An old friend of mine, who isnt originally from Hartlepool but lives in the town, has been hunting locally for a job now for a year with no real success. Hes got loads of experience of IT, management, warehousing, all aspects of office work, is computer literate, qualified to A level standard and genuinely wants to get some lasting employment. I sat and had a chat with him over some home made wine about why he feels that he just cannot find a job and he came up with some very interesting points which may be relevant to others seeking employment here in Hartlepool:
He has dealt with agencies who advertise jobs once going to Middlesbrough to see an agency about a job working as a stock controller. When he got there all they wanted him to do was sign on with them there was no promise of a job interview of any kind the reason he thought he was going. As his CV is on the net, agencies also call him regularly with jobs that are either completely unsuitable or in another part of the country. When they do call with suitable jobs he gives them a list of his professional qualifications and relevant experience and the nineteen year old dolt on the other end of the phone does not see their relevance as he or she has no experience in that field. Agencies also sometimes say that everything looks rosy and say that they will put him forward for the job and forward his CV on to the relevant company. Then he never hears another word and upon chasing is usually met with they decided not to hire anyone, or the old chestnut – they hired internally.
Another appalling habit that he has recently seen job agencies start to do is to ask what money are you looking for instead of telling you the salary or hourly rate straight up. If someone goes in cheaper than you they get nice bonuses from the hiring company and so getting salary info from some agencies is nigh on impossible now. My pal now just says Market Rates when asked what salary he is looking for.
He has also tried those lovely folk at the Government sponsored At Work agency who he says are OK as individuals but are tied up with so much red tape that the operation doesnt function correctly. In September, he was sent by At Work for an interview to work in a warehouse. He passed the aptitude/maths test with 100% and interviewed very well (my mate has conducted many interviews for hiring staff in the past and knows the drill). He didnt get the job he lost out to someone else that At Work had sent! He was bloody furious and asked At Work for feedback about the person that got the job no name, just what did this superman have that my friend didnt. He heard nothing at all by either phone or letter and gave them up as a bad job. He finally went back into At Work last week to give them another go. Upon asking for their list of jobs he was told that he was no longer registered and would have to register again so go home and get your passport and national insurance card he was ordered! One of the guys working in there recognised him and even knew his name but this still meant that even though his NI number had not changed, he still had to go and fetch these documents. So he wasnt even allowed to look at their list of minimum wage jobs and feels that he was not treated as a professional forty something year old but as a 17 year old looking for casual labour!
I asked him why he hasnt considered working for our local large call centre and he replied that he had considered the possibility but after talking to many of their staff both past and present he has heard too many horror stories about the place and how they treat their staff. He reckons that he would be fired on day 2 of training as he spent 10 years on a professional Helpdesk and knows a lot about customer service.
It is apparent that every job he applies for means that he either has to compete with hundreds of younger applicants or are simply asking for downright silly things. Even jobs for office administrators which crop up and ask for the usual – (must have good typing skills and be able to perform office duties such as filing, faxing, opening mail etc) seem to ask for an NVQ level 2 in business admin (what is this really a qualification in FILING) or are missing the important line must look horny in a mini skirt and slag wellies!.
After drinking 2 bottles of my finest home made muck he mellowed a bit and decided that perhaps he should be a professional drunkard and lie about on a park bench. I think hed excel at that but I believe that he may not get the post as he doesnt have an NVQ Level 2 in it!
Heres one from Landlord Hugh at the Pint and Fight about job hunting:
A business was looking for office help. They put a sign in the window, stating the following:
HELP WANTED – Must be able to type, have computer skills and be bilingual. We are an Equal Opportunity Employer.
A dog trotted up to the window, saw the sign and went inside. He looked at the receptionist and wagged his tail, then walked over to the sign, looked at it and whined a bit.
Getting the idea, the receptionist got the office manager. The office manager looked at the dog and was surprised, to say the least. However, the dog looked determined, so he led him into the office. Inside, the dog jumped up on a chair and stared at the manager. The manager said “I can’t hire you. The sign says you have to be able to type.”
The dog jumped down, went to the typewriter and proceeded to type out a perfect letter. He took out the page and trotted over to the manager and gave it to him, then jumped back up on the chair. The manager was stunned, but then told the dog, “The sign also says you have to be good with a computer.”
The dog jumped down again and went to the computer. The dog proceeded to enter and execute a perfect spreadsheet that worked flawlessly the first time.
By this time, the manager was totally dumbfounded! He looked at the dog and said, “I realize that you are a very intelligent dog and have some interesting abilities. However, I still can’t give you the job.”
The dog jumped down and went over to a copy of the sign and put his paw on the sentence about being an Equal Opportunity Employer.
The manager said “Yes, but the sign also says that you have to be bilingual.”
The dog looked at that manager calmly and said, “Meow.”