Why No One Wants the Job You’re Offering

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It is possible that some people have gone from being unable to find a job to not even wanting one? These days, many call center jobs and customer service positions are going unfilled. In what world does that make sense?

According to reports on the Millennial mind-set from the Intelligence Group and Gallup, many people in their 20s and 30s have determined that working five days a week (can we still say “for the man”?) is not their destiny. Notably, the timing could not be stranger because, for the first time in recorded history, we have more jobs than we have people to fill them. Yes, that’s true: The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics puts the figures at 6.6 million available jobs and 6.1 million people looking for employment.

Okay, you’re thinking, are those available positions undesirable—like “sewer diver” or, worse, “middle school guidance counselor”? The disconnect between open positions and people not filling them stems from two challenges in the current recruitment world: finding qualified workers and finding people willing to do jobs they consider laborious.

Let’s break it down, exploring these two challenges and then bringing some facts, opinion, and hypotheses to bear on each.

CHALLENGE 1: UNQUALIFIED CANDIDATES AND UNREASONABLE EXPECTATIONS

Recruiters at many organizations say they’re not able to find the experienced or educated workers they need. What’s more, they’re surprised by the large number of unhireable people who show up to interview for a specified position. Stranger yet are the candidates here in the United States who expect 30 days of vacation per year (common in France and Germany) and who insist they should be hired as managers. So it’s merci and auf wiedersehen to the “instant leader.”

Research-based facts. Temporary agencies and staffing companies are flush with qualified workers who won’t take the full-time job when it’s offered. It seems that being a temp is a permanent alternative for many.

Informed opinion. The under-30 crowd seems to have been told that their education and their desire to be leaders can make them instantly qualified for management positions. Or perhaps they just assumed that the “leadership qualities” their parents told them they had were immediately bankable—no development needed, no experience required.

Good guess. Maybe some families who can afford to pay for college are also able to support their kids so well that a job is not at the top of the kids’ lists.

CHALLENGE 2: BLUE-COLLAR STIGMA

We told a generation of people that if they did not graduate college, they really wouldn’t have the opportunity to support themselves very well. And we never told them that there are people who have no diploma but have a pretty nice beach house.

Researched-based facts. Elevator installers earn more than civil engineers. Welders can make $160,000 per year. So it’s official: In a blue-collar occupation, you can now make more money than your boss!

Informed opinion. Call center leaders over multiple locations (the position I held in my 20s) can also do well financially. In fact, many blue-collar jobs pay equal to or better than their white-collar counterparts. The big concern with blue-collar jobs is that the skills are not transferable to other jobs. Still, on average, blue-collar jobs provide more opportunity to go into leadership than white-collar jobs. Plus, no leader gets more respect than the one who has gotten his hands dirty.

Good guess. It’s possible that one-third of Millennial-age adults either work for a temporary agency or just aren’t interested in having a job. If this is the case, blue-collar stigma may be overblown; a large number of people simply might not be looking for work, regardless of collar color.

So what’s the long and short of all this? Perhaps the frustratingly simple reason that many people are not interested in the job you’re offering is because—at this point in their lives, anyway—they’re not really interested in working in general. The good news is that customer service and call center opportunities may look very good to a Millennial group who don’t really have the hots for a job where they might get, well, hot.

Garrison Wynn is an Amazon.com best-selling author, industrial influence expert, and internationally known keynote speaker.

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