Thursday, November 05, 2009

High paying jobs going unfilled in the recession?

In a story titled Despite millions of job seekers, many positions sit open, Jessica Dickler wrote that more than half of employers responded in a recent survey that "quality of candidates" or "availability of candidates" are their greatest challenges.

She gives a specific example. At wireless leasing firm, Unison Site, a position for director of lead generation, which pays $90,000-$140,000, has been open for three months, with no candidates in sight. (...) "With the job market the way it is, we should be able to recruit really good people and it hasn't worked quite as well as we wanted," said Joe Songer, co-founder and chief financial officer. "My problem is when I put an ad out I just get bombarded with people that aren't qualified."

Without disputing the truth of the proposition that many employers are being bombarded with resumes from unqualified applicants, IPBiz notes that this is not the entirety of the story. In an earlier IPBiz post titled
Who gets fired first, older or younger people?
, IPBiz recounted some of the facts behind 87-INA-615, a situation wherein a potential employer was receiving resumes from totally qualified candidates and labeling the candidates as unqualified. There is even a patent angle to the story, because the employer, who was targeting the hiring of a foreign national, asserted as qualifications for patents, assets which the foreign national did not, in fact, have, tho this point was entirely unexplored by the Board of Alien Labor Certification Appeals. The one ALJ who clearly understood the bogus nature of the "qualifications" argument was George A. Fath. The Board did cite to the case In the matter of Warren Moeller Drywall, 87-INA-645.

[See also On Gold-Plating Patents : In that particular case, a large U.S. corporation had terminated 50% of its scientists in its basic research laboratory, but denied several of them the opportunity to compete with a foreign worker for a single position in one of its applied laboratories.]

A flip side to the bogus qualification story is a situation wherein the employer explicitly seeks qualifications, but ultimately bases a hiring decision on something OTHER than the qualifications. A certain well known company (with major offices in California and in Oregon) solicited a position for patent attorney, with the requirement that the attorney possess a J.D. from a "top ten" law school. Approximately ten candidates, meeting that requirement, were interviewed. None were found qualified for the job, and the job was given to an employee of the company, who did not have a degree from a "top ten" law school.

Elsewhere in the Dickler article, one has the text:

"Eighty percent of jobs are being obtained on personal referrals so candidates that are spending the bulk of their time sending their resume out blindly are not being the most fruitful," said Carolyn Thompson, president of CMCS, a boutique staffing firm near Washington, D.C.

While IPBiz does not dispute the truth of the "personal referral" comment, IPBiz notes that employers who rely on only a tedious person-to-person network and don't work through internet-based applications may have only themselves to blame for a superficial conclusion of "no qualified candidates."


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