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Why is it so hard to find a job right now?

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The unemployment rate is 3.8%. Jobless claims are historically low. Over 300,000 jobs were added in the U.S. in March and 272,000 added in May. It should be the best job market in 54 years. Why is it so hard to find a job right now?

Covid -19

It is really a return to a “normal” job market after the rapid job gains that happened in 2022. It is a shift from an employee’s job market to an employer’s market. Supply of candidates is high while demand for new employees is being more carefully pursued. The turmoil in hiring and layoffs of the pandemic has led to companies, according to recruiter Kourtlynn Faith, “…spending more time to find the best hire so they don’t have to spend more money on resources, training, and high turnover repair.”

Tech Layoffs

According to Forbes over 300K American workers were laid off in 2023, many of those in the tech sector. In 2022 and 2023 Amazon laid of 19,000, Alphabet 12,000, Microsoft 11,000, Meta 21,000, Dell 6,600 and IBM 1.5% of its workforce or 3,900. This flood of candidates from top companies caused companies to hesitate other interviewing in anticipation of receiving resumes from these desirable layoffs.

Technology

The application process has become remarkably easier for candidates and overwhelming for company recruiters. Fewer company recruiters are being hired and this reduced number are being bombarded with exponentially more resumes. At the same time companies can use technology to highlight only the “perfect matches” eliminating candidates that normally would have had a chance for the job.

Artificial Intelligence is being used by the savviest candidates to tailor their resume to perfectly match the specifications of the posted jobs. Average resume writers are now writing much better, more competitive resumes and applications with the help of ChatGPT.

The Economy

Inflation and high interest rates are impacting both sides of the job market. Candidates want to make more money to even maintain their current standard of living, and companies are skittish about growth in an unfavorable economic environment. More expensive investment leads to cautious investment decisions.

Tips to Find a Job Right Now

The #1 way to find a job is network, network, network. Never stop talking to people in your area of expertise whether you are job hunting or not. Tailor every resume to each job you apply for. AI helps everyone do this and you should, too. Only target roles you are a fit for. Mass mailing of resumes doesn’t help anyone and actually may hurt you if it becomes obvious to a company you are a resume spammer.

Interested in hiring or finding a new job in pharmaceutical sales or marketing? Contact Smith Hanley Associates’ Executive Recruiter, Nancy Ragonese at nragonese@smithhanley.com.

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