By Bridgette Bryant
Unemployment across the country is occurring because of an unqualified workforce, budget restricted businesses, and lower-wage competition overseas.
As a home-based business owner, I moved to Vegas with the objective of helping rebound the economy here by building up other businesses using my graphic design and communication skills (I moved here with that purpose). The only way for me to do this was to hire contract-based employees. I needed 5 sales representatives, an administrative assistant, a graphic design intern, one web designer, and three graphic designers in order to do execute the marketing plan I had developed.
After reviewing somewhere around 300 inquiries at different points in time over a 2 month period for these positions and interviewing the best candidates from my options (about 15 in all), I had to give up my plight and here is why: In a five month period, I went through 3 admin assistants, each of which was guilty of the same crime: not meeting deadlines. Their job was simple: work from home, call these people on this list I am giving you, and get their email addresses. That’s it. No kidding.
‘Well,’ you say, ‘what were you paying them? Maybe you just weren’t attracting the right candidates.’
I thought that, too, when I brought on the first two contractors at $12 an hour so I raised it $15 for the last one (and when you work in the fact that they were able to work from home and only had to “come in” for one paid lunch meeting per week, it starts to look like a pretty good deal).
‘Well, maybe it was your management style…” It absolutely was. I totally agree.
I expected a worker to take an assignment and, well, do it. I have learned, however, that not everyone works from a high level of standards. I assumed that most people worked at least almost as hard as myself or that, even if they didn’t, they would at least accomplish tasks that were put before them in order to be paid. I was wrong.
Another place I went wrong was expecting people who actually applied for a job to actually be…qualified for it. When I put out my ads looking for graphic designers, I got a high school coach, an accountant,, and other random skills sets. Many of them had never even performed the duties listed in the job post. I would have been open to training someone with the right attitude, but it was clear by their messages that many of them sent me a form letter and clearly did not even read the details of the position. Some of them even mis-referenced the job they were applying to. “Hi, I’m writing to apply for your lifeguard position.” Really?
Many of them were simply applying to every job they could find, which I totally understand when times are rough. But I can’t even remember how many resumes I got that were addressed to the wrong person or referred to me as “sir” (don’t ever address by sex to a job posting unless you know for sure).
My worst interview story: I decided to try for interns, I changed my schedule to meet with one little fu&#@% because it was right before I was heading out of town and he was the most promising candidate, on paper, than the rest and I wanted to get the process going.
I got up an hour earlier than normal to interview him for one hour only for him to tell me at the end that he was just going around doing interviews because his dad told him to and that he wasn’t really looking for a job.
I have never been as close to committing physical violence in my life.
After asking how many companies he had done this to and nicely telling him how pissed I was that he wasted my time (in those words), I actually found myself giving him career advice…”what the -?”
Not taking work and responsibility seriously are cornerstones of the unemployment problem as well as the need for additional training and technologically advanced skill sets.
The symptoms of the high unemployment rate are: a lackluster pursuit for work, diminishing hope of actually finding work, and a cyclical pattern that businesses are perpetuating in deciding not to hire people who have not worked in over six months. It’s like putting people back in the fresh-out –of-school position where they want to get a good job because now they’ve graduated with this education but they cannot get a good job because they have no experience, so they are stuck in a position where they cannot do anything at all.
Each side has a part to play in resolving this situation.
Employers must begin looking for character and being willing to train in the area of skill.
Jobseekers must be give their all to their work and seek out only jobs that they are passionate about and are good at. If we each only pursue the work we want to do in our hearts, in the long run, we will all be happier and more fulfilled.
Lastly, governing bodies must stop making it difficult for people to start and grow their businesses. Our country was founding and prospered by the freedom of immigrants to build and create the life they wanted without limitation and without excessive regulation or taxation. They were free to be creative and free to solve their problems independently. When the people have freedom, their creative juices flow and they are able to not only see solutions but to also take the steps necessary to make those solutions a reality.
The symptoms of unemployment are simple and reversible and, if everyone does their part, the employer, the jobseeker, and the government, we will be able to patch up our boo boo and begin the restoration of Nevada.