Why Is It So Hard to Get A Job When Unemployment is so Low and Everybody Hiring?

iStockphoto.com |  artisteer

iStockphoto.com | artisteer

We’ve all heard about the great economy. Unemployment is at a very low 3.7%, and companies are rolling out the red carpet for quality talent. So why does it seem that it’s just as difficult as ever to find a job (Yes, Job Hunting is Really, Really, Hard)? The answer is simple – because it is.

People are still having a hard time being noticed, and breaking through the layers of obstacles that are posited between their resume and a person. What’s going on?

  • Let’s start with the worst news. Issues like ageism and discrimination don’t take a break because people are hiring. It doesn’t matter if there are several available jobs for each applicant, the invisible woe that affects so many job seekers will find a way to creep in.

  • Companies have invested time and resources into increasingly sophisticated recruitment technology (applicant tracking systems, or ATS’s) to find top talent. While this helps recruiters by using search engines and other tools to minimize the number of resumes they need to review, that means there’s less overall candidates being looked at. If anything, these digital gatekeepers have become even more complex and impenetrable.

  •  Hiring practices may not have adjusted to the new reality of the current job market. Some companies may still be in a “recession mindset,” and are not acting quickly on qualified candidates, or are looking to snag an exceptional individual for a rock-bottom salary. The best people will be hired by employers with a more nimble and current hiring philosophy.

  •  As companies invest more and more into automated systems, insufficient effort is put into the overall candidate experience. Companies that are consistently voted the best places to work are those with candidate-centric recruiting, interviewing, and onboarding processes. But unless a dictate to make the experience more candidate-friendly comes down from the top, it won’t happen.

  •  Not everyone’s job skills are current. You can’t successfully employ Y2K job searching techniques in 2019. There’s more automation, more stakeholders in the process, more cross-functional interviewing, jobs are all found online (versus in the newspaper), and an increased focus on soft skills. As hiring modes of thinking evolve, and technological obstacles such as ATS’s remain in place, it’s essential for today’ job seeker to understand the changes to the way the hiring process works, and adapt. Not to mention, more and more recruiting activity has migrated to LinkedIn – if you don’t have a great profile, you may not be found by employers.


Philip Roufail contributed to this article.

Scott Singer is the President and Founder of Insider Career Strategies Resume Writing & Career Coaching, a firm dedicated to guiding job seekers and companies through the job search and hiring process. Insider Career Strategies provides resume writing, LinkedIn profile development, career coaching services, and outplacement services, including a free resume review. You can email Scott Singer at scott.singer@insidercs.com, or via the website, www.insidercareerstrategies.com.