eroded into near oblivion, I learned three lessons by robotically applying to thousands of jobs:

It’s not how you apply, it’s who you know. And if you don’t know someone, don’t bother.

Companies are trying to fill a position with minimal risk, not discover someone who breaks the mold.

The number of jobs you apply to has no correlation to whether you’ll be considered, and you won’t be considered for jobs you don’t get the chance to apply to.

Maybe I didn’t need an elaborate bot-driven scheme to find that out. And maybe, somewhere along the way, I became more interested in what the data says than in whether or not a robot could actually find me a job. But the project wasn’t entirely without success. Forty-three companies ultimately reached out for follow-up interviews, and I actually talked to about 20 of them. In virtually every case, though, the companies were on the smaller side (less than 50 staff) and not a single one had an ATS in place to filter resumes.

I’ve been transparent with almost all of the interviewers about my process, and while I worried it might be a real turnoff, they’ve all responded positively so far; I’ve even landed a few consulting gigs from it. But in the meantime, I’ve given up on applying for jobs the old-fashioned way - both manually and robotically. I’m now scaling back my nonprofit role to three days a week and taking some time to meet interesting people in person and see what I can learn from there. Eventually, I’m hoping, one of those interesting people is going to ask for my resume so they can put it on top of a pile somewhere.

Robert Coombs is a communications and web executive in Brooklyn, New York. His Instagram is definitely not run by a robot.

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Posted by Elvis on 03/13/19 •
Section Dealing with Layoff • Section Job Hunt
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