We talk a lot about how technology has changed our lives in just about every aspect of things. Even our games have drastically changed. One day we are sitting in front of a TV or video screen, hands on some small console, to now running about looking for obscure Pokemon creatures.
And while technology, in specific the Internet and computers has changed many things, including how to find work, there are some aspects of getting a job that haven’t changed and are as old fashioned as they always were.
A True Tale
Back a few decades ago when I was a teenager, I, just like my peers at the time, were all looking for a job to earn money so we could (insert item to buy, or thing to do here).
For myself I needed a job as I had recently bought my first car from money I had earned from a summer job I had. But when the summer ended, so did the job.
Even back in my day having a car wasn’t cheap. Yes, petrol was much cheaper, but there still was insurance and maintenance, and all the usual expenses associated with owning a car. Even an old banger like mine.
Near where I lived was a strip of shops and fast food places and chippies, and so off I set in search of a job.
I completed applications for work to every place, shop, fast food restaurant along that road, and waited to hear back.
I never heard a word.
So after a couple of weeks, back I went out to the shops and restaurants and submitted applications again, and then again.
In one fast food restaurant alone I submitted five (5) applications over a few months period. I think the manager and employees there knew me by then as when I approached them they just handed me an application. They knew I wasn’t there to eat, but to apply for a job.
One day at school a friend of mine, now 42 years later, and is my longest and best friend, asked me if I wanted a job at the fast food place he worked at.
I said yes, and that I had already submitted five applications there previously.
He said he would speak to the manager, and for me to come by the restaurant at a specific day and time, which I did.
I met the manager, we spoke, he said he would hire me, and that I needed to complete an employment application.
Complete an employment application???
I had already filled out 5 of them over the past few months. Yet they were not on record, so with the sixth application, I got the job.
As you can see it was more of who I knew, as my friend put in a “good word in” for me, and I was hired.
And it would seem even with all the new ways to get your CV out there, and look for work, friends and family are still a good way to get a job.
It’s Who You Know
Some research by the Prince’s Trust found that people from poorer backgrounds were at a disadvantage when it came to looking for jobs.
The survey was of 2,000 people, between the ages of 16 and 25.
The survey found that:
* One in five had some work experience due to their parents.
* Two out of five from a “poorer upbringing” did not know anyone who could help them in finding a job.
* 26% of others surveyed did know someone who may be able to help them in finding a job.
The survey also found that those from poorer backgrounds were less likely to have help completing a CV, job application, or preparing for an interview.
The Chief Executive of the Prince’s Trust, Martina Milburn said, “There is a social bank of mum and dad, which can open as many doors as the financial bank of mum and dad.”
“Sadly, not all young people have the same access to it, and all too often young people are locked out of jobs and other opportunities simply because of where they’ve started in life.”
So even with the new technology that can aid people in finding a job, it can still some down to who you know.
Job Hunting 21st Century Style
The ease at which we can find, research, and apply for a job today is amazing compared back to when I entered the workforce.
However, as we will see, with that ease also comes some negatives.
I recently helped someone put together a CV, which is not difficult to do these days as there are templates for this, and also guides on many job board web sites.
We sat down, my friend gave me the details that were required such as education, qualifications, and work history and there you go, one new CV.
You save the CV as a Word or other word processing format, and then you can email it off to potential employers around the world.
That’s the first huge change in finding a job, the application process, it can all be done online. You can complete an employment application online and attach your CV. Many larger companies have this process on their own web sites.
Who pounds the bricks or pavement any more??? You pound/surf the Internet.
However my friend, wanted to do all this via their mobile phone.
That was new to even me. So using outside applications, we set-up their phone to be able to drop their CV with any applications they completed.
This is where the first big change came in finding a job.
About 10-15 years ago there were not that many web sites that had jobs posted, today there are literally hundreds of job board web sites to search.
And this is how it is done, all through the magic of the Internet.
Many of these web sites not only post jobs, but offer assistance in preparing for interviews, CV’s and other aspects of getting a job. They want us to succeed in finding the perfect job.
While doing some preliminary research on the topic of finding a job these days I went out and asked a few stores about their application and hiring process.
Needless to say the small shops hired people they knew, and only had a few employees anyway.
The larger stores, such as Tesco, when I inquired about the hiring process, told me it was all done online. Even the manager of the store was not involved, and there were no applications to hand out for those interested in working there.
You completed the application online, and if you were short-listed you would then go through a phone interview, face-to-face interview, and then a training/induction course.
While applying for jobs this way is easy, and does allow you to make maximum use of your time, meaning you can apply for many jobs all from the comfort of your home, however, there is a downside.
No response back.
You submit your job application and CV out into the great vast cyberspace that is the Internet, and never hear anything back from a perspective employer.
It is gone to the ether/aether.
It can be very disheartening to never know where you stand in getting a job.
Some employers send back automated responses acknowledging they have received your application, and will only contact you if the hiring process is moving forward.
Part of the reason for this not knowing is in part due to the sheer number of applications an employer may receive.
The Internet makes it easy to apply, but so many people can be applying there is no way to take the time to respond to everyone. So even though job hunting in the 21st century is easier, it can still boil down to who you know, and who knows you.
Just as who you know can make getting a job easier, your name, where you live, and other factors can make getting a job harder.
There is a growing trend, or even pressure, on companies and universities to use “blind recruitment” as a way to hire potential employees, or university students.
Blind recruitment is where any “personally identifiable information” is removed from a resume/CV.
This can be a person’s name, age, gender, education, and years of experience.
The thought process behind this is that employers may not hire someone due to ethnic background, which may be found out through their name or other details on their CV.
However, if no education or experience is provided on the CV, it can be extremely difficult for an employer to know who to hire. In addition, once a face-to-face interview is arranged, all is revealed.
Studies have been done to show that there is a certain amount of discrimination in the hiring process based upon a person’s name and/or background.
The hope with blind recruitment is that a more diverse workforce is set in place, which benefits all involved.
So while technology has changed how we find work, in some instances anyway, it will always be boiled down to the interview process.
More on that later.