Who Wants The Job?


Personal Blog

Over this last month, my wife and I searched for and hired a new nanny, as ours had decided to learn programming and move to The Bay.

We ended up with a wonderful woman we found through a personal recommendation on a local mailing list. Her previous employer posted saying, hire this woman, she’s fantastic, and this was indeed the case.

Before we realized we’d found her, various people encouraged us to post a job listing on a website, so we did so on Sittercity.

That went… less well.

We got over one hundred applications.

The majority of them had profiles that did not match the requirements of the job. About half were only available for a few months or for part time work. Many others wouldn’t work with multiple children, or had higher salary requirements than we listed.

The vast majority of them had major spelling and/or grammar errors in their profiles. Also in their messages to us.

From the remaining profiles, we reached out to a few dozen applicants.

The majority of them did not respond to us at all. 

Of those who did respond, several did not answer the phone for the initial interview and provided no explanation.

Of those who did answer, several were actively rude on the phone. 

Of those who were not rude on the phone, several did not engage with the questions being asked or show any interest in the job,

Of those who passed that screening and were asked to come for an in person interview, fully half of them failed to show up, most with no warning or cancellation. In all such cases, they didn’t contact us again. In other cases, they cancelled, but failed to make any real effort to reschedule.

As a result of all this, we only ended up doing two in person interviews. Because it turns out that getting people to show up, at all, is super hard. One of them seemed acceptable in a punch. The other we hired.

The vast majority of people who were on a job site, seeking a job, were not capable of tasks like: Write a profile page in English without major mistakes. Respond promptly when an employer contacts you to respond to your application. Talk politely on the phone and sound like you are listening and care about the job. Show up to your interview.

Yes. Standards are that low. 

You are much more employable than you think.

If you’re wondering why employers say it’s so hard to hire people despite getting a hundred applications for every position? That’s why.

If you’re wondering why many people can’t find work? I can’t help but wonder if it’s because they can’t do the very basic things even at high leverage points like the interview process. Things like showing up and responding to emails. Being on time. Being polite. Making sure the profile you show the world doesn’t have major errors and matches the jobs you’re applying to. Acting like you actually want the job.

Those are standards that 98% or so of applications we got failed to live up to. Presumably the same people, failing to live up to them, apply again and again, failing those standards again and again, wondering why they can’t get hired.



Personal Blog