are employers really so eager to hire right now?

We keep hearing that employers are desperate, can’t find good workers, and jobs are going unfilled … so if you’re currently job-searching, how does that match up with your own experience?

Based on my mail, lots of people are still getting ignored by employers … or offered laughably low salaries … or seeing ads requiring years of experience for “entry-level” jobs. On the other hand, some people are having easier searches right now.

What are you seeing out there, if you’re job-searching or trying to hire?

{ 1,323 comments… read them below }

  1. Ask a Manager* Post author

    Depending on how this goes, I may quote from some of these responses in a future column — if you don’t want me to do that with yours, please note that!

  2. Talula Does the Hula From Hawaii*

    Back in 2009-ish employers whined about a skills mismatch, how they could not find employees with the employable skills they needed.
    It was code speak for we can’t find people who will work for fractions of a peanut.

      1. Tisiphone*

        On unreasonable requirements: The most common ones I found last time I was job hunting were requirements for 10 years experience with a programming language that hadn’t existed that long. The job wasn’t software development, or even programming.

        Thing to do is apply anyway and ask questions about what your typical day will be like. The people writing up the descriptions often don’t know what the job actually is.

        1. MBK*

          I work in tech and I see this *all the time*. It’s a sure sign of an employer who doesn’t even take the time to understand what they’re asking for.

          1. Xenos*

            What also happens sometimes I’ll rewrite, send it up and it never gets reposted. Or another HR person quits and gave to start it over lol

          2. Zephyr*

            Or employers who hear “full stack developer” and think it means like the person who can sing, dance, and act (triple threat), and they would be getting a much better employee by insisting on a full stack developer… for a job that maybe requires just one of those things, or possibly even just some part of one or even none of those things. They get wrapped up in the hype/lingo instead of just reading the resume/talking to the candidate to see if they’re a good fit for the work required.

            I do web design as a hobby and a friend of mine said he needed a website for his startup company. I wanted the practice of doing web design for someone else’s specs instead of my own, so offered to do it for free. He then asked me to code something that was out of my skill set, so I looked it up to figure out how to code that one thing. Keep in mind it’s just a hobby for me. There are too many people out there with excellent coding skills and an education to match, for me to compete with them as someone self-taught. I then casually mentioned the words “full stack developer” and he asked what that meant. I explained it to him and now he won’t stop chirping about wanting one of those. For the record, his webpage is incredibly simple and professional in design and has no need for backend coding, databases, or anything. It’s purely a page where he advertises what his company does and tells you how to contact him if you’d like to hire them for their services.

      2. Funbud*

        From my own search, I am rarely seeing a “regular” admin assistant role. I realize this job function has changed and morphed into a role with more responsibilities, but the roles I am seeing are demanding a lot of work for not much money. Also, requiring very specific software experience ehich most general admins don’t have. Feels like many positions are trying to “pluck” existing employees from other companies rather than offering openings for a job seekers.

            1. Pants*

              Yup. I’ve been an admin/EA most of my work career, sometimes with a different type of title. I’m doing some admin work at my current company but with a wildly different title than I’ve ever seen anywhere. It’s also a new industry to me, so maybe it’s not as wildly different as I think? That said, I can’t help but think that the difference in title has something to do with the $13k higher salary than my last job. That difference is for me as a contractor. Once I’m hired on, I get another raise. There has to be something to that, don’t you think?

              1. jojo*

                Government contract? Then. Yes the job field category definatly effects your pay scale. Ground support pays less than aviation or ships support. Partly has to do with security concerns. Plus personal risk in on site work areas. Much more to the break down.

                1. Pants*

                  That’s good to know! It’s not what I’m in right now, but I’m not opposed to it at all. I work for …. say…. a large entity that’s tech but with a more granular focus. Not FB or any of the biggies in Silicon Valley. (Trying not to point a finger directly at myself, you know?) It’s not an evil tech company by any means. In fact, I’ve found it a little odd at how WELL they treat their employees. Made me realise I’ve got some PTSD from working with a bunch of bungholes for a looooong time. Sad to be surprised at a company that treats its employees well, but happy to be working for that company! (Everyone starts contract. I’ll convert.)

        1. WFH is all I Want*

          I’ve noticed this too. There’s also an increase in frequency with responsibilities including being on call during evenings, weekends, holidays, and scheduled PTO. I skip those jobs entirely.

        2. Emotional Support Care’n*

          I’m seeing it be either a new term for “receptionist” or becoming the office manager role with, as you’ve said, no money (still being paid like the receptionist).

          1. fluffy*

            Or it could be worse; two jobs ago I was at a lousy little startup where the “office admin” was one of the few software engineers who was a woman. It absolutely was not her desire to be the office admin but the duties were foisted upon her and it was her first job out of college, so she had a hard time pushing back for a bunch of reasons.

            I ended up leaving that place after 6 months. It was toxic and weird.

        3. Jax*

          From my search, I’m seeing HR merged with admin assistant/office manager duties. Inflated title, responsible for every imaginable problem at the office level, and a $40,000 salary.


          1. Li*

            Don’t forget payroll/bookkeeping! And probably only part time hours, but enough work for 2 full time jobs.

            I really want to get out of healthcare support (not because I don’t enjoy it, but because the past 2 years have burnt me out on dealing with my fellow humans), but those positions are only offering $12-$15/hr for 30 hours per week or less in my area.

        4. Random Biter*

          I had an interview for an admin asst position at an area senior development..everything from a central, nursing home type environment to apartment living. When I inquired as to job specifics I was told in addition to the regular office type things like answering the phone, greeting visitors, dispensing mail, etc. I would also be the “fiscal agent” for the residents (meaning I would be in charge of their in-house “checking accounts”) AND I would be in charge of the 2 apartment buildings including renting and evicting residents. WTAF. All this and more for crummy benefits and $12 an hour. I thanked the interviewer and got the heck outta Dodge.

          1. jojo*

            Property manager/accountant/General funky? 12 per hour. No way. That one hundred thousand worth of jobs. Three jobs actually. At minimum of 40,000 per job. And no way to do all three jobs in a fourty hour week. Just a cheap company. And you need a cpa for accounting. Something else for property management so you know laws and resources. I bet property management and elder care also involves OSHA. that job violates so many laws just from the general description.

          2. Overit*

            Friend of mine turned down a similar admin job at a therapy office. Required minimum of 5 years experience, bachelor degree (but MA preferred) with the longest list of duties I have ever seen — including all janitorial duties. For $12/hour and no benefits.

        5. Pikachu*

          I have seen ads for office manager/admin roles that want wordpress and photoshop design experience.

          They want people to be everything for everyone and require a master’s degree to do it… for $15/hr.

          Get. Out.

          1. Katie*

            Oh hey, that’s my old job! Redesign and maintain the website, respond to client emails and phone calls, handle all social media/brochure/business card design needs, and maintain the schedule for the entire facility. $16/hour, no benefits. They were so surprised when I left!

          2. Stargazer*

            That’s not new – they were trying ten years ago to get combo IT/admin/graphic designer/animation/AV/web “gurus” for the same low price of $11.95/hr in the Boston area. It was so bad I stopped even looking at “graphic design” classifieds because they inevitably ALSO wanted a website builder/3-D animator/social media expert along with the full-time job of print media expert!

          3. Mrs. Hawiggins*

            I saw an ad the other day for Receptionist that required a Real Estate license. Seemed very odd but you could kind of see where it was going further into the job description.

        6. Pluckyduck*

          I genuinely like my job. It’s interesting. I have a decent salary, great benefits, and a flexible schedule including working from home a few days a week. However, with everyone supposedly hiring, you would be stupid not to cast your net and see what they are offering.

          First, if it’s work from home it’s either a scam company ie MLM or its until we reopen our office. Nah. Lower salary, which is ridiculous because I am in the rural Midwest. Our salaries are already low. Or they completely ghost you.

          My mom is in her early 60s and would love to change careers. She makes pennies as gm of a fast food restaurant, but no one in the area will pay that much.

        7. Joie De Vivre*

          I’ve seen the same sort of thing.

          I saw a Tea Pot Clerk (hourly job) with pay to match. But when I read the job description, it included a lot of Tea Pot Generalist duties. The Tea Pot Generalist is usually a well comped salaried position.

          That company wanted a lot of sugar for its nickel.

          1. MigraineMonth*

            I’ve noticed that for quite a while for software developer jobs. The role is “Front End Website Developer”, but they also want you to have expertise in backend, database management, server management and IT support. They basically want a 1-person IT department, but the pay is in line with the title rather than the highest-paying of the jobs listed.

      3. Not A Girl Boss.*

        It’s been a particularly frustrating time to be an employee at my company. We are positively buried at work – literally, our sales doubled last year. After people got too burned out to make it work and the company started to suffer, boatloads of new hires were authorized. Our company culture is great. We actually pay very competitively. But we have been absolutely incapable of finding people to fill the roles, and it’s our fault. I think we’re making a few key mistakes:
        1) Our hiring practices come across as somewhat shady. For some reason we are really hell bent on using the kinds of recruiters I ignore on LinkedIn because I assume Really Bad Companies are hiding behind the anonymity of it. It’s so bizarre, we have 5 star reviews on all the major job platforms so why hide who we are?!
        2) For hourly labor, we insist on temp-to-perm job postings. No sane good worker would leave an ok permanent job for a temp job in this economy. They say it’s about making sure they’re a good worker before they take on the “risk” of hiring them, but is it really that much risk in an at will state?
        3) I feel like they value bizarrely specific experience over people who are willing to take the initiative, learn, and work hard.
        Example A) We seem to strongly value anyone who has ever worked in manufacturing before, as if willingness to do so is a special skill. I have been feeling very tempted to walk into my local food service establishments and pass out flyers that say “sick of dealing with people? What if I told you there’s a job where you have predictable hours, can put your headphones in, not talk to anyone for 8 hours, and make more than you are right now. In exchange you have to wear safety glasses and sometimes there will be dirt on your company provided shoes.”
        Example B) We are hiring for a very specific technical skill that no one has and companies constantly get in bidding wars to retain their talent for. I suggested we work with a local college who has such a specialty program to recruit an eager young person, and hire a consultant to answer their questions a few hours a week. They will only settle for someone with 10+ years experience willing to work at half the (admittedly insane) market rate.
        3) It’s 2021 and most managers still see someone who wants to permanently WFH as a less-invested candidate. As a result we keep passing on eminently qualified candidates who simply prefer not to work in person.
        4) We turn away any candidate that so much as hints that they do a job to make money, because our “company culture” is about caring and not about money. Even though we do in fact pay well. Better not ask for the pay bands until you’ve gone through 6 rigorous interviews or you’re out.

        1. BlueChimera*

          > I feel like they value bizarrely specific experience over people who are willing to take the initiative, learn, and work hard.

          Along those lines: My husband has been interviewing to do the same thing I do (which is software configuration — and frankly, pretty basic stuff). I was lucky enough to be hired with no IT background & no formal IT-related education by a manager who was able to see my potential. My husband doesn’t have any formal IT-related education or any experience with *this specific software,* but he has a ton of *general* IT experience and — in my opinion — is pretty clearly a smart guy.

          And, honestly, if you can figure out how to make a pivot table in Excel (alone or with Google’s help), you could almost certainly do my job. But instead they’re prioritizing people who have touched *this specific software* in any capacity (on the tech side or even just as a user), as though it’s mysteriously hard if you haven’t.

          The major problem being that most ABC Software users don’t *want* to be ABC Software techs (of course) and there’s a very small pool of existing ABC Software techs because no one seems to want to hire anyone without prior ABC experience.

          There’s even a test from ABC Software that’s supposed to tell if you’re going to be a decently competent analyst / able to configure their software correctly (because they don’t want their software to be blamed for failures when it’s just been configured poorly), and he’s taken & passed that. So I honestly don’t know what they’re looking for that he doesn’t have. I helped him refine his resume, did some mock interviews with him, even took Alison’s idea of having him mock-interview *me* for the position, and still, multiple managers have interviewed & rejected him.

          Meanwhile, my company has a bunch of these positions open & after 6+ months of searching, they’ve only extended offers to a tiny handful of candidates.

          (And of course this isn’t the only thing he’s interviewing for. He’s also tried to get LAN Admin positions, even IT help desk stuff… and for those, he hasn’t been able to even get as far as the interview. Possibly automated systems rejecting him? I guess we’ll never know. I’m starting to wonder if he’s only even getting interviews here because I used our internal process to recommend him for these roles…)

    1. Yet another person*

      I just started my search a couple weeks ago and am seeing the usual low pay for lots of specific experience BS in my area in IT so far. But, someone I know in healthcare just started looking Monday and already has multiple interviews lined up for tomorrow.

      We are in Florida. Results may depend on the field and geographic area you are working in!

      1. graphic designer*

        I’ve been searching since August and it’s as slow as it always is. Tons of resumes sent out, very little response. So far I got one phone interview that was scheduled, then the recruiter emailed me a week later saying she had booked me with the “wrong recruiter,” and she’d be in touch in 2 weeks to reschedule. Sounded like BS to me (why do we need to wait 2 weeks just to reschedule?) and it was. Got ghosted, not sure why the subterfuge was even necessary.

        I had a for-real phone screen yesterday, but that’s IT in the last 5 months.

        Occasionally a recruiter will reach out asking me if I’m interested in a job I’ve already applied for, or about contract-to-hire jobs, which is what I’m looking to leave, so no leads from there either.

        1. Sloanicote*

          To be fair, in my sector I’ve job-searched during what was supposedly a historic low point for job searching (2008) and a supposed boom period when the economy was great, and in both cases the search took about the same amount of time and frustration but eventually worked out for me. Partly that must be due to my sector – nonprofit – but I suspect all job searches, like politics, are local.


          I’ve been searching for 9 months for a mid to senior level designer role. I’ve applied to 139 remote roles (I work full time in an office so I have limited time to job search), have gotten initial interest from 11 companies, and made it to the final round for 3 roles. No offers. I’ve scrutinized and updated my portfolio, resume, and linkedin. I’ve been in the industry for 10 years, and have never had an issues getting a new job before. The longest it’s taken me is 3 months, only because the area I lived in had limited roles. All that to say, I’m right there with you and I don’t know what to do about it. I’m exhausted.

      2. Peon1*

        Yeah, it really seems to depend on the industry. I’m in the museum and heritage sectors, and there’s hardly been a blip in new vacant positions. The new ones I’ve seen pop up recently are admin-type roles in galleries. They don’t pay much either.

        1. workswitholdstuff*

          Yeah, I’m also in the sector, and there’s little-to-none out there at there at the moment, it’s still overly credentialistic for very little recompense (though there are campains in the UK to change this attitude, it’s slow going. ‘Fair Museum Jobs’ are the ones to follow on twitter re that).

          Most of what I’m seeing are temporary contracts too, and that’s a seperate rant. The focus on short, funded projects over long-term activity is not great…

    2. Birdie*

      My organization is “struggling” to fill a role, complaining about how they can’t find anyone qualified and when they do find someone somewhat qualified, they get turned down.

      Well, no kidding. The position is a combination of two very different jobs, so good luck find someone with several years of commercial land transaction experience AND volunteer management experience. Oh, and you want to pay this experienced person who has to do two very different jobs and report to two different supervisors peanuts?

      No wonder they’ve been trying to hire for this position since JULY.

      1. PT*

        I was one of those hiring managers. I was trying to hire 10-15 let’s say llama trainers. The prevailing wage for llama trainer in my area was $15-17 and my boss would not let me offer more than $11. Any time I interviewed someone who was willing to open negotiations for the job he’d complain they wanted too much money, or find something else wrong with them, and make me pass on them. He would then bring me candidates who he approved of, but were not llama trainers and would not be able to pass the llama trainer certification test. Then he would yell at me that llama training was canceled.

        1. Cheap Ass Rolex*

          Sounds like a perfect candidate for the “We’re all trying to find the guy who did this” hot dog guy meme.

      2. No Longer Gig-less Data Analyst*

        I worked for a company from 2010-2015 that needed to fill a role around Import/Export compliance. This role would involve developing internationally compliant procedures and writing an entire manual on such from scratch. My take after doing some research (because at one point they wanted me to do it AS A SIDE PROJECT) was that this should probably have been filled by someone with about 5-10 years of relevant experience.

        Instead they hire a series of freshly minted college graduates, all of whom quit within a year. They cycled through 4 of them in my 5 years there, and I keep seeing them looking on LinkedIn so my guess is they are still hiring at well below the experience level needed because they don’t want to pay a seasoned professional. How they haven’t been fined out of business is beyond me at this point, considering how they were literally flying by the seat of their pants with transportation and international trade compliance. Boggles my mind.

        1. Pants*

          I was in the compliance department in my most previous job life. They were especially stingy with admins and in-house lawyers, which is why we lost them constantly. However, Trade Compliance was a whole other ballgame. They actually paid very well for TC, especially for people who have certifications. The Trade Compliance team was incredibly competent and we still were hit with fines now and again. My eyes nearly fell out of my face when I read your comment.

          1. Pam Poovey*

            This doesn’t surprise me at all… I work in import/export and have been with my company for 3 years… I was hired 3 years ago to handle office admin & accounting stuff. Under $20/hr. It very quickly morphed into office admin, accounting, import and export operations, compliance, etc. Then they got rid of 1/3 of our staff and had me traveling between offices (in different states) for half of last year. I am now essentially the office manager, admin, finance, compliance, training, and all operations that my boss doesn’t want to handle… for under $50k. I’m not sure what else I could do to get a salary and title that match my actual responsibilities, and very little of my experience and knowledge would be transferable to another field. Living the American dream.

            1. Pants*

              I hope you’re looking? (Don’t suppose you want to tell me what state you’re in? I’m in TX. I say that while facepalming.) Does the company at the VERY LEAST let you keep your airline miles accrued from your travel?

            2. DJ Abbott*

              Are there any good staffing agencies where you are? I am working with one who says I am the perfect profile for a job I never would have heard of otherwise.
              If there are any staffing agencies near you, send your résumé to all of them and follow up. They will be able to figure out what jobs you are well-suited for and might be able to get you one.

        2. President Porpoise*

          Woo boy, as an import/export compliance professional who develops procedures (among other things) for a large company – those folks are playing with fire. Trade compliance is a complex monster.

        3. TimeisMoney*

          And given that every new employee costs are least $10k to onboard and then has to get up to speed, the amount of money they lost rather than just paying the right person

          1. Sloanicote*

            This is what kills me. My office fiddles around trying to hire part time people or train up new graduates for complex roles, and when they burn out or flame out, which happens after a year or so, they do it again. After five years of this nonsense you could have just paid a competent person fairly given the start up costs and training, not to mention whatever task you wanted the role for is just not getting done.

        4. No Longer Gig-less Data Analyst*

          Thank you all for confirming I wasn’t crazy! I went to one half-day seminar on the topic and came back saying that there was no way I would be responsible for Trade Compliance. I was a Cost Accountant with no prior experience in Manufacturing or Supply Chain. That seminar scared the bejeezus out of me, I basically said “I’m too soft for Federal prison if I screw up” and went along my merry way.

          1. Pants*

            I put on a huge event each year when I was in Compliance. We’d have speakers come in and such. One guy named his session: “What to do when the black SUVs pull up to your house.” (answer: get a lawyer and say your prayers, basically)

            I did some research for due diligence compliance but I said hell no to anything on the trade side. I’m not signing my name on forms, thank you.

            1. Rulekeeper Willie*

              I do federal grant compliance and management which involved a lot administrative work including procurement. I have never once worried about civil liability for a screw-up. They have insurance for that! Hell they have insurance for bad publicity… for screw ups the worst case is firing. Now, I will say that is unless you did something like embezzlement or other criminal activity , that’s a different ball game. Then you get the lawyer.

              1. Pants*

                Some of our speakers were fresh out of prison for embezzlement, kickbacks, insider trading, and the like. (They were always the most popular.) I am always amazed that people have the gumption to do stuff like that. I talk a good game, but I’m comparatively, I am a goody goody school girl and I’m fine with that.

              2. Hillary*

                Not exactly. International compliance includes foreign corrupt practices act and a few other things. In the US your employer isn’t allowed to indemnify you, you’re personally/criminally on the hook for some things. In some other countries the employer can’t indemnify you period. If, not at all using a real example from many moons ago, someone carries a suitcase full of electronics to China without a customs declaration because they didn’t know better, that someone is the one in Chinese jail. If I signed the paperwork for a shipment I knew was going to Iran I’m personally liable for allowing it in addition to my company being fined.

                There’s a great publication from Treasury called “Don’t Let This Happen to You.” In practice there are very few circumstances where an honest international compliance mistake will send someone to federal prison or get personally fined, but it does happen.

                This is one of many reasons I got out of compliance.

          2. Crazyoboe*

            In my area, certain school districts have greatly upped their sub pay – one district went to $200 a day. Others are still trying to pay $85-90 a day, which was a good sub salary when I graduated back in ’05. Guess which district doesn’t have a sub shortage? One school was advertising for a “building sub” which is a position where you report to the same school every day and sub for whoever is absent. Usually, it’s a salaried position because you are part of the staff and are there every day. If no teachers are absent, they have you help out with small groups or whatnot. This school was still trying to pay that position $90 a day. Not even the slightly higher long term sub rate, just $90. Ridiculous.

      3. Venti vanilla latte breve*

        This happened to me at my former company. They wanted to hire an admin assistant (because their current one was so terrible at her job but they wouldnt fire her for some reason). They couldnt get leadership approval for that position, so they reworked the position to include a bunch of additional, non-related duties and that position was approved.

        Of course, I didnt have this information when I accepted the job, so imagine my surprise when the job turned out to be 80% admin work, 20% technical work. I lasted three months before I left for a better job/company.

        1. Sarah55555*

          So you were expecting a more technical job and showed up only to find out that you were actually the admin? Who’d have thought that would go wrong.

          1. Venti vanilla latte breve*

            The job was positioned to me as leading a large scale projects. In my prior role, i was a people manager and frequently worked with c-suite leadership.

            What they actually needed was someone to schedule meetings, take notes, and come up with fun icebreakers. :(

    3. WellRed*

      The so called lack of skilled employees has been a tired refrain in my area for years. Train people and pay better.

    4. Richard Hershberger*

      I remember fondly the articles about machine shops trying to hire experienced machinists for what McDonalds was paying.

      1. Me (I think)*

        Wasn’t there some guy out in the Midwest somewhere who got a lot of press 10 years ago complaining about the lazy workers who don’t want to work? Didn’t it turn out that he wanted to pay machinists $10 an hour, instead of the $25/hour they could get elsewhere?

        Yeah, I didn’t feel sorry for him.

        1. Starbuck*

          What poor journalism, if the press was not including that info in the first reports! Yikes.

      2. Anonymous4*

        I worked at a place where we had a home office that lowballed salaries, and could afford to do so because they didn’t need highly skilled workers. Someone comes in, works as an admin for a year or two, gets a better job, they get another admin.

        We needed engineers. Terribly short-staffed. Home office wanted us to hire experienced engineers at a new-admin wage. AIN’T HAPPENIN’.

        And then they’d get indignant and want to know why our projects were all behind schedule. I may or may not have heard my boss shouting through his closed door, “Go ahead! You fire me, you’ll be short another engineer! And THEN what?”

      3. Ashley*

        I worked in medical billing in northeast Ohio, where you can throw a stick and hit a healthcare facility. We have mega-health systems like the Cleveland Clinic and University Hospitals, and they have their own billing departments. I regularly had staff resign to take a job at the Clinic or UH, doing the exact same job as they were for me, but making $2/hour more. Still, I had to sit through hours of upper management bemoaning our high turnover rates and inability to fill positions plus special management trainings on things like employee recognition and wellness and communication where I was told “people don’t leave bad companies, they leave bad managers.” We were cajoled and berated about what we supervisors and managers were doing or not doing to keep staff. But actually bite the bullet and start offering people a more competitive hourly rate? That suggestion was rejected out of hand.

        1. Dust Bunny*

          . . . I mean, they are leaving bad managers. Well, bad management. Not you, but the higher-ups who won’t pay adequately.

    5. Snark*

      My feeling is that there’s a lot of employers who are slow, or choosing to be slow, on the uptake, and have not internalized the implications of the massive sea change in the job market. And so they still operate on a model of “what’s the most I can underpay my staff” and cannot comprehend that they are in a seller’s market for labor.

      1. EmbarassedBee*

        Yes, this. They just refuse to accept that anything has changed. In my field, I’m seeing a ton more postings for jobs over the last month or so, and I’ve had multiple recruiters contact me just this week. But the job descriptions are wildly demanding, even more so than pre-pandemic. So many very specific skills that you’d be very unlikely to find in one person, and ridiculous “we’re a family” statements that we all know are code for “This Workplace has no Boundaries”.

        I had a client rant to me recently about how they weren’t getting “good” candidates for their positions. I suggested that they consider focusing the JD a bit more on the skills they most want, and he got really defensive and just said again how much they needed all this work done. Then YOU HAVE TO PAY FOR IT. There is just utter disbelief that they no longer hold 100% of the cards. I really hope we keep it going for long enough that they will have no choice.

        1. Snark*

          You can have an employee who is cheap, good, and/or satisfied. Pick two. These idiots seem to think they can get two or three employees’ worth of KSAs in one person, load them up proportionately, pay them below market rate, trample their work/life balance and boundaries…..and then they’re shocked, shocked! when they have constant turnover, bad morale, and poor output. Nobody’s here for that bullshit anymore.

        2. Sloanicote*

          I had to stop my boss from going on a “kids these days” rant. I just … couldn’t hear it. We pay terrible wages and crap benefits but she thinks people are going to do nights and weekends, 80 hour weeks, like she thinks she did coming up (but probably for the exact same amount of pay in a time when other things were cheaper).

        3. IT manager*

          We can’t easily change the pay rates (long term client contracts) so are finding that we have to hire junior resources at senior rates – picking those that *just* qualify for the senior levels but need much more handholding than we’d normally hire for.

          So, effectively, we’re paying more for the same work! Now we’re paying the senior rate PLUS the non billable salary of whoever is doing the handholding….

            1. Tisiphone*

              I hate that, too.

              Several years ago, I came across a powerpoint presentation aimed at upper management, referring to VP and up as “talent” and everyone else as “resources”. Talent are valuable people, resources are interchangeable and easily replaced.

      2. Starbuck*

        Well, for some fields. In my field (outdoor / environmental education) it’s business as usual, which is dozens of applicants for jobs with no benefits and often below minimum wage (not a labor violation – it’s allowed when you’re a residential camp and include room & board). Lots of places that are non profits are also still relying on unpaid interns to do program work. It’s a field that tends to churn young / recent college grads through temporary and seasonal work, with extreme competition for the few full-time year-round positions that are still being posted at the same low salaries as five years ago.

        Actually the main improvement in that field was raising the federal minimum-salary-threshold a couple years back.

        1. Libellulebelle*

          Yes, exactly why I recently decided to leave the environmental education field and retrain as a nurse. No shortage of jobs there! Possibly I’m crazy, though.

          1. Starbuck*

            Nursing wouldn’t be my choice, but I’m definitely thinking about what my strategy would be if (realistically, when) the cost of living in my area outpaces what the place I’m working at can pay.

      3. Icy-Imagination*

        I feel this to the core. It’s as if Corporate companies are fighting back as much as they can possibly stand until they have no one left to keep even their basic of operations running.

    6. Butters*

      My employer is absolutely desperate for another key staff member, but doesn’t want to give any more than a week vacation. Won’t budge at all. It’s incredibly short sighted.

      1. Snark*

        Absolute madness. Even two weeks of vacation is insufficient, one is an insult. An employer should WANT an employee to take more than two weeks off a year, to reduce burnout and improve work/life balance. It’s like they have no idea how to think past the next month.

      2. DrRat*

        I had my sister practically slack jawed recently when I told her about my company’s PTO policy. Our salaries aren’t as high as some competitors, but our PTO is almost unheard of in our industry. (I’ll be going up to 29 PTO days and 8 holidays next year – with no evenings, weekends, or on call work. Max here is 34 PTO days, but you can choose to purchase an additional 5. So with holidays, you can end up with 47 days a year off – basically a day off a week!)

        1. mee*

          My company shuts down for one day a month and everyone has that off. In addition, we have 14 holidays. so that’s 26 days w/out taking any time off of my own choosing…BUT.. In addition, we have unlimited PTO (and we actually get chastised if we don’t use it enough). So yeah it’s pretty insane where I work

      3. Sloanicote*

        My work has two weeks and it expires at the end of the year! And the salary does NOT compensate. They can’t figure out how they can’t hire!

    7. RC Rascal*

      Back in 2009 I applied to a job who wanted someone who “Excelled at working alone and also with others. “

      Didn’t get an interview.

      And which one is it they actually wanted ?!?!

      1. Loulou*

        I mean…probably both? I feel like some version of “must work well independently and as part of a team” is pretty standard job description boilerplate.

        1. PT*

          This says to me, “We had someone in this role previously who didn’t do any work unless they were being babysat, and we also had someone in this role previously who was a giant ass and couldn’t get along with anyone. So we’re putting in a boilerplate line that is confusing to jobseekers to combat that.”

          1. Loulou*

            I just don’t see how it’s confusing! Teamwork is a huge part of my job and anyone who’s not a good collaborator will not do well. At the same time, you need to be happy with tasks and projects that can be pretty solitary. The ideal candidate is happy with this balance…others may prefer a more solitary or more collaborative role, both of which exist. What do you think is a better way to convey that?

            1. Loulou*

              ETA – I agree when a phrase like that is ubiquitous on every job ad, it becomes meaningless and that can be confusing. But there’s nothing vague or confusing about the statement itself IMO.

              1. BubbleTea*

                It’s a bit like dating profiles that say “I like going out and staying in! My hobbies are reading, watching TV and listening to music!” It tells you essentially nothing of any use at all.

              2. Ashley*

                It reminds me of when jobs were posted in the newspaper and you paid by the word. I think listing both and giving a better description can be more helpful then saying both things must be true. Some people are can do it but IMO most people tend to favor one over the other and would want to know which was the job might lean.

        2. TechWorker*

          Right, it might not exactly be the worlds smoothest wording but it also doesn’t sound like a terrible thing to request.

            1. Not A Girl Boss.*

              They could buy both a horse and a horn. But it’s cheaper to hire a horse and berate it each day for not having a horn, until it runs away for greener pastures.

    8. Siege*

      In my very casual job searching, jobs in non-profit communications in the Seattle area are still paying the same $50,000 they paid back in 2008-2010. Our average salary is over $70,000, and may be over $100,000 at this point, so it’s way underwater.

      1. Sloanicote*

        Yes I would say nonprofit salaries in my area haven’t budged much in my entire career; 35K to start out, 50K at mid level, the directors might make 80 or around 100K. Meanwhile other costs, like insurance, education, housing, have skyrocketed. It’s … fun.

    9. joriley*

      Exactly. My workplace has a ton of positions open right now, and the ones I’m most familiar with are struggling to get good candidates… mostly because the pay is way too low for the experience/expertise they want. So there *are* a lot of positions open, but it’s still not a job-seeker’s market there because the organization has yet to adjust to the reality that they can’t take advantage of people they way they used to.

      1. IT Manager*

        I think it will take a while, assuming the candidate shortage stays the same, for most orgs to adjust.

        Any large org is currently looking at their approved salary bands and doing market research on their competitors and making the business case to the CEO/Board/decisionmakers who are pushing back in several cycles of “well I can’t pay more than my competitors or our product will be too expensive”

        It will take a while to adjust.

      2. Kay*

        Ha – same with my industry. My clients for over a year have been wailing about how they can’t find ANYONE to fill ANY positions and they are all overworked and one resignation away from disaster.

        Apparently, recruiters found a very old resume of mine somewhere (I’m talking it has to be a good 15+ years old) and have been hounding me nonstop. I figured, what the heck, if all my clients are feeling so much pain they must be willing to pay well and maybe I can do some part time, on my own hiding from Omicron time, easy work if I were to feel like it – and perhaps even get some benefits. I choked on my coffee when one guy sent over the “excellent” hourly pay of $17.50/hr for an experienced CONTRACT worker-so not even any benefits!!!! I guess my client offering 25/hr wasn’t so bad??

        I completely understand why the industry can’t hire.

    10. Saraaaaah*

      I have been off- and- on looking for mid-level nonprofit work since February 2020 (got a new job fall of 2020 that turned out to be a bad fit and almost immediately started looking again, albeit more pickily). I feel like I was getting more traction in fall 2020 than any other time.

      Kind of thought it was just my imagination so it’s interesting to see others confirm that the job market isn’t as great as it’s cracked up to be for them, either.

    11. Emma*

      I’m finding employers are desperate, but not willing to sacrifice on any of their requirements. Here for example it’s all diploma this, so many years of experience that.. I’ve seen positions readvertised 4 times over because they didn’t get what they wanted out of their first, second or third advertisements. There is the occasional different employer but it’s like finding a needle in a haystack.

      1. Ashley*

        I worked for a place that kept required a high school diploma and additional education preferred for a job that paid $10-$12 and honestly didn’t need an education requirement. It took a lot of energy to try and explain why they should remove unnecessary requirements when you pay less then local retail.

    12. KitCat*

      That is still going on. My current employer has been talking for the last few years that our employees are going to need a whole new skill set. When I ask what those skills will be so we can train them – there’s no real response. The leadership can’t articulate it, but somehow the employees should know and should already be “up-skilling”. For the skills and the jobs that the company can’t describe but is 100% sure will be vastly different than what they do now… I’m assuming this is thinly veiled code for “you’re all too old and too expensive and we assume people under 30 will somehow have the right skills at the right price”.

    13. Talula Does the Hula From Hawaii*

      Please quote my posts.
      What really struck me was how insistent they were that they were hiring but could not find anybody. They believed their own code speak and could not fathom why people with a degree and 5-10 years of experience would not work for not much over minimum wage.
      People were desperate for jobs after all, they “should” have taken what crumbs employers were offering and be grateful for it.

    14. Pennycress*

      As a December 2010 College Graduate, I agree with this take. I was essentially told. Take a job, any job because there aren’t many. I did turn down two roles which I felt something was off (in hind sight, I’m so glad I listened to my gut there) and eventually took a role which was salaried and interesting, but once I calculated it considering the amount work expected, it was far sub minimum wage. Starting so low on the overall salary ladder has definitely impacted me as I have progressed through my career, now 11 years in!

  3. zolk*

    At least in my field, I don’t see much posted, and what is available is either pretty junior or extremely senior, with nothing in-between.

    1. Miss Fisher*

      Same for me. There really isnt any place for people in my area which is mid level at the company to go right now. But lots of junior roles or C-suite roles.

    2. Save Bandit*

      PRECISELY this. I’m either massively under-qualified or missing the required decade of management experience. It’s so disheartening.

        1. Exhausted Trope*

          Yes, agree. I started my hunt in earnest early 2021 and didn’t secure a mid-level position until December. Most of the positions in my field were either entry-level or required 10+ years experience. I have almost 5 years so I am very lucky to find a mid-level position in an international company that not only pays well but allows flexible schedules and some WFH.

      1. Evonon*

        I find so odd that the century of experience requirement that have been plaguing entry to mid level jobs hasn’t gone away during this time

      1. Peon1*

        Same! I work in museums and heritage. The only mid-level positions I saw open up last year were for a newly-created government office. I interviewed but ultimately withdrew my application. I’d lived in that area before. The salary isn’t going to cut it.

    3. WellRed*

      Same here (journalism niche). The rare occasion I see a post they make vague references to pivot to video (meaning they have no idea what they want) and offer low 30s for salary. In a high cost of living area.

      1. SpiderLadyCeo*

        Yes! I work in the nonprofit sector, and in my previous high COL city, the HIGHEST pay I was seeing for midlevel jobs was 50k. You can make it work in that city, making 50k, but it’s not easy, and they don’t give you raises. It was endlessly frustrating to live and work there because you’re scraping by to live in a single studio and the condos and townhomes nearby are going for 800k.

        1. Seanchaigirl*

          Ugh, same. I’m not actively looking but I saw a listing come across in my former high COL city for a director-level position at an organization whose mission I am particularly passionate about. Out of curiosity I read through it and the salary range was capped in the low 40s. For the person who will be leading fundraising and communications! I make 60% more than that now in my lower COL city at the same job level and don’t have to deal with the public. Hard pass.

          1. MiloSpiral*

            the salary range was capped in the low 40s. For the person who will be leading fundraising and communications!

            ……o damn. I don’t manage anyone (my org is tiny; 2.5 employees) but because we’re so small I essentially lead fundraising and communications. I already knew I was grossly underpaid, and am actively searching, but your post really hit me.

            I make probably half that.

    4. Ally McBeal*

      This was my issue too (I’m in the communications field)! I finally gave up and applied for positions a little less senior than my experience level would dictate, and the company that offered me the job told me they were automatically bumping me up by one seniority level because of my experience. Plus I’m starting to get the sense that I’ve been recognized by top execs enough that I might be able to bump up another level within a year-ish of my hire date.

    5. Smithy*

      This is 100% what I’m seeing. The available roles in my sector are largely VP/C-suite or quite junior/temporary.

      In my sector, about 6 months ago there was a huge wave of more mid/mid-senior level roles that allowed for those either looking to leave or open to being recruited for natural fits. What remains from that larger shuffle now are the very senior roles and the more junior ones. On the very senior side, I would say that a number of those roles have been a struggle to fit due to a larger sector focus on mid level roles specializing. So that when all of a sudden they want a VP to manage Tea, Chocolate and Coffee pots after focusing on only Teapots for the last fifteen years – the talent pool is a touch wonky.

      Essentially the jobs everyone wants are the ones that allow for greater and greater individual specialization with minimal management (i.e. Teapot Specialist Sr. Advisor), but that’s not what’s available.

      I’m also in fundraising that largely speaking is an industry dominated by women and not exactly the number 1 job you hear anyone say they want when they want to work in the nonprofit sector. Like a number of professional sectors dominated by women, when the job market is tight – those entry level fundraising jobs gets more applicants by “anyone” looking to break into the sector. When the job market favors job seekers…those junior roles are harder to fill.

    6. Aggretsuko*

      It was pretty same old, same old looking at the job listings in my field. My organization takes months to get permission to hire anyone and has to go through three levels of permissions to hire. And at times the job listing gets yanked ANYWAY for HR reasons.

    7. Evonon*

      I’ve noticed this too. I don’t know what field you’re on but in the non profit sphere I’m seeing a lot of upper level jobs vacant and people leaving but as I’m looking for something entry-mid level I’m hearing crickets.

    8. Smithy*

      I’m seeing this as well.

      I’m in fundraising and six months ago there were a lot of roles across the board so I think the larger wave of people moving up happened and now what’s left are the more junior roles and senior ones that are harder to fill. I also think that generally speaking, fundraising often ends up getting mid level staff to hyper specialize to there’s a point in their career where it’s a lot more attractive to chase hyper niche specialized senior advisor roles with minimal management as opposed to stepping into VP/Chief Development roles.

      On the junior role side – and I have nothing to direct to my field to back this up – I do know that overall fundraising is a field largely dominated by women. And that “women’s” career tracks overall see fewer entrants during times when the job market favors job seekers and then has a rush when the job market is tighter. I know there’s research about this in nursing, but in the nonprofit space – I don’t know how many young job seekers there are where they specifically seek out fundraising work. But rather are struggling to break into the sector and therefore start applying to those jobs.

      1. StarHunter*

        Non-profit here as well. I’ve been looking since early last year for membership/development jobs ranging from manager to coordinator (formally a manager, needed to come out of retirement for reasons). I’ve been ghosted by almost every single org. I see coordinator jobs requiring 5 years of experience, bachelor’s, and paying $15/hr (in CA!). I am also over 60 and I’m guessing I am running up against ageism as well. I would have thought non-profits would love to have someone experienced.

        1. Smithy*

          I know that “nonprofit” as a basket really doesn’t properly describe the larger nonprofit world and who has done better/worse during the pandemic and how that impacts their hiring – so combined with ageism, maybe that’s also a factor?

          I wonder if nonprofits have their own specific breed of ageism where there’s a worry that older candidates will want higher salaries than a job will pay. And of course a salary isn’t listed, so it’s a hiring manager or HR on the other side looking at an extensive resume and then thinking “oh, they must think we can pay so much more than we can”.

      2. Former Fundraiser*

        Oh, that’s interesting! Anecdotally, I (a woman) ended up in fundraising after pretty fruitless job searching in my field post grad-school during the recession. It’s definitely not my preferred job, but it’s a nice skill to have. I’ve gotten fundraising jobs when I’ve wanted to jump ship, and managed to work my way out of fundraising/development roles into things I was more interested in.

        1. madge*

          Are you comfortable sharing basic information about how and to where you transitioned those skills? I’m in donor relations/stewardship and am considering transitioning out, mainly because the pay is abysmal. I love quite a bit of what I do but I also would love to be fairly compensated.

          1. Former Fundraiser*

            Sorry this is late, hopefully you still see it! For me, it helped that I was at smaller organizations that prioritized developing staff members in their interests and skills, and didn’t trap people in the fundraising side of things. Another thing I did was to lean into anything communication or outreach oriented that I got to do, like writing website content, handling social media, writing appeals, etc. For whatever reason, I’ve found that the communication/outreach side of development is seen as more transferable.

            I definitely feel like my salary trajectory was less strong than it could have been at larger organizations, but the programs were less siloed than I’ve seen at bigger orgs and the upper management cared a lot about letting people develop skills and interests.

            Vaguely my path:
            Org. 1: Fundraiser (straight up entry level doing cold calling), which led to
            Org. 2: Development associate > Communications/Development > Communications/Program Associate > Program Director
            Left Org. 2 and took a title downgrade, but higher pay and more stable organization
            Org. 3: Development associate > never got a title upgrade (should have pushed for it) but ended up doing lots of communication and some program development
            Laid off due to COVID/Freelance outreach consulting
            Org. 4 (current): Technician – this place has weird job titles, but I’m doing programmatic stuff alongside communication duties, and it’s a much bigger organization with much better compensation and name recognition. I am planning on applying for a Program Director role in the near future.

        2. RedinSC*

          I would also love to hear how you managed to transition out, I’m VP level in Development and want to get away from fund raising into foundation or Corporate Social Responsibility and I’m just not having any luck getting interest in my resume.

      3. Le Sigh*

        This is an interesting comment re: niche. We’re in the same field and I echo your thoughts around looking at sr advisor type roles — VP or Chief Dev roles are often seen as the natural next step, but I don’t think every good fundraiser in necessarily suited to it. I can see people opting to go for something that comes with less pressure and allows them to focus on a niche/interest area.

        I also think part of it is, depending on your local market, moving up into the VP-type roles can be tricky. Depending on what kind of experience you’ve racked up as a mid-level fundraiser, you might be a bit underqualified for the VP roles but also overqualified for a lot of lateral and jr jobs. Not to say you can’t stretch or do a lateral move, but it can leave you in a middle space.

        Also, if I read one more job listing that goes on and on about creating an equitable workplace but requires you to post your salary requirements in a cover letter and wants a Master’s for a job that I’m sorry, does not remotely require it….

        1. Smithy*

          I’m at a Director level and am beginning to get the shakes when I think about what’s next….because the traditional ladder options seem wonky.

          Personally, and even with working for large organizations, I’ve managed a career without managing more than one person at a time. So roles that include managing larger teams (which are found in the majority of “next step” jobs) seem both daunting and I’m not entirely convinced its what I want.

          The next issue I’ve seen is that for a number of Sr. Director/VP jobs the job description often makes me chuckle because it’s usually includes some wildly rare combination of experiences that I’ve either never or rarely seen. And when I have seen it, it’s almost always because a good chunk of someone’s career was in small or midsized places and then they’re not as experienced with the dollar amounts or breadth of desired contacts.

          I’m not going to touch the Masters point because then this comment will be 2,000 words….sigh…

          All to say, I know a number of people who’ve been essentially making lateral moves but negotiating more money and better titles. Because the true “next step” options don’t seem quite right. And you work under one or two of those new VP’s where you see them struggling, and it’s not exactly inspiring to take that leap yourself.

          1. Le Sigh*

            I relate so much to everything in this comment. I’m feeling all of this so, so much right now and it’s kind of unsettling. I’m trying what you mention — looking for lateral-ish moves into similar or related work that offer something new, whether it be going permanently remote, more money, a focus on my niche, a chance for the kind of growth I’m interested in, etc.

            I really don’t know that I can do the ladder climb. I get queasy reading VP job descriptions that between the lines just scream “burnout!” And when I do find ones I’m qualified for, it’s usually for a smaller org with 30% less pay but also you have to do major gifts, grants, membership, digital, etc. mostly by yourself. At this point, I’d rather find a way to shift out of fundraising than take that on.

    9. HereKittyKitty*

      Same- when I was job searching for 9 months almost all positions were either entry-level for peanuts, or extremely senior positions like directors with nothing in between.

    10. LilPinkSock*

      Yes! Thanks to a company shake-up, about 3/4 of my colleagues suddenly found ourselves looking for new positions. The very senior people and the very junior people found jobs almost immediately, while those of us in the middle really struggled. I feel lucky to have gotten something relatively soon.

    11. aubrey*

      I’m seeing this too – low paid entry level or director level, and barely anything in the middle.

      1. SelinaKyle*

        This is my partners problem, he work made him a lot of promises over the last 8 years and never followed through. He feels stuck as he’s over experienced for his role and similar but can’t jump to the next level as there is so much of a gap. Like others have said some of the lower roles seem to now be made up of a number of merged roles for little pay.

      2. I'm the social scientist you need*

        I’m in the same position: looking for a mid-level role and there are always junior roles, but nothing that fits my experience. Can’t get any company to notice me.

        1. EggyParm*

          Based on your username have you ever considered consulting or working in advertising? I worked in advertising for over a decade and we employed or leveraged social scientists as consultants to help us build interview guides, facilitate focus groups, and back up our projects with social science theory to our clients. Some areas might feel basic to you (making an interview guide probably takes you an hour) but the hourly rate is quite competitive! And most of the social scientists I worked with found it fun to bring those concepts into the business world. Just some food for thought!

          1. I'm the social scientist you need*

            I’d like to do consulting but can’t quite figure out how to get a W-2 job in it.

            1. Dancing Otter*

              Consulting firms employ on W-2 basis, then bill clients. A lot of temp agencies do this, too. You just need to find one in your field.

              1. Hillary*

                Seconding this. The trick is finding a smaller specialty agency that does what you want. The agencies that fill higher-skill roles will have a lot more options. You’re the product they’re selling, they understand your value proposition and if they stay in business they understand what they have to do to retain you. I used to work for one that focused primarily on engineering – their bill rate to customers started at $50/hour and could be $1000+/hour for some specialists. My partner worked for another one that focuses on a specific kind of software development project recovery.

                We chose if we wanted to be on W-2 or 1099 and if we wanted their benefits (health insurance, 401k, pretty comparable to a smaller corporate employer) and we accrued vacation & sick time.
                Direct deposit every week for the previous pay period. When the contract ended we would be eligible for unemployment and they never disputed it. Honestly, it was a pretty great gig.

    12. Cheezmouser*

      Same here, either entry-level or director-level available in my field. I suspect management-level openings are plentiful because companies keep poaching each other’s directors/C-suite people. Meanwhile, entry-level is plentiful because the junior staff ranks got thinned during the pandemic recession and companies now need to hire back. Plus we’re already stacked in middle management, so if you hire highly experienced junior staff, they don’t have much room to grow. Better to hire entry-level people whom you can grow.

    13. Leilah*

      This is my experience as well. It just started about 6 months ago – I used to routinely see roles I was qualified for as a mid-career person. Since about August 95% of roles are now either 10+years upper management experience or entry level, nothing in between.

    14. Lights, Camera, Inaction*

      Ditto. I work in live entertainment and almost everyone employed casually/on contract lost their job at the start of the pandemic. There’s now a flood of entry-level positions rehiring as restrictions ease and the industry builds up steam again, and senior positions where the pandemic has either encouraged senior and executive-level managers to change careers or jump ship after having to slash and burn their companies. Mid-level have all clung to job security and are averse to spitting in the eye of employers who held onto them.

    15. Pool Lounger*

      Same in my field, plus wanting very specialized skills, not willing to train or pay wages that are competitive, and many still have ridiculous applications that require a resume and CL plus filling in the same info on an annoying online form.

    16. DC*

      Yes, exactly this. There’s no middle. I’m starting to get desperate (been #covidunemployed for two years now), but entry level roles pay NOTHING. It’s insulting to entry level folks to pay them that little.

    17. Alternative Person*

      Yep. My company is not filling vacated mid-level positions and refusing to understand that they exist for very good reasons.

      But my whole field is in a race to the bottom where I live, qualified staff are being pushed out by degrees in metro areas and while jobs out in rural areas usually do get some perks, there’s very little up to go from there without an international move or a lot of luck/good timing.

    1. Mm*

      Yep. I’m in a competitive field and keep hearing that jobs are impossible to fill. I responded to a couple of recruiter emails, but every job ended up having a salary at least 20% less than I currently make.

      I think some of it is that employees have accepted that jobs are hard to fill right now and are taking on higher workloads with the hope that someone will get hired eventually. There is very little incentive for these employers to push up the pay range on their open positions when the work is getting done.

  4. Clefairy*

    What I’ve personally seen more of is members of my network reaching out to me about specific opportunities at their companies that they want to refer me to. In the last year or so there have been 4 or 5 opportunities that have “dropped into my lap” thanks to my network, all of which I’ve turned down or not pursued for various reasons.

      1. Clefairy*

        My experience kind of skirts the line between a few different industries…these opportunities have all been in Entertainment/Amusement and Software

      2. Clefairy*

        And yes, I am SO lucky and grateful for my wonderful network! I know I am definitely in a better position that plenty of folks right now. But this definitely has been an anomaly for my experience pre-pandemic, where this might be a once-a-year kind of thing

    1. MicroManagered*

      This is really interesting because normally, if I get a message like this, I assume the job must really suck because they can’t find anyone to fill it. But the climate around that may be changing a little bit.

      1. Pop*

        Oh interesting, I only reach out to my network if I genuinely think it’s a good job that I would feel good about recommending people apply for!

    2. A Part of the Great Resignation*

      I have definitely had this happen to me recently. I had been at my old company for 15+ years and many who just looking at the outside thought I might be an owner or on a path to ownership. I searched very quietly in my industry because word travels quickly and my boss / company owner tended to act rashly. I landed at a great place but when telling people I was leaving I had multiple people tell me I wish I knew you were looking because they were looking for someone for X and I would be great, when there were zero job postings for that company.
      In the 6+ months I have been in my new job I have gotten almost monthly calls asking me about various opportunities from my network. Many are often in sales commission based role that has zero appeal because I want my nights and weekends free. Until we can break the cycle of 24 hour on call responding to customers, I think those jobs are just going to get harder and harder to fill.
      The best though is the old job trying to hire me back (in multiple platforms and through multiple people) despite being told in my exit interview I was never going to qualify for another raise. (They were serious; it had been something like 5 years. I was only eligible for bonuses without a concrete bonus structure.)

      1. The OTHER Other*

        “when telling people I was leaving I had multiple people tell me I wish I knew you were looking because they were looking for someone for X and I would be great, when there were zero job postings for that company.”

        What a strange way they had of looking for someone! I think the better definition might be “hoping a great employee will approach me from out of the blue”.

  5. Glomarization, Esq.*

    One theory I’ve seen is that businesses are inflating their numbers of unfilled jobs so that they can receive Build Back Better relief funds.

    1. Kaboom22*

      Yes. The amount of companies screaming “No OnE wAnTs To WoRk AnYmOrE” combined with the amount of ppl I hear saying they’re applying all over and not getting call backs, leads me to believe that companies are advertising bc they had to to be eligible for PPP loans, but have decided they’d rather privately pocket the difference and publicly complain to save face.

      1. Spearmint*

        Eh, I’m skeptical of this. The vast majority of PPP loans were distributed by early-summer of last year.

        I suspect the real disconnect is that some industries have a worker shortage while others are still really competitive.

        1. FrivYeti*

          My understanding is that, for those doing this, it’s not about distribution, it’s about being able to avoid paying the loans back.

          Essentially, if the loans are used on certain types of payroll, they don’t have to be repaid. And if the corporation has documentation to show that they *want* to have that job, but it’s been recently vacated and they can’t find a replacement, they don’t have to pay back the loan and they also don’t have to hire someone to fill it. So some corporations took PPP loans intended for staffing, laid off those staff anyway (or even faked their existence in the first place, in some cases), kept the money, and are now ‘trying’ to fill the spots, but not very hard because they don’t actually want to pay staff for them.

          This is definitely a thing that’s happened; it is unclear whether it’s happening in large enough numbers to reflect the current disparity between the number of supposedly open jobs and people’s experiences. But it’s not too far-fetched.

          1. Anne of Green Tables*

            Anecdotal, but a friend of mine and many of her coworkers were laid off right after their company got its PPP loan. Rehiring or new hiring didn’t happen, but the company got another whopping second-round PPP loan. Almost $1M in free money for a company that was terrible to work for, but nevertheless was many people’s sole source of income. I really wonder what the books look like on that one.

            1. Ann, You Beautiful Spinster*

              I got furloughed by a company that promised to bring everyone back because we were “family,” and then they laid us all off and converted a bunch of contractor positions to meet payroll numbers and avoid paying back the loans.

          2. Ashley*

            Yes, it’s about documentation for loan forgiveness. The company I work for got PPP loans from both rounds, and I helped with the documentation needed to get the loans forgiven. If the company is honest, the documentation isn’t difficult, just standard-government-form tedious.

      2. Autumnheart*

        What’s really infuriating is that companies sure weren’t complaining about “nobody wanting to work” when they laid off millions of people in 2020. To the point where the government paid them billions of dollars to not do that, although plenty of them did anyway. But now that people don’t want those shitty jobs back? Suddenly it’s a problem.

        1. Anonymous4*

          “People don’t want to work a crappy job with constantly varying hours for very little money — they’re just LAZY!”

          I always want to put the people who say that into that sort of job and let them find out first-hand why those jobs are open and why the managers are having to rethink their approach to their employees’ scheduling and pay.

          1. IT Manager*

            Yeah I went to a fast food restaurant this weekend that was clearly trying to mollify customers with a sign that said “we’re so sorry for the slow service, but so many people don’t want to work right now” and it was infuriating.

            They don’t want to work for low wages, uncertain schedules, and plague-carrying maskless screaming customers? Shocker.

            Just charge me a buck more for my burger and pay people a living wage.

          2. MiloSpiral*

            I always want to put the people who say that into that sort of job and let them find out first-hand why those jobs are open and why the managers are having to rethink their approach to their employees’ scheduling and pay.

            This sort of happened at my old company—most of the company was laid off in March 2020, but before that, there was a significant disconnect between what C-suite people thought people should be able to do, with poorly designed systems, for very little pay, and what those entry-level jobs were like day-to-day. By August 2020 they had laid off everyone BUT the C-suite, so everyone had to pitch in everywhere. After that, the C-suite changed their tune considerably.

            The good news is that they seem to be acting on that experience: according to a friend who was hired back recently, they are paying much more competitive salaries, and are fostering a better culture of work-life balance. I was very glad to hear it.

        2. Anonymous4*

          Addendum: The “just-in-time” scheduling may be The Greatest Thing Ever for maximizing profits, but it just shreds the employees. They never know when they’re going to be called in, they never know from week to week how many hours they’ll work or how much money they’ll make — and for people with kids? God love ’em, how can they find childcare on that kind of crazy schedule?

    2. Leliana*

      This is my theory as well. I’ve applied to a handful of jobs that, halfway through the interview process, were suddenly closed for no reason/they decided not to hire anyone. A little sus.

    3. a tester, not a developer*

      In my part of the world (not the US) one of the theories is that employers are using “we just can’t get workers” to reduce customer pushback when they reduce the opening hours for the business (i.e. places that were open 24/7 now closing at 8 or 10 because “they just can’t get staff”).

      1. kathy*

        in my part of the world (also not the US) I think staffing shortages today are largely caused by the number of people off work at any given time due to COVID symptoms or positive tests. It’s forcing the closure of libraries, restaurants, and any elective or non-emergency medical procedure at a hospital.

        1. lolly pop*

          In my area the public libraries double as homeless shelters so they stay open and force library staff to be exposed to angry, violent, mask-refusers. For shitty shitty wages.

          1. pancakes*

            It seems like the problem here is more that the library allows people to go mask-free than that it allows homeless people in. And the low pay, of course.

    4. Ally McBeal*

      I’ve seen that theory too, or a variation where they’re not inflating their numbers but posting jobs and then ghosting on interviewees. Or, like with retail/service jobs, they’ll get all the way to offer or onboarding stage and say “well you’re fine with only working 30 hours a week, right?” because they’re desperate for wage slaves and not actual employees who need benefits and scheduling stability. Same motivation though.

    5. Rolling eyes*

      I’m a recruiting manager and have 10% of my company’s headcount as open roles. I wish I was inflating the number of openings! I’d be less stressed!

      1. Hydrangea McDuff*

        Do you feel like your company is advertising competitively? What do you hear from applicants about their hesitancies?

  6. RT*

    It was pretty easy for me to land a new role – in fact the company that I eventually chose to work with took 2 weeks to go through 4 interviews and make a decision. Netted me a significant pay raise and the role is 100% remote.

    I probably spent 3 months lazily looking for a new job – most of my interviews came from recruiters contacting me via LinkedIn though. It was pretty rare for me to get contacted when I applied to a position.

    My position is a non-dev role with a software firm that does Fintech which is my specialty.

    1. Hogwash*

      Coming from a big bank, I found it to be relatively easy to get a job at a fintech. The industry seems to be desperate for talent in my area (I’m remote but the job is based in a major Midwestern city).

      1. Web Crawler*

        I’m also in fintech and that seems true in my experience too. (I’m also remote with a company out of the midwest.)

      2. WonderMint*

        Fintech worker here, we’re hiring like mad in 2022. The caveat is little-to-no entry-level positions. Looking for talent, not looking to train.

        1. RT*

          I’ve had the same problem training up entry level workers – it’s really tough. It takes upwards to 6 months to get familiar with basic fintech concepts and if the person isn’t able to take that and run with it, we’re pretty much dead in the water with that person.

          We’ve mostly cheated the system and started snagging business analysts from other fields that seem especially technically capable and teaching them fintech concepts instead – still a little hit or miss but not as bad as entry level.

        2. Clemgo3165*

          How about looking for experience, not looking to train. One can still be talented, just not trained for the position.

      3. No Longer Gig-less Data Analyst*

        Also in Fintech and can concur. We have way more positions than qualified/experienced people to fill them.

        The company has tried hiring new grads with little to no experience and the learning curve is just way to high. The volume of work is too great to spend 6 months to a year getting an individual analyst up to speed. It doesn’t help that our training sucks and we really need someone who can hit the ground running.

        1. Hogwash*

          We’re hiring at all levels- both engineers and non-engineers. One thing that stuck out to me was that they were wanting to a couple new grads (with more oversight) or one mid-level person for a particular project depending on the applicant pool. I don’t know what that means but it seems like they’re having to be more flexible.

    2. LinuxSystemsGuy*

      I think pretty much all higher-end IT/dev stuff is almost always easy to find jobs in. I do systems engineering/dev ops stuff for various types of HPC type systems. Basically these days I support clusters that do data analysis of various types and/or object based storage clusters, though I also have experience supporting development pipelines as well. Since about 2008 I have never been jobless for more than a couple of weeks.

      Similarly, when hiring, it’s almost always hard/bordering on impossible to find qualified people. Scientific institutions, research heavy industries like biotech and robotics, and startups are always looking for Unix/Linux heavy systems people, though they call them all sorts of things. Plus I live near Boston, which is heavy in all those industries.

      It’s hard to say this 100% since I am personally a white male, but I don’t even see much racism or sexism these day in this niche. It’s hard enough to find people with the skills we need. No one cares about much of anything else.

      1. Goldenrod*

        I’m in higher ed too (but as a female EA) and I saw a HUGE difference this go-round. My new job was a 10% raise and they were DESPERATE to hire me….a big difference from the last time I looked.

        Another female EA pal of mine also got the red-carpet treatment when she applied….and a huge 20% increase in salary!

        So I am definitely feeling a difference….And LOVING IT.

        1. lolly pop*

          Definitely not the case for my higher ed employer. They still offer peanuts for double workloads for classified staff but roll out red carpets for director/VP/dean positions.

        2. AcademiaNut*

          I think the comment above was talking about higher-END IT stuff, rather than higher-ED.

          High performance computing is certainly used by some higher-ed fields. There’s a tendency to get more junior people who train up in complex *nix based cluster computing, machine learning and the like and then go off to industry for a much, much higher salary. Plus the occasional oddball who loves the academic environment too much to leave.

      2. OT not IT*

        Maybe someone can help me give my son some direction on how to look for a job in IT while living in Japan. He has about 5 years help desk and networking experience when he worked at a hospital and NASA in the US before moving to Japan. He’s learning Japanese but not fluent enough to work locally, so he’s hoping to find something he can do remotely. Any suggestions I could pass along would be greatly appreciated!

        1. RT*

          Have your son broaden his search to business analyst/support analyst/systems analyst roles. There is a ton of overlap there. He will need technical ability to troubleshoot issues, critical thinking skills and good writing skills to write up requirements or client requests. Hope that helps.

      3. Me!*

        But y’all don’t need any admins or PCs, apparently, or else they get paid enough that they never leave? I’ve been trying and trying and trying to get over there. I got so, so close with a science-adjacent company, but the hiring manager had an emergency and they picked someone else (probably local) and I was heartbroken. :'{

        1. Zweisatz*

          Of you want to get into IT and are reasonably tech-literate/savvy, I can only recommend looking into customer support positions, E. g. for software that the company develops itself (smaller scope).
          with support it can be tough to find the sweet spot between technical enough that you are treated well but not so technical that you’re out of your depth, but non-technical customer support can be a gateway to technical customer support.

          1. just a non tech girl in a techie world*

            That describes my role perfectly! I am a non tech person working for a tech company, and I train non tech people on our specific tech platform. I have a lot of prior experience working in the field my tech company focuses on (think health startup) which made the transition relatively smooth. I’d suggest searching health tech or customer support tech on linked in jobs for that type of role.

    3. The Starsong Princess*

      We’re finding incredibly difficult to fill technical and highly skilled roles. Generally, we offer slightly below market but with excellent flexibility, work environment, vacations/ benefits and bonus eligibility. Right now, that’s not good enough and we have been getting about one acceptance to five offers where it used to be one to one. It’s obvious that the market rate for these people has increased in the last year so we have had to increase offers for those we want. One thing I think is being watched closely is these people leaving because they can get more elsewhere. I am predicting market adjustment increases for some in these roles (although I have no knowledge of that happening – that’s just a guess.)

      For lower skilled and entry level roles, things haven’t changed that much. Yes, candidates have been negotiating more sharply but most offers are being accepted as they always were. We recently added a bunch of these roles and were able to fill them with good people.

      1. Alix J*

        This is kind of like what I saw at my prior employer. I work in tech but not at one of the big famous companies, and I feel like it took them way too long (maybe a year?) to process that this pay increase was here to stay. We’d ask why we hadn’t been able to hire this candidate we liked, or that one, or why the other role was still unfilled, and they kept saying their salary demands were too high.

        In an all-hands meeting one of our VPs responded to a question about our trouble hiring with “It’s a very difficult market right now, people just want more money these days than we’re willing to pay.” Picture my jaw falling open like, you understand you are literally telling all of us we are paid below current market rates, right?

        Anyway, a while after I left (as part of a long string of departures) they announced a pay adjustment across the board, raises between 8-15% for most roles. It probably would have matched what I got at my new job, but my new job doesn’t make me work evenings and weekends so I still feel like a winner. And I’m glad they finally got the message!

        1. MiloSpiral*

          Good for you! Congrats on finding something better, and hopefully at a company that already understands the value of its workers. It’s great that your old company has made some changes, but culture takes a lot longer to shift. Best of luck to them with that change but there’s no sense waiting around for it.

          I am actively job-searching. My manager (ED of a tiny nonprofit) knows that she doesn’t offer enough to retain employees, but somehow thinks that she’s the one suffering most. About a month ago she said something to me like, “Believe me, no one understands better than I do how much it sucks that we can’t pay more or offer benefits.”

          No one? Really? No one else?

    4. TheLinguistManager*

      I am not in fintech, but I am in cybersecurity/privacy and we are hoping to hire a ton of people for my dev team this year, to the point where I expect my (already sizable) department to double. Lots of senior positions but we are also trying to fill out the junior ranks and invest in our staff.

      The market we’re seeing is filled with job seekers and jobs and extremely competitive on both sides. Lots of people who come to us have offers already or are expecting them soon, and the comp expectations are way higher. I now know what it’s like to be an old fuddy-duddy, as I recently offered a new college grad a salary 60% higher than my first job out of college had 14 years ago.

      I have never seen anything like this job market. However, I am also grounded by my partner, who graduated from law school and passed the bar last year, and is on month 6 of her job search. She’s had applications fall into black holes, been ghosted by recruiters, the whole nine yards. Next week she has her very first interview of the search. The kicker is that most of her classmates are experiencing the same thing. It’s either “entry level, requires 5 years of experience” or only senior positions. I had my own 7-month job search in 2020, so I’m hoping she doesn’t break my record.

  7. Jake*

    We’re struggling to find good applicants. Enough so that we are cold calling some people in the area that work for competitors that we know are good fits and trying to get them to come to our side. I haven’t seen us ever do that before, as we can usually get great candidates just by sitting back and letting them come to us.

    1. Jake*

      As an aside, we are having no issues finding entry level folks. Its the 5-10 year folks that we can’t find. It’s not a money thing, we advertised on our normal spots and received 0 qualified applications.

        1. The New Wanderer*

          That could definitely be true in my niche field – my previous company had lots of applicants for entry level (and some were even qualified!), but very few applicants at all in the mid to senior range. Those latter positions were open for most of 2021, which is really unusual considering those jobs were previously rare and highly coveted. However these days, with our type of skills and 5-10 years’ experience you can pivot to a good number of very highly paid adjacent fields, which all have good jobs posted too.

        1. Pants*

          This is huge. I’m suspect of companies that don’t include salary bands. I feel like they’re hiding what they know to be a low salary.

          1. FridayFriyay*

            Same. And with so many jobs now posting salaries/salary ranges in the ads, it doesn’t make sense to sink time and energy into those that don’t due to the likelihood that if they paid competitively they’d want to advertise it.

            1. Fran Fine*

              My company really needs to start posting salary ranges in the ads. I hear so many complaints from hiring managers that they can’t find qualified candidates, and I truly think the lack of salary range is part of it (and we actually pay market rate for every role and have excellent benefits, which they also don’t advertise – it’s bizarre).

              1. Pants*

                I’ve got over 20 years of experience on my resume. I stopped responding to ads that don’t list a salary band. 99% of the time, I found those jobs were at least $5 to $10k lower than they should have been. If your hiring managers are looking for people with my kind of experience, please feel free to let them know they’re being overlooked automatically by qualified candidates.

      1. HolidayAmoeba*

        I am seeing similar issues. We can fill entry level jobs. Although the pool for some of those is weirdly more shallow than what we had before. But people with some experience are making major moves because that’s where the real market is. Myself included. About to start a new job.

        1. Jake*

          We hire a lot of interns, since we are in a college town, so we always have a strong pool of entry level candidates, luckily.

      2. Marny*

        Do your ads reflect whether your company has good COVID safety protocols and/or WFH options? Do your ads include salary?

        1. Jake*

          yes on the salary, no on everything else. These are not WFH positions, for us or any of our competitors.

      3. MusicWithRocksIn*

        We are desperately looking for a strong sales person – but need a very engineering strong knowledge base, and the pickings are non-existent. We are paying well – but being good at outside sales is almost something you are born with, and those people have gotten snatched up, and the industry is strong in these parts but niche.

      4. Aquawoman*

        It’s fascinating that in a thread above, people looking for midlevel positions are saying the opposite. I’m so curious about the disconnect.

        1. Jake*

          My experience is one industry in one location. Plus it is an industry that typically struggles to keep people beyond the 5 year mark in the first place. We’ve always had more luck hiring entry level folks and developing them into mid level folks, but right now we have an immediate need after 3 people decided to move out of state within a month.

      5. Mimi*

        I wonder if the shortage of 5-10 year folks (in some industries) is because of timing of recessions– if the people who graduated 5-15 years ago have less relevant experience than the comparable group 10 or 20 years ago, because it was so hard to get entry-level jobs in some fields during the Great Recession. Almost none of my peers got work in their field right away, and I still know people working kind of meh jobs (or weird niche ones) in industries they don’t care that much about, because that was what they could get and they’re still scarred from job searching fresh out of school.

        1. irianamistifi*

          This is absolutely true for my peers. We graduated in ’07 and I only have 2 friends from college who have jobs in their studied field. A lot of my friends, when they finally found jobs, clung to them for dear life and never really got the salary/raises/promotions that people in the years before us did.

          A lot of us have been consistently underemployed and took jobs that didn’t really mesh with our dreams/studies because that’s what was available.

          1. Chirpy*

            This, I did get a job in my minor right out of college, but lost it at the height of the recession and never was able to get back into the field (or the main field I studied for). It’s now been a good 10+ years and even if I did manage to find one of these jobs, I’d still be entry level instead of midlevel like I should be at this age.

        2. Cheezmouser*

          I’m seeing this in my field too. There just weren’t a lot of entry-level jobs available during the Great Recession, which meant fewer people getting their foot in the door 5-10 years ago. Plus automation and global outsourcing eliminated many of the more repetitive-but-important tasks that helped build skills in junior staff. So now we’re left with jobs consisting primarily of higher-level, more complex tasks that can’t be automated and that require extensive experience to handle, but a smaller pool of experienced candidates.

        3. Overeducated*

          Oof, maybe. I am on the older end of that range and feel like I’m at least 5 years behind in my career, maybe more, thanks to the mess that was my early to mid-20s. Hard to know how much of that is normal finding your footing and how much was recession-based but my choices definitely felt narrow.

        4. Formerly Prof, now Non-Prof*

          I was going to suggest the same! I graduated with a BA in ’09, so… I worked retail for a year and then went to grad school. This was what virtually all of my peers did, too. I didn’t start my “professional” experience for a few more years, when I was in my late 20s (later than most of my peers, actually, because I got a PhD) and had left academia. While I’ve been able to explain in some job settings why the work I did in academia qualifies as work experience, technically I’ve only been out of grad school for 6ish years. I’m management-level now and am gently searching for a lateral move or director-level position. Even though I’m often overqualified in terms of experiences, training, skills, and education, I haven’t worked for 10+ years so I often don’t meet the threshold. I mean, I apply to those jobs anyway (because I’ve listened to the advice here!), but I often get screened out.

        5. Jake*

          I’m sure its true for some industries. My industry in particular is pretty famous for people not making it longer than 5 years, so this has been a problem for years, its just exacerbated by the current situation.

          1. Asae*

            Already elevated market? Sir you are aware that the vast majority of market rates have not been keeping up with increases in either production or inflation for quite a few years right? Would you be willing to say what the general pay range for this mid level position is?

      6. Tiffany Aching*

        We are also having this issue, regardless of whether salaries are posted or not, and we pay roughly market median for most positions. We have had to fail several searches for lack of candidates who meet even the minimum qualifications, or having no applicants at all.

        1. DANGER: Gumption Ahead*

          I wonder if part of what is happening is that companies offering market median to people already working in the field and being paid market median aren’t alluring enough to switch for because you lose any benefits from seniority (e.g. longer leave, already getting 401(k) match) and stability isn’t to be sniffed at given that we have no idea what might be coming. I’m betting jobs have to be better than median to entice already settled folks to move in many fields

          1. MusicWithRocksIn*

            This is very true. Everyplace I’ve worked has allotted vacation time by time spent at the company – so you have to work there for 5+ years to get more than two weeks. I was offered one week when I started, and negotiated up to two, and am really at a place in life where there is no way I’m taking a job again for less than three (which I have never had). I am so tired of the clock on ‘one day magic extra vacation time’ being re-set in a field that tends to do dramatic lay offs every few years.

            1. DrRat*

              Yeah, as I noted earlier, I think my company’s generous PTO does make a difference in attracting people. You might be pretty senior where you are and have worked up to 2-3 weeks of PTO, but we START people with 19 days PTO and 8 holidays, which I have literally never seen anywhere else. (Also if you leave the company and come back later, you keep your previous seniority in terms of PTO.)

              1. WonkyStitch*

                I had 4 years in my previous job and was still only at 1 week PTO a year (!) and switched to my new company, which was a lateral move salary-wise but started me on day one with 40 hours of PTO. The better and cheaper benefits, exclusively remote without having to refresh a reasonable accommodation every 6 months, company match on 401k up to 8%, stock plan, and internal movement opportunities were all worth it.

      7. The Dogman*

        Ahh over a decade of underpaying (not your company specifically, more the nature of Capitalism generally) and keeping people desperate for jobs is your problem I think.

        A lot the 10 years types you are after never developed those skills, never became experienced, instead the kleptocrat class set up the corporations (again generally, not all) to underpay and not develop the few workers who found jobs in their area of expertise. And many more graduates never got into the industries they wanted, they took what jobs they could get and I doubt many were up for risking unemployment in the last ten years, so a lot of industries were suffering from a shortfall of upskilled and experienced workers even before the pandemic.

        A good friend of mine is pretty senior in one of the UK’s biggest banks, and she has been having incredible difficulty getting exactly the same people you are looking for.

        She has a 41 years of experience person retiring this week. She has been trying to get 3 roles to replace the lady in question, since that lady was super fast and experienced. The bank are willing to pay for one person at her rate if they have 30 years of experience, but my friend says that person likely does not exist, and if they do will want a lot more than what they got away with paying the retiring lady too. She is already 3 staff down on the numbers she is supposed to have, but no one wants to take the roles that are open as the pay is not high enough to entice the people who have the required experience.

        She says that her bank has been as bad as the competition at not developing workers since poaching is cheaper… but the result is what you are seeing, coupled with the recession damaged workers, a dearth of people willing or able to take these roles.

        Then you get inflation of wages for those roles as companies get desperate, and this makes those companies less willing to invest in developing people in future as the company will be worried the workers will jump ship for better pay… which they will… so the end result is an ever increasing pay for key roles, and an ever decreasing number of people qualified for that role.

        On a personal note dog training dried up totally during the pandemic, so (since I was not elaigable to claim benefits or get any business support) I applied to a number of driving jobs, about 40. All to companies who said they were desperate for drivers. Including the NHS…

        I got zero responses, not even a “thanks but no.” from any of them, I hold a full clean UK driving license, with a number of advanced driving qualifications, I have no criminal record, no driving endorsements, and I was happy to work unsociable hours.

        Nothing in response. During a pandemic that called for extra deliveries nationwide.

        So personally I have little sympathy for corporations generally, they are reaping what they sowed, and some innocent ones will be caught up by this, but that is the nature of Capitalism really.

        1. JUSTJACKNOW*

          I agree that employers refuse to develop current workers. And now are expecting workers to train themselves via CBT and be experts in subjects that take years to be come one.

    2. Quinalla*

      Yes, we are having issues getting any applicants for mid-level or senior-level positions. I have advised and will continue to advise that while we keep looking for good mid/senior level folks, we should also ramp up internal training/promotions as we actually have a lot of internal talent that is ready or near ready to move up and bring on more entry level applicants as those are easier to get right out of college or folks that graduated in the last year or two that had no luck finding a job yet. We also continue to have co-ops and are often able to hire those folks who are ready to run on their first day as a salaried employee.

      We have also started actively looking for people anywhere in the country as a lot of us are still working 100% remotely. There are tax implications if we hire someone who lives outside of the current 5 states we have people in, but it is worth it for us if we get someone good with experience.

      The recruiters have been a little less aggressive lately in contacting me on linkedin, but are still there, more like 1 per week vs. 3-4 per week previously.

      I work in design for construction and most contractors I know are hurting for folks, but that problem has been ongoing for years, COVID just made it worse.

      There definitely still is a problem of some companies wanting to pay nothing, not offer any flexibility, and expect people to be butts in seats for no good reason and potential employees saying no thanks. Companies that haven’t adjusted since COVID started in their expectations are not going to do well right now in hiring.

      1. The Dogman*

        “I have advised and will continue to advise that while we keep looking for good mid/senior level folks, we should also ramp up internal training/promotions as we actually have a lot of internal talent that is ready or near ready to move up and bring on more entry level applicants as those are easier to get right out of college or folks that graduated in the last year or two that had no luck finding a job yet.”

        I suspect your bosses, while trying to poach talent from elsewhere, will not want to pay for training talented people who will jump ship at the first decent offer over what your bosses pay.

        And they will not understand even if you explain it in simple terms to them. They won’t want to understand it.

        Corporations did this to themselves, and it has been at least a couple of decades in the making, but much worse since the 2008/9 crash.

        The short termist thinking (thanks business schools! thanks loads…) that created this problem cannot fix it, they are incapable (capitalists in general that is) of looking at the longterm requirements for their own corporations, let alone their industry at large or society in general.

        1. A Part of the Great Resignation*

          I am amazed how many place refuse to train people because ‘we are to busy’ or Fergus already handles that. It is extremely short sighted and I think so many people are starting to realize only have one person that can perform certain functions is hugely problematic. My old company learned that lesson the hard way when they failed to provide the help I need to manage my workload. The amount of topics I had to leave direction on was long and they probably are still missing things that I just took care of because nobody else would and nobody else could be bothered to learn. When people have to work from a hospital bed because there is no one else to do some functions, it is time to find a new job.

    3. Little My*

      Yep, our org is also low in candidates for a role that I saw at least 50 applicants for when I worked at a different org in 2019.

    4. sofar*

      Yes, on the cold-calling. I’m getting reached out to directly more — clearly from companies who just had someone quit and the need to poach someone YESTERDAY. Also, our company is doing a lot more poaching attempts (direct contact to candidates with the right skill sets) to fill positions as we hemorrhage employees.

      The biggest reason I’m not jumping ship is that these companies are offering laughably pathetic vacation/time off policies and saying (when I ask) that “all our new employees start out with two weeks the first year, that’s our policy, and we can’t adjust that. But we can go up on salary.” I’m lucky to be in the position where I’m well enough paid, and I’m not about to jump ship to go somewhere that will give me a measly 2 weeks off when I’ve got 15 years of experience in my field.

      I always hate the first year at a new job where I have to prove myself and figure out the new norms. Without the ability to take time off as needed, I’d drown. I generally take 15-20 combined vacation/sick days per year, which I think is reasonable. If a company thinks 10 days total is A-OK, that indicates a certain “out of touch-ness” that I don’t want to deal with.

    5. Lily Rowan*

      Yeah, I work at a very attractive employer, and recently got one viable candidate for an early-career position and have heard the same from colleagues in other areas trying to hire at the same level.

    6. Cheezmouser*

      I wonder if this is impacting female-dominated fields more than male-dominated fields, given the continuing issues with childcare availability. I have one friend who dropped out of the workforce during the pandemic due to daycares closing. She still can’t go back because she’s pregnant now and doesn’t want to send the toddler to daycare and risk having COVID brought back home. I’m working 100% remote but I’ve had to watch my kids when schools closed or there’s a COVID exposure and they had to quarantine for 10 days. It was 10 days of hell, because I was in back-to-back meetings and shouldering an enormous amount of work while my kids ran amok. If we didn’t need the benefits, I might’ve considered quitting.

  8. CatCat*

    My spouse was laid off at the beginning of March 2021. Since then, he’s put in lots of applications, had a handful of interviews, received no offers, and run out of unemployment benefits. The “job-seekers market” feels like a myth to him. I’ve encouraged him to take the dates he went to college off his resume to avoid age discrimination.

    1. Panda*

      My husband had the same thing. He was laid off in January 2021. He had a few interviews. He even applied for stuff far below his career and salary like auto parts drivers, etc. and no calls for those. The few he did talk to wanted to pay peanuts. He finally got a job just before Christmas he didn’t even apply for. He was referred because he knew the VP and they were desperate to hire someone who knew the work from his old job (this company is a vendor for the old job that my husband directly worked with before layoff).

      I am not so certain the job market is as rosy as the press says.

    2. Midwestern Weegie*

      My husband was laid off in June 2021 (two months before we had our third child, whee….). He’s in the same boat of lots of applications, a few interviews, zero offers and now zero unemployment benefits. So he’s staying home with our kids while I’m supporting a family of 5 on a low-end-of-average salary.

      Good times.

      1. Jaxgma*

        My husband was laid off in Dec 2019 and it took him almost a year and a half to find another job – which ended up being with his previous company. He’s in financial services (not tech). Apparently folks in their late 50’s with 30 years of experience at the same company aren’t seen as a good investment. He applied to a ton of places, had a number of interviews, even made it to “finalist” a few times. His previous company is a bit of a niche in financial services, and other companies didn’t seem to believe that his skills would carry over – they wanted experience in very specific products. His previous company hired him back into a department he’d worked in 12 years earlier, at a lower level and thus a lower salary than he’d been making when he was laid off. His boss was thrilled to get him since he could hit the ground running, and gave him the very top of the salary range for the position, but it was still a 25% pay cut.

        1. The Dogman*

          I really hate capitalists… they ruin capitalism for everyone…

          So sorry you are all going through this, that sucks for your husband and by proxy you too!

    3. Leilah*

      My roommate has been looking for work for almost 18 months — EVERYWHERE is hiring desperately around me, but she has only gotten two call-backs. One ghosted her after she passed her drug test (weird) and one ghosted her after the interview. Everything else was crickets. I’ve helped her with her resume, she is working part time at the same job for 18 months now but they can’t offer full time and she wants full time work. I don’t understand why everyone is ghosting her (she is trans so we wonder if that has to do with it?).

    4. Swift*

      I’m in a similar boat. Its been hard to even get a call back. Most of the urgently hiring jobs around me is customer service, which I am so burned out on that I doubt I could do a good job. But I’ve applied for a bunch of in person jobs, mostly admin assistant, and haven’t even heard back.

      It feels like it’s an employee’s job market, but not for all employees.

    5. Snarkitect*

      My spouse was laid off August 2021, and same thing. Many applications, a couple of interviews but nothing has panned out yet. And very few postings in December due the holidays, presumably.

    6. Sitting Duck*

      I left my previous job I’m Sept 2019 because I was moving, and despite the fact the I was working remotely(and had been for 2.5 years at that point) they didn’t want me to work from my new state.(This company has employees all over the country….) Whatever.
      I immediately started looking for new remote work and am still looking 2+ years later. I’ve done hundreds of applications, had a couple interviews, got one offer and accepted and then the work ‘dried up’ and here I am still applying.
      I’m open to full or part-time, contract, even temporary at this point. The pandemic pushed more companies to remote and I hoped it would help my chances….and then we hear about the shortage of workers….none of this has helped me though. I have a master’s degree and 8+ years of experience in my field.
      I’m now building side hustles and hoping one of them takes off so I can pay myself, because nothing else is working.

  9. OlderGrad*

    I graduated with my Bachelors December 10th and literally began a new career that same day. My job search was easy, extremely fast, and unstressful. And my resume wasn’t perfect, either. So my experience was yes, it’s a great job market for seekers right now.

    1. Ali + Nino*

      It’s great to hear about new grads having success out there. Congrats! I’m curious – what is your industry?

    2. WomEngineer*

      COVID has made LinkedIn and virtual networking a vital skill for job seekers. It’s much easier to connect with others who are hiring or who can share career advice. Pretty much all of my networking in the past year was online through extracurriculars and professional organizations. I think it’s easier now than it was 6 months ago, as there’s (seemingly) less uncertainty regarding how to operate during COVID. Or at least I’ve seen more opportunities on LinkedIn.

      I’m also a new grad in engineering, targeting roles in aerospace, additive manufacturing, and consumer products. There are a lot of places in STEM that are hiring, but from a candidate’s perspective, it’s a mixed bag in terms of difficulty. Some of my classmates converted from past internships, whereas others (like myself) didn’t get an offer until a few months after graduation. As a woman, it felt like luck, but in reality, I know it’s based on past work experience (especially for technical roles) and nailing the interview. I’m grateful for the few interviewers that were able to provide feedback after my rejections.

      The biggest frustration was not hearing back at all from 2/3 of my applications. Also, a some did not notify you if you were rejected or had no way for candidates to monitor their status. One was confusing to navigate, and it was not obvious that candidates could check their status.

      On another note, I wish large organizations (with 100+ openings) let you filter postings by education requirements and years of experience (not just location and department), especially if they don’t refer to levels in the job title.

      I learned that research or other long-term projects really make a difference if you’re targeting a specific technical area. While you may have transferable skills from other work, but there’s another candidate with highly relevant experience, they’ll stand out more.

      I’m not as bothered by not knowing the salary upfront, but I expect it to be close to my school’s median. I also expect health/retirement benefits, especially if you have a college degree.

  10. Former Gifted Kid*

    I recently got a new job! I had been casually looking for about a year and a half. I can’t say that I got any more interviews now that I did earlier in my job search. In my industry, I think pay is a big reason there is so much churn right now. I work in the non-profit sector. Some organizations in my industry have taken a hard look at pay disparity and what a living wage is and have majorly upped pay and some haven’t. My new job isn’t at much of a higher level than my new job and in the same industry but pays 50% more.

    At the job I am leaving, we’ve had about a third of the staff leave in the past three months. They’ve been able to hire two people, but are really struggling to fill other roles, mostly because of the low pay. There is a development job that has been open for months and I think they’ve gotten maybe three applicants, all of whom are massively unqualified. The pay they are offering is half of what the market rate for that job is. They are trying to fill my job quickly, but I think they are going to have a really hard time finding someone. I told them this. Others who have left told them this. But the pay advertised is still laughably low.

    1. Ori*

      Yes. I’m finding that some jobs simply aren’t paying commensurate with the level of work they’re asking for.

    2. Former Gifted Kid*

      And if anyone is interested in an anecdote from the agriculture sector, my sister owns an ag business and has had to hire recently. As I mentioned in a post yesterday, all the farms in my area, including my sister’s, employ a mix of undocumented and documented workers. For undocumented workers, there are recruiters, although I don’t think they would call themselves that. My sister was looking for extra help so contacted the local recruiter. From talking to him, it seems like there are more farm jobs than there are workers. The guy my sister wanted to hire had three competing offers. He ended up taking the job with my sister, mostly because my sister’s farm had the best working conditions.

      1. Richard Hershberger*

        “For undocumented workers, there are recruiters, although I don’t think they would call themselves that.”


        1. Former Gifted Kid*

          No, coyotes isn’t the right word either. From what I understand coyotes get people across the border, they don’t help people find jobs. The guys I am talking about don’t just work with new immigrants, but workers that have been in the country for years. They are usually personable older guys who are well respected in the community. Also, they usually have their own day job. They get a small finder’s fee from the farm hiring, but they don’t get paid by the workers.

          1. Autumnheart*

            Human traffickers? Seems like that would fit. Also pretty callous to talk about exploiting undocumented workers like that’s just normal. Especially in a thread about exploiting workers.

            1. LinuxSystemsGuy*

              I didn’t get the impression there was exploitation involved. There’s ethics questions in general around hiring undocumented workers of course, but based on what I read yesterday and today, it sounds like her sister treats them with respect and has pay equity.

            2. IndyDem*

              I think you and I have a large degree of difference in the definition of human trafficking. Some who helps undocumented people find jobs, even for a fee, isn’t human trafficking, even if it could be shady.

            3. Former Gifted Kid*

              Not all employment of undocumented workers is exploitative. A lot of it is, for sure. I don’t want to downplay that. That being said, the undocumented farm laborers in my area are not being human trafficked. Most of them flew to the US and then overstayed their visas. They weren’t secreted across the border in the back of a truck. I would say the average pay for for laborers around here is ~$600 a week plus housing. If you think about how much the average person pays for rent or a mortgage, that’s a lot better pay than most Americans.

              The point of the “recruiters” I am talking about is to help make sure workers aren’t getting exploited. If a guy is being treatedly poorly on one farm, he can go to the recruiter who will find him another farm to work at. Also, if a farm gets a reputation for poor working conditions, the recruiter will stop connecting them with labor.

              Is it a great system? Nope! There are still tons of problems. The area I am in, most of the farms are small farms in a fairly niche area of agriculture. What happens on large factory farms is not at all similar. Even in my area where undocumented workers are treated fairly well, they don’t pay taxed and aren’t eligible for unemployment or workers comp or disability. They don’t get health insurance or PTO, but that is true of documented farm laborers as well.

              Also, farmers using undocumented workers is normal! That doesn’t mean its right, but our agriculture system has been built around migrant labor. The solution is not to stop employing migrant laborers. The solution is to acknowledge that migrant laborers are an integral part of this country and change our immigration system so that they have worker’s right and can’t be as easily exploited.

              1. Batgirl*

                This is a brilliant explanation and I love how you busted up the “everyone is trafficked” stereotypes.

              2. Jane Anonusten*

                I would like to shout this from the rooftops: “The solution is to acknowledge that migrant laborers are an integral part of this country and change our immigration system so that they have worker’s right and can’t be as easily exploited.”

              3. Agvocate*

                Actually a lot of “factory farms” have the same situation as the farms you are describing. They pay a wage plus housing, and often take their employees shopping and to doctors appointments or arrange for someone to do so. Most farms depend on undocumented labor and they know that without them they’d be totally screwed. I know plenty of farms where the owners take home pay is the same or less than their undocumented workers. And it doesn’t matter what size they are, just like all industries there are shitty ones and good ones of all sizes. If you treat your employees crappy, you’re likely to lose employees and not get new ones. In my area the undocumented farm workers mostly all know each other and word spreads pretty quickly about who you do and don’t want to work for. Let’s not vilify the farms that grow the food we eat simply because of their size and instead focus on the problem that is our immigration system is horribly broken and needs to be fixed.

      2. a tester, not a developer*

        During the first wave of Covid, a high number of agricultural workers got seriously ill, and quite a few died. I’m not in the sector, but I’ve heard from friends that it’s harder to get workers from abroad (documented or not) because a lot of them are leery of being seriously ill away from their loved ones.

        I’m in Canada, so it may be different here, as opposed to someplace like California where I imagine cross border travel is easier.

  11. Job Seeker*

    I have been job searching for a few months across the media industry. Knowing the person hiring still seems to be the key to success. In that sense, I don’t think it’s any easier than before to find a new position. However, friends in industries with more traditional recruiting/ hiring practices do seem to be finding more opportunities than usual.

    1. Pants*

      I firmly believe “who you know” is one of the best ways to get a job. I hate that it’s like that, but it’s always been the case for me. Even just knowing someone at a recruiting/staffing firm is incredibly beneficial. It’s how I got my last two positions.

    2. LP*

      My husband works in media, and I think opportunity in that industry is MUCH more based on who you know than in traditional industries. He started out with an internship when he was 18, but Every. Single. Job. He has had since then, he’s gotten through a connection. I feel for you, that can be tough.

      1. Janet*

        I work in the media industry and our experience is that we are getting a ton of applications for every job posted, but most people are not highly qualified or great fits. A colleague told me he had 150 applications for a fairly cool job, but it was very easy to quickly cut the list to six people to interview. The person who got the job was an internal applicant. So sure, personal connections can help, but it is also just a super competitive industry.

    3. KaciHall*

      My mother got me my current job. I absolutely hate that the owner of my company is friends with my mother (and her son is friends with my much younger baby brother – on the same high school baseball team) because I feel as though I am constantly underestimated. I’m mid thirties, have my own kid in school, and have been working full time for the past 18 years. But to my bosses, they think of me as Terri’s kid first, then as an adult employee.

      I’m also getting massively underpaid, and I find it hard to bring up BECAUSE of the family ties. I need to put in applications elsewhere (somewhere I can WFH!) but rejection tends to make anxiety and depression ramp up, so I’ve just been miserable.

      It’s not been a great time lately.

  12. The Smiling Pug*

    During my recent months of job-searching, I found that jobs were either junior or senior positions, and paid in peanuts. Others were simply not honest with what they were advertising. It was very frustrating and I cried a lot before I accepted an offer.

  13. anonymouse*

    We’ve had an open position since September.
    HR informed my supervisor that they’ve gotten no qualified candidates.
    I don’t know where the disconnect is between the job posting, the applicants and HR.

    1. anonymouse*

      This is not a criticism of HR. I mean that their hands are tied. I’m afraid they are stuck on a script/requirements that maybe my department needs to update/edit. For example, education, lots of fields are applicable…or specific software. If you’ve never used our software, that shouldn’t matter. It’s proprietary.
      But we’ve hired two people in the last two years with the same posting, so what the heck happened?

            1. Ashley*

              Like when I got a warning one time that my resume lacked required experience for the job because it was looking for “supervisory” experience? 2nd job title on resume: Supervisor.

            2. DJ Abbott*

              In 2020 an ATS automatically rejected me from a job where my experience was an exact match for the posting because I don’t have a bachelors degree.

      1. Trawna*

        Yep. And, attempting to bait & switch on WFH when you’re about to finalize the offer on a well-paying job. I had to start all over again with my search, and now I’ve been unemployed for nearly five months (international relocation for personal reasons), instead of the six weeks I was at when my gut and I turned down the bait & switcher
        (who also showed signs of micro-management).

        I’m awaiting second round interviews on my two favoured roles. Fingers-crossed.

      2. Not So NewReader*

        Great point, Barry. I wonder how much of all the problems we are talking about here go back to the ATS.

        Years ago, I applied for a job where I knew the manager. He said that he never got the application. He either lied or there was a huge problem with the ATS. After thinking about this, I realized he could submit my hours and the system might lose that, too. who knows? I moved on.

        1. Cedrus Libani*

          I’ve had that happen also. Turned out that the job posting included “Microsoft Office” and HR was disposing of all resumes that did not say the magic word. When the VP who’d referred me asked HR about it, they gave me an interview…except it was for an entry-level admin position, and the hiring manager was told that I was the unqualified friend of a VP who had no experience and also didn’t know how to use a computer. Meanwhile, I’m a highly specialized engineer; I thought I was walking into a technical interview.

          I laughed it off, but then I decided to take that hiring manager’s advice, and I put a keyword section on my resume – which does, to this very day, include Office.

      3. Leilah*

        Yep! my company had huge issues with ATS blocking good people even before the pandemic. They had to mothball a whole research wing because of it. It was research in animal agriculture but the unit was poultry specific. Turns out if the resume didn’t actually say the word “poultry” HR was throwing them in the trash. Finally the hiring manager got frustrated and after being mothballed for 6 months, pulled out all the resumes they had thrown out and scanned them by hand. Hired two excellent people – one who worked with “birds” in “wildlife rehab” and one who worked with “all species of farm animals” in “animal science and nutrition”. Obviously excellent, frankly overqualified candidates but they didn’t say the magic word. Terrible system.

        The same system also rejected my roommate because she only had 2.5 years livestock experience and not 3 years like they asked. The job sat open for 6 months costing them half a million dollars, conservatively, because they never even got to see her resume.

      4. Not Tom, Just Petty*

        I think the ATS is a big thing. There was a month with no applications. Someone out their is application bombing. And it didn’t hit us? Not buying it!

        1. Not Tom, Just Petty*

          OK, so much for editing. I tried to fix “someone out there application bombing” and “someone is application bombing their”
          I’m going back to work.
          Cuz my place is getting nothing, too.

    2. gbca*

      When HR says that, ask to see all resumes. It’s pretty quick to flip through them and you can see whether HR is holding back candidates that you’d consider.

      1. Ama*

        I would definitely advise this — many years ago at another job my department was trying to hire a new department head and HR kept telling the hiring committee there were no qualified candidates. It turned out the HR person who set up the ATS screen had misunderstood how to set it up, and was accidentally screening out all of the qualities the committee had specifically said they wanted to see. It wasn’t until someone on the committee knew a qualified candidate had applied and asked why they weren’t showing up on the list that anyone looked closely enough at the system set up to realize what had happened.

      2. Cascadia*

        Yes for sure! I have a friend who runs a preschool within a very large state university system. Despite multiple meetings with HR, they still have trouble getting HR to send them the resumes for the actually qualified people who are applying. HR sends them resumes for people with experience teaching college-graduates and rejects people with experience teaching preschoolers, despite the fact that that is exactly what they are looking for! My friend finally figured this out when someone reached out and said they had been rejected despite having ALL the qualifications for the job – my friend running the preschool had never seen their resume. She now has to set up a new system with HR where they just automatically send her all the resumes because she doesn’t trust them to not reject well-suited candidates.

    3. Jane Anonusten*

      Ask to see the resumes, and ask where they’re posting. My company did a round of hiring in 2018 for supply chain category management and had masses of qualified applicants, and then when my team did a posting in early 2021 got nothing. My manager asked to see the resumes (indeed not matching what we were looking for) and where they posted — winds up they posted on different sites in 2021 than in 2018. My manager asked them to post to the sites from 2018 and behold: plenty of qualified applicants.

    4. ecnaseener*

      Any chance the job posting language is pre-Covid boilerplate that doesn’t clarify remote work options? I know my team’s openings are still being posted as “office environment” despite that we’ve been fully remote the whole time -_-

      1. DJ Abbott*

        Today I looked at some job postings were someone had typed “NA” in front of lines like that.
        They were too busy to change it, just updated it.

    5. donedonedone*

      I Left the company I had worked at for ten years in August. They haven’t been able to fill my position, probably for all the same reasons I left.
      They wanted me to travel up to 40% of the time, most were weekends, while managing strategic initiatives, day to date administration, and managing a department and staff. I heard they have interviewed around 10 people, but basically all of them have dropped out. Seems like, maybe, they need to re-work the job and probably add at least a couple people to the department. Not my circus anymore!

    6. Danielle*

      I work as a web developer – When I left my last job, they couldn’t find anyone local qualified to replace me. Legit – one of the candidates HR sent over was an actual baker. As in they worked in a bakery.

      When my former team pushed back at HR to ask why they’re sending them bakers and not someone (anyone) with web experience, the HR rep said, “Oh, I thought that all the stuff on his resume was technical jargon and would be fine.”


  14. Miss Fisher*

    The company I am with has a ton of openings that are the lower pay grade jobs. Minimum Wage at the company is $18 an hour and benefits are pretty decent, but they still cannot seem to fill the roles. These are all customer facing, so could be part of it.

    1. Ori*

      Is it ‘in person’ customer facing? I had several (vaccinated) relatives catch Covid toward the end of last year. One is still badly struggling. I have an underlying condition and I’m possibly more concerned now than I was this time last year.

        1. DANGER: Gumption Ahead*

          All of my friends who were in in-person, customer facing roles have jumped into in-person, not customer facing roles, mostly in warehouse, shipping, logistics, etc.. The jobs are just as demanding, the bosses and management are just as terrible, but the schedules are slightly more predictable, benefits a bit better, but, most important, NO MORE DEALING WITH THE PUBLIC, AT ALL, EVER!!!! No getting yelled at, spit on, having things thrown at them, harassed in the parking lot, etc.. Honestly, I’m not sure any would go back unless you were talking $30+ an hour with better benefits, and I don’t blame them at all.

  15. LCH*

    Library/archives: haven’t seen anything too different. Pay is still low, not an abundance of jobs. I assume people haven’t been mass quitting in my field although I know a lot were laid off or furloughed due to closures. Unclear if restaffing has begun yet.

    1. Ori*

      There are a lot of library jobs in my area – I suspect because many of the roles were filled by semi-retired (more vulnerable people). I think also the pay is, as you say low, and the conditions aren’t the best in terms of things like lone working and hours.

    2. Richard Hershberger*

      Anecdatum: A friend of mine, with library-adjacent experience until the business shut down, just got hired with a public library. I don’t know the exact role.

    3. MagnusArchivist*

      Same here. Perhaps seeing fewer soft money jobs than I’d usually expect with grant cycles, actually. Wonder if people held off on applying for grants last year due to ~gestures vaguely~ everything?

      1. MagnusArchivist*

        although we’re currently hiring interns and didn’t get the wave of wildly overqualified applicants I expected, so, that’s a good sign?

        1. Mme. Briet’s Antelope*

          We’re also hiring interns (who we pay and everything!) and actually got such a wave of UNDERqualified applicants that we wound up just auto-hiring everyone who met the qualifications. Which definitely seems like a good sign!

          1. Overeducated*

            I’m also seeing low numbers of intern applications with the qualifications we’re asking for. I assumed it was because in this case we are working with a partner and I’m not sure they distributed it very widely (lesson learned for next time – request posting and do more legwork), but it’s interesting if there’s a pattern. I wonder why! Our internship is either partially or fully remote and pays about 25% more than comparable internship programs, so I don’t think it’s either of those issues.

          2. MagnusArchivist*

            same! but we did get enough that met the qualifications (in that they’re students with some relevant coursework) and aren’t, say, someone with an MLIS (or a PhD!) and years of experience. We got those last year & it was really heartbreaking.

    4. Mme. Briet’s Antelope*

      Archives, and likewise. I get paid well for the field in my current position and refuse to take a paycut unless I absolutely have to, which is making job-hunting an exercise in opening tabs, scanning the job posting, and immediately closing out of them again.

      We recently posted an ad for a specialized role and only got four even semi-qualified applicants, but I suspect that’s because the ad wasn’t up very long more than anything else.

    5. Raintree*

      Library tech here, in academia. Had a position cut last year, leaving me in a bad spot. I’ve been looking and there just isn’t anything library-related available. I’m overqualified for this position, yet underqualified for a lot of jobs that I used to be able to do. I’d need training to get up to speed. Kinda lost here.

    6. Sel*

      I’m an academic librarian at a major research institution (think a campus of 60,000+) and we have a NUMBER of positions at my library that desperately need to be filled (like, say, oh, head of ILL) but are not currently listed or soliciting candidates. We’ve also majorly reduced our buildings’ open hours compared to pre-Covid times since reopening in the fall, and that shows no sign of changing. We don’t have the staff bandwidth for the desks and I suspect we don’t have it for major searches now, either, regardless of how desperately needed the position is. Hopefully we can get on that soon. In the meantime, I will enjoy not having to work weekends.

    7. Canadian Librarian #72*

      Yep, seems more or less the same to me. I’m doing back to back academic part-time contracts, and the hourly rate isn’t bad, but we get less than 20 hours per week, so I’m having to work two jobs. At least we’re unionized so I get supplemental health benefits.

    8. PumpkinSpice4Ever*

      Libraries-adjacent here: I salute everyone currently searching for a position. It was absolute hell when I was in the market in 2016-2017, when I had 15 years’ experience and everything was either entry-level or director-level and exactly zero of my experience involved management. No public library would touch me, and specialized libraries wanted their own unicorns. No one paid near what I’d made at OldJob, and I had to find the best-paying job from what was available. I suspect it’s similar out there right now. Ugh.

      1. tech services staff*

        Commiseration high-five. I was unemployed 2017-2018 and yup, it was all entry level (three years experience required, $15/hr if you were lucky, often part time) or library director.

    9. Oat Milk Market*

      Public Library Assistant here. We’re having extremely high turnover. Makes sense for pt roles with no benefits and low pay.

    10. tech services staff*

      Yup. Same old same old. The number of jobs in academic libraries seems to be continuing to shrink at the normal rate, with retiring being rare unless an incentive is offered (which recently happened at my new institution) — and when people do retire, the positions are either retired with them or “reworked” into a single position that does the job of three people.

    11. Frinkfrink*

      Work at a library here having trouble getting qualified candidates for the open position. Without being too detailed, our problems stem partly from the institutional level because we’re not allowed to put the salary range in the listing and partly from the actual writeup because it doesn’t emphasize the skills needed–they’re mentioned, in a short list of required skills, such that we get plenty of applicants that meet the other requirements. Unfortunately, we can teach the other skills but not the needed one. The listing effectively says “Required for the llama handler position: llama grooming, llama husbandry, llama nutrition” and we’re getting plenty of groomers and no nutritionists applying for what is essentially a nutritionist position with a bit of grooming and husbandry on the side.

    12. another Hero*

      in public libraries, I’ve seen only a sort of normal number of postings, but the ones I’ve applied for, the process has been *fast* – I’ve been contacted very shortly after the posting closed to interview within a few days, and then contacted again very shortly after the interview. also, every place I’ve applied has interviewed me. the consistent responses suggest to me that places are getting few applicants (not that I’m bad at my job or anything, but I have less than 5 years’ experience and I’m applying from out of state), and the turnaround speed that they’re worried about losing candidates and prioritizing hiring more highly than they usually would. I could be misinterpreting, though, and it’s a small sample size.

    13. Totally Booked*

      I am a public Library supervisor. I am currently hiring for a full-time librarian position and the candidate pool this time around is miles better than when we hired a librarian last year. Last year only one candidate out of half a dozen had any actual library experience. We hired the person, but they are so incompetent at their job that they may be the first person to be fired for being bad at their job in the 10 years that I have worked here. I say may because I have spent the last four months working extra hours producing extra documents for admin so that they will sign off on it. Support staff positions regularly had 50+ applicants when I supervised those positions before the pandemic. Now we are lucky to get candidates in the high single digits. Not qualified candidates, any candidates. Management positions are even worse. We have a lot of openings now and most branches need to keep posting up almost a year to get two candidates to interview. The Circulation supervisor position has reduced education requirements and is meant for experienced clerks to almost double their salary and advance with more responsibilities. It went from being a highly contested position to the one can’t be filled.

      Our pay is not earth shattering but it is the highest in our state. We have always had a problem with how long the hiring process is. We could probably double the size of our human resources department and it would be overwhelmed. Unfortunately, with the way budgets work, the only way to hire more HR staff would be to lay off staff in another department.

    14. View from both sides*

      I was laid off in June 2021 and had two offers within a month and a half (and about a half dozen interviews that I assume nothing happened with since I didn’t withdraw or hear anything). First line management level. One offer in the industry I worked in for about 13 years and the other in a different industry (I’d been trying to get out of my industry for awhile and took the offer that gave me that change, which I am all around happy with over a year later). So I didn’t find personally that I had issues with getting a job.

      We are currently trying to hire mid level people and are getting very few applicants. It’s a cool, well known-ish brand, and the pay is reasonable for the experience. Not spectacular, but pretty decent. And we got it bumped a bit from pretty decent. In this job function it’s pretty standard to make somewhere in the $80-90k range for a sr level person. Lower level positions probably pay average around $70-$80k. We hired a very close to entry level person (I admit I went and poached him from my last company because we had basically no applicants) at $85k. That’s actually very good pay for the level this job is. But we can’t get people to apply. Not even like “oh, no one is qualified who applies), but literally 7 applicants for a job (we did hire one of those for the opening). It’s a good company that has been very responsible during COVID. We have spent a lot of time thinking about what might be keeping people from applying and have modified the job descriptions and reduced required experience and bumped the pay level. But still we aren’t doing particularly well attracting talent.

      One of the Sr Dir I work with has been trying to hire for a professional six figure position for awhile. He isn’t getting bites. He definitely does want to hire because he is doing the work of this position since the last guy was there.

      1. View from both sides*

        Also, I meant I was laid off in 2020. Because who even knows what year it is anymore?

    15. library worker*

      A few library-field notes:

      -a ton of open positions across my state… for directors (and many small-library director positions are part-time/low pay)
      -academic libraries out of state cold-emailing colleagues about open positions (!!!)
      -my previous, academic and non-degreed, position remaining unfilled ~4 months after my departure (and after a boost to the hourly rate, which was quite low & is still not what a non-degreed library worker would make in various area public libraries)
      -no real changes to civil service procedures, pay bands, or other significant factors

  16. Age of the Geek, Baby*

    Salary. It’s salary.
    One of my coworkers was promoted, and my boss was left with the task to hire his replacement. He reworked the job title and some of the duties that he wanted the position to be and others that were added on over time. (We work in communications/media)
    What I heard: lots of applicants, but the big problem was they were not interested in the job once they heard the salary.
    We finally hired someone, and they are getting paid $40K – more than I’m making and apparently A LOT MORE than what my coworker was making in that position….

    (And yes, my boss is aware of the pay disparity, and yes, he is aware I want a raise so probably will be seeking scripts when it comes to performance review time.)

      1. Age of the Geek, Baby*

        Thanks! I rewatched the series recently and I change who is my favorite depending on the episode!

    1. HQB*

      You don’t have to wait for performance review time to ask for a raise. Especially given current conditions, it might be beneficial for you to ask now.

      1. Age of the Geek, Baby*

        Thanks. I low-key have been asking for the raise since that came out. My boss said he made it clear to his boss he would be putting in a budget request for my raise.

        It’s more like I guess I need a script just in case- and more importantly a promotion I’ve been wanting (and working on a foundation for) since March 2021

        1. Me (I think)*

          Well, based on this, if you leave then it’ll cost your company about $40K more than they are paying you to fill your role. That should get their attention.

        2. Artemesia*

          I hope you are also job searching; it may be the only way to get paid fairly. I worked in a sector for years where the pay disparity was enormous and the only way to get a significant raise was to have a job offer elsewhere. I was lucky in that I had a boss who gave me large raises two years in a row — 20% each time — to deal with the gap caused by original low hiring wage and changes in compensation for newer hires — but I know lots of people stuck with low salaries compared to newer hires. Not everyone does equity.

          1. Age of the Geek, Baby*

            I don’t want to get into it in a lot of detail. But I will say:
            -I’m a journalist. This is a low-paying industry where $40K for my position is CRAZY high, for local reporters. Not that I’m saying it’s OK. It’s not.
            -This is my third job in this industry.
            -I am surprised about how they do believe in treating staff fairly (compared to small business hell I was into in Job 1 and corporations who want to underpay no matter what for job 2.
            -I am fairly confident I could get a job in my market with ease. I got a recruiting call two weeks ago. The problem is, I sincerely doubt they would even get me to $40K.
            -No money, none in the world, is worth sacrificing your principles and I learned that the hard way, and it would be something I would have to do at the company that is trying to recruit me.
            -I am using that recruiting call to leverage said raise.

            1. Middle of HR*

              This is why I want to tell my boss that salary posting laws are a good thing. We are a media org and pay more than 40k for local reporters. 15k+. But people probably don’t know that based on other companies like yours. Given, we don’t hire in every place in the country and there are only so many jobs, but still!
              …Look for places with a union, with a contract in place if you decide to look elsewhere.
              Good luck!

    2. HigherEd-staycation*

      I echo the salary and in some industries- such as higher ed- more and more is expected due to the impact of COVID on retention, with no change in compensation. I also hear you on the disparity- it becomes a catch 22, pay the person coming in more to get them and then lose others because of salary compression.

  17. Spearmint*

    My office recently hired for an entry level-ish position for ok but not amazing pay, and we weren’t exactly flooded with quality applicants,
    though we’re all very happy with the person we hired. That said, if she had turned down the offer, we probably would have reposted rather than offer to one of the other interviewees.

    The broader agency I work in is having trouble filling positions, though, judging from the record number of posted job openings and retention issues.

  18. Totalanon*

    Very curious to read this thread. I’ve seen rumors on social media that companies are deliberately not hiring (or have an unreasonably onerous hiring process) but loudly declaring they are desperate for workers so that customers will tolerate slower service and employees will tolerate unreasonable workloads.

    1. Spearmint*

      That strikes me as verging into conspiracy theory territory. If that was true, some businesses would simply provide better service and best the competition.

      Besides, I don’t see how it would benefit say, a restaurant, to have slower service. That’s fewer customers served, which means less profit.

      1. Richard Hershberger*

        I too am skeptical of the conspiracy version, but I am entirely open to the incompetence version, whether unrealistic expectations in requirements or pay, or badly designed automated filtering systems.

      2. Richard Hershberger*

        I also suspect that in-person retail and restaurant jobs really are hard to fill. I see a lot of help wanted signs in businesses in my area. They are stressful and exhausting under the best of circumstances, and more so nowadays, and the pay is not good.

        1. LinuxSystemsGuy*

          I am friendly with the owner of the local restaurant I frequent (and I used to be in the industry myself right out of college). I have also seen how hard she works, and how she treats staff (at least in public), so I trust she isn’t just doing the “woe is me” thing. She says that finding staff is very hard right now, no matter what’s they offer (within reason) for pay.

          One thing that she’s brought up in conversation is that the industry (and by extension similar industries like retail) is in a vicious circle of low staff. Staffing is low so in order to cover shifts, they need people to work more and longer shifts, and have a harder time approving time off. People know this, or notice it right after starting, so they don’t want to work the ridiculous hours, so staffing remains low, so people have to work more and longer shifts…

          1. DANGER: Gumption Ahead*

            My friends who have left food service since 2020 did it for 1) NO DEALING WITH THE PUBLIC – when service gets slower, staff are treated worse by customers and customers are AWFUL right now 2) predictable schedules set out 2 weeks or more in advance 3) healthcare, dental, vision, and 401(k). 2 of the 3 of these are in the control of restaurant owners, but 1 is totally out of their hands unless they are willing to strictly enforce customer behavior and risk losing sales

            1. Marny*

              Not to mention, restaurant jobs are currently one of the least safe when it comes to virus transmission. Customers are maskless since they’re eating and drinking and very few restaurants have vaccine requirements for customers. If you can have a job that avoids that issue instead, why would you work in a restaurant right now?

        2. MissBaudelaire*

          I kinda think it’s a little from column A and a little from column B. We have a lot of places here that do bait and switches, or never call anyone back (ever), or have six rounds of interviews for very low paying jobs. But because wages went up in ‘better’ industries, people who might have worked those in person jobs aren’t in that pool anymore. They moved up and moved on, and they’re not going back. Why would they?

        3. BabyElephantWalk*

          I’m sure they are hard to fill. But we have plenty of local restaurant owners on the news complaining about not being able to hire, and then going on to explain exactly why they are their own problem. “It’s hard, people keep leaving for full time positions” and then telling us how they are trying and failing to hire 8 part time workers. And why are employees going to work for peanuts, while the owners show up in luxury cars. This is so so common in this industry with the employers who are whining.

      3. Alpacas Are Not Dairy Animals*

        Small businesses (and siloed segments of big businesses, and in a few notable cases entire big businesses) are just as vulnerable to becoming ‘sick systems’ in the Issendai sense as families and romantic relationships, with the same tendency to create avoidable crises to instill learned helplessness and avoid people leaving.

        It’s also trivially true that businesses will do things that don’t make short term financial sense to foster the social system they want – that’s why we still have employer-linked health care more than fifty years after it stopped being desirable from an employee perspective.

      4. Jaybee*

        Unfortunately, numerous studies have shown that ‘providing good customer service’ is in no way necessary, and most of the most profitable companies are those with notoriously poor customer service.

    2. Miss Fisher*

      That is what stinks though. We have the same issue at work. People are so busy and strapped so thin that they are working weekends and well until after midnight just to stay caught up. No overtime pay because they are salaried. Everyone is well aware that they need to expand and add employees, but the catch 22 is that the work is getting done. So now the argument is they dont need more job openings, since they are handling the work. These are all mid level back office jobs. The junior level customer facing roles are out there, they are just not being filled.

      1. Ori*

        Had this years ago. Was running myself ragged. A more senior staffer eventually pulled me aside and told me that I needed to start dropping balls or else they would never hire help. They were right, but I also took a reputational hit.

      2. Trawna*

        The key in these situations is to log all the hours worked even if you don’t get paid OT. This provides metrics so Management can advocate for more budget.

    3. DataGirl*

      it may be a conspiracy theory but I believe it. it may be less true for offices, but retail, absolutely. People still have to buy groceries even if there’s half a many cashiers and you have to wait in line 30 minutes to pay. I think retail has realized the customers will keep coming even if the service is crap, so why pay out all that extra money on wages when they can pocket the profit instead.

      1. JelloStapler*

        I agree, I cannot say that there is not ANY truth to it. Capitalism is keep costs (=pay) low so profits are high. Figure out when it is no longer profitable to do this then finally change approach.

      2. MissBaudelaire*

        Yup. In your groceries example, even ‘skipping the line’ by doing curbside pick up just means that they can have a fewer cashiers because fewer people come in.

        1. Chirpy*

          Curbside pickup just means they pull staff to fill the pickup orders, and leave fewer people to cashier or stock the store, leaving those roles short handed because it really doesn’t decrease the number of people still coming inside most places. Which means the people who come inside are worse than ever because they can’t find what they need. Picking orders also takes a lot of time even if the system works well.

    4. Church Office Manager*

      I saw something on Facebook the other day that resonated with me. Basically, lots of people look down on fast food/retail/wait staff type workers and have said for years that those workers should just get better jobs if they want to be paid more. And now they’re reaping what they sowed as those “menial” workers have moved on. Restaurants with limited hours, fast food restaurants only offering drive thru service, etc. And it’s not just here in the US. My sister lives in the Netherlands and she says that most restaurants are only open 4 days a week and close by 9 PM because of a lack of workers.

      1. Michelle*

        Where I live everyone is complaining that no one wants to work retail/fast food/ etc., but my four oldest kids (16-23yo) have been desperately looking for exactly that kind of work and no one is hiring. Or if they are, it’s for so few hours it won’t cover rent. My oldest has been through one job after another where they hire “full-time” and then cut her down to 20 hours (or, at her current job, one day a week!!) and she has to go looking again.

        1. LKW*

          This is the model big chains have been working on for years and this is what’s getting them into trouble now. More workers with fewer hours per worker means all shifts are covered but no one qualifies for any benefits, keeping corporate costs lower. Fewer workers means each worker is edging closer to benefit qualification so they either have to shut early to avoid that consequence thereby shorting their sales or accept the higher operating costs.

          1. Michelle*

            She’s not even trying to get benefits, just enough hours to pay rent. When they say “full-time,” we’ve figured out that they don’t actually mean 40 hours a week, more like 30. That would be enough to cover rent and food, but then they cut her down even more.

            1. MissBaudelaire*

              It happens here, too. Only then those same business will call you on your day off to demand you come in and get mad when you say no because… Well, you might be working another job because you have bills to pay or doing other errands that need doing. Because you were scheduled for a day off. Then they punish you for ‘not being a team player’ by cutting your hours more. Then they wonder why people quit.

            2. FridayFriyay*

              It’s telling to me that they are considering 30 hours full time and then trying to staff just below it, since that’s the threshold to be required to offer certain types of benefits. Tells me a lot about the employer’s mindset (nothing good.)

              1. Starbuck*

                Hey, I wish everyone considered 30 hours a week to be full time! That would be great. As long as there was pay an benefits to match.

          2. pancakes*

            Yes. It’s called just-in-time scheduling. I believe in the UK it’s called a zero-hour contract.

            1. The Dogman*

              And it is called criminal by the people who look at it honestly.

              All “at will” “just in time” and “zero-hour” contracts are immoral in my opinion.

              And the result of them is what we see, failing businesses and people too poor to shop or eat at them.

          3. JKB*

            The big chain I work for just has tons of “part-time” workers. I’ve been there over 10 years and get about 39 hours per week, but I’m only a part-time worker. One of my previous store bosses said the department I worked in had “too many” full time positions and when people retired, those positions were eliminated.

            Two departments now do NOT have dept heads, they have part time staff instead and those people are summoned to registers as the need arrives. I was recently told the only thing that matters for my dept is counting the TOTAL of sold teapots, trying to figure out if the floral ones sell better than the glittered ones or the tie-dyed teapots no longer matters. I used to spend hours making spreadsheets about the demographics of tea pot varieties.

        2. DataGirl*

          My 20 year old has the same problem. Gets hired being told she can work as many hours as he wants, then gets scheduled for like, two 4 hour shifts per week. Puts in a ton of applications, gets no calls back. Applies to restaurants advertising $17/hr, goes to interview to find out it’s actually $3/hr but they expect you’ll make the rest in tips.

          Why hire anyone when you can just tell customers “sorry, no one wants to work” and have them be patient waiting?

      2. Nanani*

        Didn’t NL have a curfew as a covid spread prevention measure? Closing earlier is a consequence of that (plus not wanting to change everybody’s hours every time the government has a change of heart) at least as much as staffing

      3. Iris Eyes*

        They are still trying to hire most of their workers part time but fully open availability. Retail has always been a fairly stressful environment but customers these days are often one step away from unhinged. The gig economy has taken a lot of the people who need part time work and usually need it on their own schedule. (I mean if you aren’t going to get benefits either way…) Retail managers are working 80hr weeks, can’t take vacation without the store going up in smoke (sometimes literally) and that isn’t going to give anyone the emotional resources to adequately manage people. Oh and the bonusing structure is so tortured that probably isn’t happening.

        If you are going to have to do some sort of “grunt” type job, why wouldn’t you go to a warehouse? Sure its probably more physical but you are getting paid double plus benefits (a few extra dollars an hour at full time hours).

        Another thing, restaurant industry has long been a place that disadvantaged populations have filled. Immigrants in particular, I know one family where the parents did the custodial/child care thing and are very proud of their most successful daughter who manages a fast food restaurant. Well the last 5 years especially we haven’t been allowing legal immigration in near the numbers that we apparently need. Now don’t get me wrong the whole class system with brown immigrants on or near the bottom (unless they are at the top) is pretty crappy on a “we are founded on the ideal of equality” thing, but I do wonder how many of the open positions would have been filled if we hadn’t nearly cut off the flow of talent.

    5. Lily of the Field*

      I am seeing the same things; and I do NOT think it is any kind of conspiracy theory. I think it is true and accurate. I work in a retail adjacent industry (I am a vendor), and almost all of the retail locations I am servicing, this is occurring. The problem is that the US no longer has a manufacturing economy, which is one of the main reasons for the creation and spread of the stable middle class in the US. We have a predominantly service economy, and these jobs have historically been low paying, very entry level jobs, for the most part. The problem is that we are ACTING as if we are still a manufacturing economy, and continuing to treat service based industry jobs as entry level, deserving of poor pay. However, service jobs are now the majority of jobs available currently. Another problem is that the service economy is rife with the attitude that only C suite level employees are deserving of good pay and good benefits, because lower employees are all of “lower class” and do NOT deserve good pay and good benefits. Service industries are infamous for being all about profit for high level employees and all too often illegal treatment of boots on the ground level employees; you know, the employees that guarantee the business actually STAYS in business, unlike far too many C suite employees. An all too common attitude of most people is that, if one does not like their service job, they should just “get a better job”; unfortunately, depending on circumstances, this is not always an option, or even possible. The service economy desperately needs some of the same civil activism that the manufacturing economy received long ago, to make this a better economy for all. Just as an example, flipping burgers may not be a very COMPLEX job, but it is still deserving of respect and dignity, ESPECIALLY in this day and age, when so many people do not cook at all, and very much depend on others to do their cooking for them. Until we take seriously the problems with the perception of the predominant economy in this country, problems like this will continue to occur.

      1. Not So NewReader*

        Thank you, this is so very well stated.
        I spent time in retail and time in light manufacturing. It has always been obvious to me that our society has a very high sense of entitlement.
        “I want my $1 coffee.”
        “I want my sandwich to go, NOW!”
        “I want my item to arrive at my house five minutes after I order it!”

        Until we collectively realize there are actual people with actual lives behind all this, not much will change.
        I have often thought that if all minimum wage workers stayed home, our country would shut right now in a heartbeat. Eh, it was not long ago (with in the last 5 years or so) that I knew of police officers making $12/hr.

        It’s nuts, we want it ALL but we are not willing to pay for it ALL. (This is a collective “we” and I am not singling out any person or specific people.)

        1. Anne of Green Tables*

          I was talking to a family member on the phone a while back and thought a dental appointment might be needed for all my teeth grinding while listening to his bellyaching about how stimulus and unemployment money was shutting down the economy because lazy people (which seemed to be anyone in any service role) just wanted handouts. He was gleeful in his prediction that people would cave and come crawling back to their jobs when the government checks stopped coming.

          All of this stemmed from him not being able to get some restaurant food right when he wanted because they weren’t able to staff. When I suggested that the owner could probably get as many workers needed if the pay was higher, the response was “why should he?”, with the follow-up that “those people” (hopefully this was not racist!) “didn’t have any skills” and basically that they should better themselves, quit complaining, and do the work.

          He has literally not had a real-world job after age 30 and has survived decades investing money from his parents. No degree, no previous qualifications—just money handed to him and everything paid for. Zero compassion or understanding that there is a whole other world where people are beaten down every day just scraping by and maybe have moved from horrible jobs to less horrible jobs and maybe he has to wait a bit more for someone to hand him lunch.

          1. Chirpy*

            Also, how are “those people” expected to “better themselves” when they likely aren’t getting a living wage and are probably working bad, unpredictable hours? It’s not like one can easily pay for or go to school in those conditions.

          2. WonkyStitch*

            I read a book last year called “Strangers in Their Own Land: Anger and Mourning on the American Right” by sociologist Arlie Russell Hochschild. This is a fairly common mindset of many Americans, even those who are themselves poor or underpaid. That there’s a huge group of people stealing “their” hard earned tax dollars by sitting home collecting welfare etc.

      2. The Dogman*

        Careful now… you are being dangerously rational!

        You will be declared a “Radical” soon if this gets out lol! ;)

      3. Chirpy*

        And it’s not even that flipping burgers or retail isn’t necessarily a complex job – it’s a very physically demanding one (often on one’s feet on concrete for 8+ hours a day, lifting heavy items – I generally walk 6-8 miles in a day at work and sometimes lift literal multiple tons of weight in a day by hand) that may also require a vast knowledge of the products sold and their uses, keeping track of prices and sales, remembering where thousands of items are stocked on the shelves, what can and can’t be special ordered, using the computer systems for ordering, stocking, inventory, etc. as well as handling customers who may be unreasonable, argumentative, sexist, abusive, etc in a calm and professional manner with little to no help or back up from management. It is the store level people who give the company its reputation for good or bad service, who make customers want to come back and spend more, not people in a distant office. It just is the sort of knowledge you learn on the job and not from a college degree, and therefore devalued.

    6. Gary Patterson's Cat*

      I have long held to my (unproven) theory that many public companies post and keep posting a lot of job openings that don’t really exist (phantom jobs) and it’s all a sham. They do this in order to look good to Wall Street analysts, shareholders, investors, and private equity/vc firms because it makes them look like they are profitable, desirable, and growing. Because you must be doing good as a company if you’re posting 500 job openings nationwide, right?

      I say this with some confidence because I once worked at a startup company and they did this all the time to look more attractive. It’s the game of Wall Street catfishing.

      1. Michelle*

        Ooooh, I know a company that was doing something like that. Advertising jobs and giving interviews about how they were doing so well and growing, while also closing down entire offices. I know someone who was laid off in one of those closures, and when he was interviewing for a new job they almost didn’t believe him and asked questions implying they thought there was something more to him losing his job because clearly that company wouldn’t be laying people off! Fortunately he was able to convince them, as soon there were a lot more people from the same company job-searching in a very small field where word gets around.

      2. Not So NewReader*

        This is actually happening. I have applied for jobs only to be told, “There’s no opening now, we just want a pool of resumes on file.”
        Okay, then say so in your ad. wth.

        1. DJ Abbott*

          I had a temp agency do this when I applied for a specific job on their site. This temp agency has a huge and glowing reputation and is the first that comes up in a Google search. At least they didn’t make me spend an hour filling in ATS fields… They did get me an interview for a receptionist/admin position, but I didn’t get it.
          Meanwhile I’m getting actual work and submissions for permanent jobs and real support from another agency.

    7. a tester, not a developer*

      I mentioned something like that upthread – rumour here is that businesses are using the ‘labour shortage’ as a way to reduce open hours without a lot of customer pushback. We’ve noticed there’s a lot fewer options if you need something after 10pm now, compared to in the before times.

      1. MissBaudelaire*

        Someone I know on Facebook said they felt we had ‘grown too big’ in some ways. Why are all these places 24 hrs, they asked. Does anyone need to go to the store at two in the morning? It never used to be that way!

        It’s an interesting idea. I mean, on the one hand you’d think they had to be making money, right? Otherwise they would have shut it down? Or maybe they tried and people got all up in arms because we like having all those options? I don’t know.

        1. Not So NewReader*

          Actually, I kind of agree with this. I grew up in the era of Sunday blue laws. Nothing was open on Sunday. Using that time as a comparison we have a mind-boggling number of stores now. I can remember planning to go for a family ride on Sunday. This involved making sure the tank was full on Saturday because no gas stations were open on Sunday. It also meant packing snacks because there were not a lot of convenience stores and they too were not open. Finding a public restroom was… interesting.

          I thought it was extreme even back then. I remember saying to my father, “They should let some businesses be open.” Now we are faced with the opposite extreme where we just have too many businesses and they are open all the time. Businesses are making it work by taking it out of their employees’ hides. In a very simple example, we have a chain here that does not make people pre-pay for gas. The way the company makes it work is by terrorizing the employees about drive-offs. If you have a drive-off during your shift, you can plan on losing your job. All the public sees is that they do not have to pre-pay and they love that. The employer sees a high turn over in help and can’t figure out why.

        2. Leilah*

          Maybe they *were* making money when they could be open 24hrs and pay $8/hr, but now that customer-facing roles were hit by the pandemic and also people want more wages, it no longer makes a net profit to be open past peak hours.

        3. Jaybee*

          It’s a deluded competition based on bad business practiced.

          Let’s say you have a city with a couple chains of convenience stores. One chain realizes, hey, sometimes people really need to buy something late at night (or, say, are going in to work a graveyard shift and want to buy a bottle of coke, etc.) so let’s be open 24 hours.

          They can afford to cut other costs because they’re filling that niche. It doesn’t matter if they’re not people’s first choice most of the time; they’re the ONLY choice for people who want or need to buy something at 2AM.

          But then the other convenience stores get concerned. They get jealous. If we’re not open at 2 AM, that means our customers are going to this other store instead! We’re missing out on profits! And what if customers decide they like other store better and never come back?

          So suddenly all of the chains are opening later and later. They’re cutting costs to open 24-hour locations. Initially it looks great – which is all that matters to the people making these decisions. A year down the line, when it becomes clear there aren’t enough people shopping at 2 AM to support these many 24-hour convenience stores, nobody is going to go ‘well this didn’t work out like we hoped’ and roll it back. They’re just going to keep looking for the next big move.

          1. Jaybee*

            Also worth noting that stores may be seeing a substantial change in people’s shopping habits as more office jobs become WFH/hybrid.

            A lot of people who were habitually shopping at 8 or 9 PM were not doing it out of choice, but because their work hours made it difficult to do otherwise. Now many people are getting back time in their day that once went to commuting, and many are more able to take breaks/flex time during the day to go shopping. I know it’s way quicker for me to run an errand in the middle of the day when working from home vs. when working at the office, so I’m more likely to run out on my lunch break rather than wait until after work hours to run to the pharmacy.

      2. Chirpy*

        My store had been expanding its hours pre-pandemic (7a-9p) then cut back severely (only open 9 or 10a-6pm) during lockdown as a “safety measure” (also, because it was dead in-store then and our original online-pick up system was completely incapable of handling the sudden influx of orders and used every single stocker to bring their department’s items to the pickup area individually, causing massive confusion.) They’ve gone to 8-8 now but honestly customers have stayed shifted mostly to mid-day and staff shortages mean there’s not a lot of people who can (or want to) work nights anymore either.

        People seem to be perfectly capable of buying stuff during more reasonable hours when they don’t have the option to put it off until late night anymore.

    8. Leilah*

      I have heard that but not seen much evidence. I have however seen chatter from small business owners and hiring managers that they are scared of no-shows/walk-offs so are only talking to people who look ROCK SOLID (for example, worked ten years in this exact job somewhere else and are still currently employed there). This seems like a silly strategy to me, but they are apparently more scared of no-shows than of having vacancies.

    9. Golden*

      Interesting, this might explain what’s been going on with my OB/GYN? They have a lot of “please be patient, we’re short staffed” messaging and are no longer doing yearly wellness visits, but every time I have been there (pregnant) the admin desk is packed full of staff and there’s nurses everywhere. And I’ve usually been the only patient, or seen just one other person there as well and tons of empty checkup rooms.

      It’s through a public hospital so maybe they are funded whether or not they see any patients? I don’t know much about that field, but it’s a bizarre experience every time. Wonderful people though!

      1. DocwholovesAAM*

        They might actually STILL be short staffed. If they have clinicians working from home and doing Telehealth due to COVID exposures, then somebody has to call all the patients and change their visits over to telehealth. You’re prioritized because you’re pregnant! But everywhere is getting annihilated with patient volumes too because of COVID questions. So you have a perfect storm where there’s more demand for healthcare and less people able to provide it.

        Also in public hospitals, there’s often issues over pay/staffing that are complicated enough not to bother explaining in this post, but let’s just suffice to say that your name brand medical institutions are often able to employ a lot more support people than public hospitals.

  19. English Rose*

    We’re recruiting mostly for care workers in my organisation in the UK – supporting people with intellectual/learning disabilities or autism. It’s REALLY tough! We are restricted in terms of salaries we can offer, although we provide excellent training so don’t need experience.
    It’s partly the pandemic putting people off care work because of the reputation for high infection rates in big care home (not our business model). It’s also partly the knock-on effects of Brexit (less said about that decision the better…): the hospitality sector relied heavily on free movement of people within the EU and now that has been cut off, they are snapping up people who would often have come into care work.
    So yes we are eager to hire and willing to give people with no experience a chance. We’re trying all kinds of different attraction routes. But applicant numbers have fallen off a cliff.

    1. Anon for this*

      You mentioned Brexit so I think this is tangentially worth mentioning – you can’t have this conversation about labor supply versus demand without talking about offshoring. I’m in the localization industry, based in the US. So many US companies are choosing to work with independent contractors outside of the US instead of hiring workers here. And I don’t mean just translators and other per project workers, this is for full-time project management, etc. The company doesn’t have to “bend over backwards” offering good benefits and saves by offering a lower salary for international workers, who in turn are hopefully happy with the arrangement, assuming they live in a low cost of living location. A mid-size company I used to work for is now half remote outside of the US. There’s nothing inherently wrong with this, but it does make it harder for someone living in the US to find a job with reasonable salary and benefits.

      1. irianamistifi*

        This happened to me at one of my previous jobs. I was a full time project consultant with a company known for consulting, but you get assigned to particular client and work on projects exclusively for that client. Well, my client learned that if they used a consultant from India, it would be a third of the cost of using me.

        I’m happy for my counterpart in India who is making good money for her region. But it put me out on my ass. My company declined to place me with another client so I had to go job searching again.

      2. Anon L10n*

        I also work in localization and this is very true, especially as work from home/anywhere is becoming more prevalent. I get it – offshoring operations means you cover more working hours (in an industry when contractors are located worldwide), decrease overhead, etc, but. It really has made it more difficult to find the same salary/benefits level as you might have even 5 years ago.

        1. English Rose*

          Agree, I used to work in a different sector and we offshored a lot. I had very mixed feelings about it.

    2. Green Kangaroo*

      I work in the same field in the U.S. and we are having the same issues, even without the Brexit complications ;)

      1. Dezzi*

        I work in this field as well, and I’m just going to come out and say it–we can’t hire care workers because the job sucks. It’s physically demanding and emotionally draining, depending on the location you may be getting called racial slurs and physically attacked on a regular basis, you’re going to be continually exposed to COVID, and we pay the same as Walmart. No one wants to do the job for what we’re paying, and as someone who did it for six years, I don’t blame them.

    3. Not So NewReader*

      Human services has it’s own special circumstances. I spent a decade in the field. The people we served was not what burned me out. What did me in is the ridiculous amount of laws and regs that basically straight-jacketed everyone trying to work in that field. And there is absolutely no extra funding to implement new regs as the regs go into place. So every year, employees are doing more on less and less.

      1. English Rose*

        You are so right! We are losing people regularly during pre-employment checks because it is so complex. Obviously we must protect anyone who is vulnerable but that can’t be done entirely by checks, it’s a question of intelligent management.
        And exactly the same situation about no extra funding right now as we implement new vaccination regs.
        Time for a nice glass of red I think! :)

  20. Darlingpants*

    I’m not looking but I have tons of recruiters cold emailing me.

    On the other side, we have a bunch of very urgent unfilled positions, some with very few applicants, but some of the hiring managers are still being really picky about experience requirements (as in not wanting to hire new PhDs and wanting experience in their specific subset of pharma, not just in general bio processing). I think it’s ridiculous, but it’s not my groups so I’m not in a position where it’s my business.

    1. Very anon*

      We’re being incredibly picky when hiring for a position, because the previous person who held the position was a rock star, we haven’t been given permission to hire MORE PEOPLE to make up for the fact that it’s unlikely the replacement will be as skilled as previous person, and as long as the position goes unfilled, we aren’t going to be penalized for the projects previous person was juggling not progressing quickly. In fact, other teams have been delegated to take some of the projects off our plate temporarily until the position is filled. So our boss is desperately trying to find someone who is excellent enough to step into former coworker’s shoes without dying, because anything less will be worse than the position going unfilled. If only we could get more manpower to split the projects between several people…

      1. Darlingpants*

        There’s definitely an opportunity cost to hiring the wrong person, and the flip side of being too understaffed for the current workload is that we don’t have a ton of time to train people from scratch (we’re a startup so trying to grow really fast). Like I said, I haven’t pushed anyone to reconsider (and it’s happening now with a current applicant who might come to my team instead because of the other teams bias against new graduates), but it seems wild to me that “we can’t give her Senior Scientist, she only has experience with clay teapot mass spectrometry, not porcelain teapot mass spectrometry. She needs to be a Scientist.” Then she goes to a different company who was willing to give her the Senior title and we have no scientist at all.

        1. MissBaudelaire*

          I have wondered how much of the issues I’m seeing are because so many companies got comfortable being super picky. It was possible to find a unicorn and pay them in dreams and slightly used duct tape. But that’s just not the case anymore, and these companies don’t understand that.

        2. LinuxSystemsGuy*

          This doesn’t seem like the time to be picky about scientific PhD level applicants. They’re hard enough to find in normal times

        3. JustaTech*

          Oh hello, me too! We’ve been hiring for several Scientist positions and almost all of them have gotten scooped up by the Giant Biotech that pays way more and has more benefits and growth and not our … reputation.

    2. PeanutButter*

      Same, but it’s all biotech SALES positions…I’m a research scientist/data analyst/general stats guru. WTF are these people seeing in my LinkedIn profile thinking I want to try to convince people that THEIR rabbit anitbodies are better than rabbit antibodies?

  21. Anon for This*

    Had one interview with people who were excited about my skills… that was advertised as a step up from entry level… and they wanted me to build out a department from almost nothing, and expected me to be a subject matter expert in their system from day 1. They were using a system that is a competitor to the system I use. I thanked them for their time and they kept trying to beg me to stay in the interview process.

    We didn’t even get to the talking about money stage but I was completely bewildered by the mismatch between what the qualifications they wanted were, and what they actually wanted.

    1. LinuxSystemsGuy*

      I mean, could you have done it? Sounds like a chance to jump a couple of levels really early in your career. Even if you only stayed for a year or two, you could go from “journeymen teapot maker” to “supervising teapot maker” more or less overnight.

      1. Anon for this*

        Could I? Probably. But, my current workplace is so dysfunctional, I would have serious doubts about my ability to effectively create a new, non dysfunctional department, from nothing, without significant prior experience working somewhere that is not dysfunctional (for example, our HR department refuses to accept the fact that our (incredible levels of skill required) department is a skilled department and says “all you do is open tickets” whenever we ask them to re examine our salary bands, and for some reason no one else has a problem with this)

    2. Nina Bee*

      I’m in UK in advertising and been seeing this a lot in the last few years even before the pandemic. Companies hiring junior/midweights for cheaper wage but putting senior responsibilities onto them. Or cutting down staff while maintaining the same level of work output so people work longer hours for the same salary. Or now wanting 2-3 totally different job skills rolled into one person so they only have to pay one wage.

  22. Anon Midwesterner*

    I’m not searching right now, but I have some info from the inside of a company. My department (marketing team of a large company) has about 40 open roles we’re actively hiring for.

    90% of those roles are remote within the US and open to wherever the talent is located, as long as they have the skills we’re looking for.

    Some of the roles do require a specific location due to onsite duties. And a few are based internationally, but often remote within the country of interest.

    From what I’ve heard, I don’t believe we’re low balling anyone with offers. There is a regional sliding scale of salary based on cost of living, which could change the offer by 5-10% between a HCOL and a LCOL market.

    1. I'm A Little Teapot*

      If you’re living in podunk Indiana vs San Francisco, the cost of living difference is more than 10%.

      If you’re having trouble hiring, then pretty good chance the pay is part of the problem.

      1. BabyElephantWalk*

        Yep. You might not believe the pay is part of the problem, but you’d be easily filling vacancies (especially remote ones!) if it weren’t.

    2. frockbot*

      Are you guys open to stretch applications, or mostly looking for folks with experience in the field? I do some marketing stuff for my current position, for instance, and would be interested in looking at a role like the one you described, but I’m not a marketing person per se…

    3. Anon in Ohio*

      5-10% doesn’t seem like that much between HCOL and LCOL places though. I’m based in a fairly LCOL city right now, and I would need more like 25-30% to move to a HCOL city

    4. DC*

      I’d love to apply based on what you’re saying. Not sure if Alison will let you post where it is.

    5. Fran Fine*

      This sounds a lot like my company and their marketing team’s current recruitment woes. I’m not privy to their pay scale (I really wish my company was more transparent with this information across the board), but I think part of their problem is they’re using outdated job titles for the roles they’re trying to fill, which leads to a lack of submissions. They also have a super long list of responsibilities with no salary range posted, which puts people off, and they’re also not willing to budge on their requirements because they don’t have the bandwidth to train anyone – they need people to come in and be productive almost from Day 1 (which really isn’t realistic).

      They’re having to hire applicants they’re less than enthused about, and it’ll be interesting to see how it goes this year – they have started posting more reqs already worldwide. I’m curious if they’ll take the advice I gave them to be a bit more flexible on requirements and years of experience and whether that’ll make a difference.

    6. Parakeet*

      I’m on both sides of this process. I’m casually searching (and happen to be suddenly in the interview process for two different positions that are both in the “there’s no such thing as a dream job but this is about as close as you can get” category). My organization is also understaffed and has been trying to hire a teammate for me (when fully staffed our team is three people – a supervisor and two reports) for more than six months.

      On the applicant side, the jobs I’m applying to are mostly really niche, so it’s hard to tell what “the market” looks like and I’m not sure what normal would be. I had a long and disappointing mostly-dry (one first-round interview after which I got ghosted) spell for a while, before suddenly being in the interview process for these two different roles that I had been hoping against hope would open.

      On the hiring side…like some other commenters, we’re limited in what we can pay because we’re a nonprofit with mostly government funding and the state government has a set rate that it will reimburse for certain positions’ salaries, with any higher pay that that having to come from other funds that we’re not exactly drowning in. We already pay above average (and recently got raises), for our (rather notoriously poorly-paid) sector in this high-COL area, with above-average benefits and an excellent “taking the pandemic seriously” track record. Exact salary (not a range) is listed in the job posting. But we’ve had very few applicants – above average in a poorly-paid sector still isn’t good pay. It’s an area of direct service human services with (I’m being a little vague here to avoid being traceable) a high potential for vicarious trauma and burnout.

      While the role has a number of preferred skills, we do train new people pretty extensively, no experience in the field is required, and there is only one skill (a language skill) that is absolutely 100% you-will-not-be-considered-without-this required. We’re very clear about this in the posting, and yet the majority of the few applicants still haven’t had that one skill. I think it’s also tricky because we serve a minoritized population that is underserved in the mainstream orgs in this area of human services, and it’s rare that we get applicants for any opening who AREN’T themselves part of that minoritized population – so in practice the pool of likely applicants is smaller to begin with.

      That said, I think we bear some responsibility too. I had to lobby to get the position posted on Idealist, and it took months and my supervisor’s backing to make that happen, because there’s a perception among leadership that most applicants that found us on big job boards in the past were unqualified and therefore it’s not worth the money. So we normally rely largely on staff’s and vols’ social and professional networks, and our social media accounts (we are not a large org and it’s not like we have tens of thousands of followers on these platforms) to generate applicants. It just wasn’t cutting it. Since we finally posted on Idealist, we’ve had as many applicants (still not many) as in the previous several months combined, and two of them have the one skill we can’t be flexible on, and seem like they might be generally okay candidates, so we may have someone soon!

    7. Anon Midwesterner*

      Sorry I missed these replies yesterday!

      Our pay scale is based in California (it’s a silicon valley company) so I believe we actually “overpay” or are generous in LCOL markets. I have a newish coworker who confidentially shared with me that this was a 50% pay jump for her, compared to her previous job in her local area.

      Unfortunately I cannot share the company name but all the remote marketing jobs are posted nationally in the US on typical sites like Glassdoor!

  23. farrisonhord*

    There was one company I always wanted to work for (they’re the largest in a field adjacent to mine and usually have a decent reputation) and I applied to them dozens of times over the past 7-8 years with no luck. I had a handful of getting to the final interview instances but not having the right experience or enough experience. This year I applied, got selected for two different positions on their team, and when they made their offer they reclassified the position to a higher level so I wouldn’t have to take a pay-cut. I still have the same kind of relevant but not totally direct experience as I did when I applied before. In my field at least it feels like everyone is playing an epic game of shuffle for better pay and higher titles.

  24. HolidayAmoeba*

    I work HR and we are seeing lower numbers of applications to positions than usual right now and a lot more people with stretch applications. But we are still hiring at a decent clip and seeing usual turnover, though higher than usual numbers of people retiring.

    1. Not So NewReader*

      A friend is working a lower level government job. She is retiring at 62. She’s had enough. It’s a shame because she has a lot of good years left. We are wasting valuable human resources left and right. I am sure she will move on to find herself a nice paying part time job somewhere with a sane workload and decent cohorts.

    2. Oat Milk Market*

      Entry-level or experienced roles? I’m looking to make the leap into HR but can’t seem to find anything entry-level.

    3. NotAnotherManager!*

      I just spoke with HR about a position I’m opening, and my in-house recruiter said the same thing. She said the one that surprised her was the dearth of applicants for entry-level positions (truly entry-level, zero experience required, training offered). We pay well and have excellent PTO and benefits, including fully paid parental leave and company contribution to retirement. We also detail our COVID policies and protocols (still not back in the office, vaccines required, top-of-the-line air filtrations system) and hybrid work options.

      For experienced positions, we’re having to go straight to headhunters (expensive) and direct messaging on LinkedIn, and it’s still taking a long time to fill positions. And I have really good in-house recruiters and we don’t use ATS screening/automated rejection at all.

      1. BabyElephantWalk*

        Your HR might want to reconsider the pay. An employer saying “we pay well” and the application/worker experience with that can be vastly different. If you can’t find true entry level people at the pay you’re posting, then you are likely not as competitive as you think you are. (And even if you pay well for the field – where else are the same candidates likely looking? Adjacent fields or experiences may pay better).

  25. Indie*

    Back in October my contract was cancelled. One week later I had 3 interviews and 2 offers. I live in Montreal and work in IT, so I might be an outlier. I am still getting slammed with interview invitations even after updating my LinkedIn.

  26. Snarkus Aurelius*

    I work for a public health government agency so I’m DESPERATE to hire. I’m hiring three positions at the same time, which is frying my brain.

    I get that’s not really noteworthy but here’s what is:

    I made official budget requests for more positions because of the workload and demands, and I was denied (can’t say who but not within my agency.)

    Public officials need to stop complaining about how unprepared we are for COVID-19 and the next pandemic then. I will not be overworking my staff because a bunch of public officials think public health is a waste of money but oh can you do more with what you have? No I can’t and I won’t.

    1. Anon for this*

      No I can’t and I won’t- good for you. If decision-makers come out of Covid continuing to allocate shoestring budgets to this vitally important work, something is very wrong. Look at nurses leaving the field in droves – can’t replace them fast enough.

      1. Snarkus Aurelius*

        Ugh thank you. I’m tired of watching them beat their chests at a press conference and then turning around and asking me to do more because their supporters don’t want to spend tax dollars but they do want to know where to get tested!

    2. memyselfandi*

      I left my role in state public health in August of this year. Had been planning by exit for the spring of 2020, and then…. My observation is that all the millions of dollars that has been poured into “public health” is not going into public health personnel. It is going to tech companies to build the reporting and tracking systems that we lacked due to the neglect of public health infrastructure for decades. When the pandemic hit my state we did not have software for collecting information on infections (despite our Infectious Disease unit begging for something for years in advance of the pandemic) and everything had to be built from scratch. Some of the money has been trickling down to the local level and I have gotten some calls from my network about opportunities. Salaries are not everything to me but what we pay people is how we demonstrate how we value them in our society. they have come up a bit, but not as much as they should. My reasons for leaving had to with poor management. I loved my job and had intended to retire from it.

  27. Ori*

    I’m seeing a *lot* of companies listing roles as remote, but when you visit their website / download the application it’s actually hybrid. I wish they’d stop wasting everybody’s time by doing this.

      1. Miss Fisher*

        There are reasons for that though. Depending on where you are located, the company might not be registered to do business in that state. since you would list your location as your place of employment address there are tax legal issues involved. Its the same where I work. You can live remote, but you have to live in a state where they are registered.

        1. Dancing Otter*

          Agreed. I live in a corner, where it’s really common for people to live here and take a job in state X or Y instead. For on site jobs, the company was fine legally. The tax issues, though.
          Twice, I saw family members really get screwed over on state income taxes. Their employers withheld taxes for the wrong state; taxpayer had to file with state X to get a refund and got hit with penalties from their home state for underpayment.
          This was totally unnecessary on the employer’s side. I worked payroll many years ago, and we withheld state X taxes for employees from X and state Y taxes for employees from Y. Yes, it was more work, but I still believe it was the only decent thing to do. But some companies just don’t want to be bothered.

    1. Many Hats*

      This may be a limitation of the site it’s posted on. Some job boards don’t list hybrid as an option and you can only chose from “One location” “Multiple Locations” or “Remote”
      My company is working from home, but they still ask you be close enough to participate in in person company events that may happen in the future. Regionally remote, maybe? That sort of stipulation isn’t an option on a job board’s drop down menu.

      1. Can't pass again...*

        Agree- my firm posts remote eligible positions as all of our office locations and “Open to location.”

      2. Ori*

        Sure, but in that case they should default to the regional office’s location. Nothing against what your company are asking for (it sounds lovely actually), just a bit tired of seeing ‘Remote’ vacancies that actually require you to be in London 3 days a week. (I usually search my area + remote).

    2. gnomic heresy*

      Same! Especially when there’s no clear logistical reason for why.
      I get that some companies can only hire in their own state for legal reasons (or a small set of states). But when it’s otherwise clear that that doesn’t apply, it’s frustrating.

      1. Ori*

        Definitely! Some, as you say, make perfect sense, especially if you’re delivering training or fundraising. But otherwise it’s just so disheartening.

      2. Ray Gillette*

        Also, some states are large! “Must reside in Texas for tax reasons” is much broader than “must reside in the Houston metro area and be ready to commute into the office at a moment’s notice.”

        1. Ori*

          Exactly! I live in a county where a commute to one city is 20-40 minutes. Due to infrastructure the next one over takes two hours and if on the train, a connection.

        2. LinuxSystemsGuy*

          We almost had to let one of my indirect reports go because he moved from Massachusetts to Rhode Island. I haven’t heard anything about in a few weeks, so I guess they must have fixed it (I’m not his actual boss, so I get everything second hand), but it’s crazy. Our Boston based non-profit apparently didn’t have anything setup for people to live in Rhode Island, like 90 minutes from the office. To be clear, his new house is geographically closer to our office than he’d been before (his job was hybrid even before the pandemic, so he didn’t mind the commute a couple days a week )

    3. Beancat*

      This! Nearly every “remote” role I find is actually temporarily remote, or hybrid in an area far from me (we’re not looking to relocate). There might be limits to the job boards themselves, but I wish they could find a way to say it up-front before I even click on a “remote” job.

      1. Ori*

        Same, my partner has a job he loves, so we don’t want to relocate. But where we live, the shortest commute I’ve ever had was 40 minutes each way. Remote would be perfect – I wouldn’t mind going in occasionally but I feel like i’ve spent half my life on trains / roads.

      2. MissBaudelaire*

        I’ve seen many listed as ‘remote’ but when you read the description it says THIS IS NOT A REMOTE JOB.

      3. Me!*

        I’m totally looking to relocate and I can start remotely if they need me to. I’ve been saying that in cover letters. Hybrid is acceptable if they require vaccination and have decent protocols, but I literally cannot find housing without a job!

        1. DJ Abbott*

          Confirming- I moved in 2021 without a job and my landlord did not consider unemployment compensation to be income. I had to ask a relative to cosign my lease before they would rent to me.

    4. Mezzo*

      Yes! This is making me crazy. I was referred by a high-level contact for a job that I’m 100 percent qualified for (digital marketing in healthcare), which was initially advertised as remote. The position was one of four similar roles that the company desperately needs filled yesterday, and the recruitment was being handled by a senior HR executive.

      I never even got called for an interview. According to my contact, the senior HR executive and the VP of the department that needs the new people were overruled by a C-level executive who “doesn’t believe” in remote or hybrid work. Said C-level exec would rather have the positions go unfilled, even if that means his company’s revenue tanks for more than a quarter.

      1. Ori*

        Especially silly given that digital marketing can easily be done from home. Apart from occasional internal / client meetings (which can be handled online) there’s no reason for you to be there.

    5. Cantelope*

      I’ve seen this too. Or it’s listed as “remote” but then the full job description says it’s only temporarily remote and eventually will be full-time in office on the other side of the country.

      1. Ori*

        Yep. I have a vacancy bookmarked where I really need to call them because their location is really ambiguous.

      2. No Longer Gig-less Data Analyst*

        A recruiter contact of mine on LinkedIn was complaining that even though the position he was hiring for was listed as remote, applicants kept asking if this was a remote, hybrid or in-person job. He was asking if he should ditch those applicants immediately as they “obviously don’t have an eye for detail.”

        I was more than happy to inform him that the bait-and-switch on remote jobs is a HUGE issue for job seekers these days. He was surprised since he genuinely would never list a role as remote unless it was, and didn’t seem to understand that this was a problem in his industry. Several others piled on, so I hope he has a much more empathetic and realistic view of what potential candidates are struggling with.

          1. Not So NewReader*

            Ditto from me. Thank your friend for having ethics and just keep reminding him that not every employer is so ethical.

    6. Cold Fish*

      Or better yet. They are listed remote but only temporarily remote and then will require in person. If the job is not intended to be remote, don’t advertise it as remote, you are not looking for remote workers.

    7. Junior Assistant Peon*

      I see a lot of another bait-and-switch: the job is posted in my city. and when you click on the link, the ad mentions “Relocation to Houston” or wherever. I’m tempted to apply to these just to waste their time.

      1. Anon for this*


        I’ve occasionally had recruiters reach out to me. They don’t seem very helpful yet, because a lot of what I do is stuff that’s done by directors and I’m looking to be promoted into a team lead role, but I’ve told each of them I have no desire to move to Texas, ever. So far they’ve been accepting of this.

      2. pancakes*

        That would be a waste of your time as well, and with no results. Why not report them to the site operator? It isn’t in their interest to be known for misleading ads and they probably have a policy against that.

    8. Lizy*

      Absolutely this. The post also needs to let people know WHERE they can be remote from. As a job-searcher, I don’t want to waste time applying for AwesomeJob only to find out later it’s remote only for people in Arizona, and I’m in Wisconsin (or whatever). I actively searched other openings with companies that said “this position is remote in X state”, because they were actually saying what they wanted.

    9. Jaybee*

      Same. When I was job-searching I had several companies I applied for, reach out and ask which of their office locations I would be working in.

      Well, your nearest location is a two hour drive away, so: none of them. I applied because you have it set as a ‘fully remote’ job, so it comes up when I search for local jobs! I wasn’t even looking necessarily for a 100% remote position (just open to it).

  28. Not a Real Giraffe*

    I’ve been casually searching since November. I’m seeing a lot of job postings in my field but am being picky about what I apply to and have decided that, unless it’s a role that requires it or that I think needs me to clarify why I’m a good fit, I am not wasting my time on crafting cover letters. I’ve been invited to interview for about 30% of the roles I’ve applied for, including all the ones I was most interested in (none of which I wrote cover letters for).

    I am finding that employers are not balking at my salary requirements, which are lofty becuase I like my job and I’m content to stay unless the offer is really amazing. I’m in the final rounds with one firm, so should know within the next week or two if we’ve just wasted each others’ time (they were cagey about the salary range when I initially asked).

  29. the Viking Diva*

    I’m hiring a researcher with an advanced degree, OK to work remotely. I thought I’d get flooded with applicants, as the ad offered a remote work option. In fact I had fewer applicants than usual but should be able to make a good hire from this pool.

    1. Dr. Rebecca*

      I’m looking for/applying for this work–PhD, 8 solid years qual and quant research experience, mixed methods–and can’t get a call back.

        1. A Wall*

          Third’d. I’ve had luck applying to research roles that demand you work in-person (and pay too little to afford rent by yourself, as per usual) but I want a remote role and not a single remote job I’ve applied to has ever contacted me back.

  30. bluephone*

    The local chains around me–CVS, Starbucks, etc– are always crying about how they don’t have enough staff, they’re hiring, they can’t stay open because there’s no staff, whine whine whine…but when you apply, you either get radio silence or told to piss off. So the alligator tears are really just for clickbait headlines and Faux News reports about “lazy people would rather get COVID unemployment checks* than work”

    (*no longer a thing)

    1. Jax*

      My 16 year old daughter applied to Target to work part-time, evenings and weekends, and received a rejection less than 24 hours later. My assumption is that Target managers are used to hiring “open availability” part-time applicants and would rather not deal with minors and their restrictions. If so, it may take until spring before retail/service industries realize that they need to cobble together part-time schedules with the candidates available, or suck it up and offer more full-time roles (with benefits) to bridge the coverage.

      1. Junior Assistant Peon*

        When I was growing up in the 80s and 90s, the only adult in a pizzeria or fast-food joint was the manager, and everyone else working there was a teenager. Now fast-food and retail companies are whining that they can’t get workers, but they won’t consider anyone under 18 for a crappy part-time minimum-wage job that never should have become a career job for adults.

        1. Chirpy*

          You know, people say these jobs were “supposed to be for teenagers” but who do you think works them during school hours? Some people only see the teenagers working nights and weekends because they only go to these places nights and weekends instead of seeing the adults who have always been there during the day.

      2. Isben Takes Tea*

        This would be my hunch as well. Back when I was applying for part-time retail work several years ago, I got turned down by people who otherwise really wanted to hire me because their policy was not to take anyone with schedule restrictions. A lot of chains required part-timers to be available at all times (depending on the week), but refused to give you a steady schedule or full time work. It is unreasonable and wrong.

        1. Four Calling Birds*

          In my area, the “full time availability for part time work” thing is as much of an issue in my job search as the low pay across the board. It’s awful!

    2. Fran Fine*

      The same thing happened during the Great Recession. When I graduated in 2009 and couldn’t find a career job to save my life, I applied to every fast food/retail spot in my area and heard crickets (and I had some food service experience from college!). You would think these places would have learned from that recent experience, but I guess not.

    3. Saraaaaah*

      Yeah my partner recently put in some applications at a bunch of Starbucks in the area for a part time thing to balance school and has gotten no interest.

  31. dawbs*

    I work in a low-paying sector of the educational nonprofit world and we’re finding it impossible to replace staff…
    But, honestly, I think that’s our fault–or our budget’s.

    My company has done as much as they can for employees throughout (paid to work from home when we can, keeping people on, cognizant of time and resources, flexibility, best precautions we can take)–they are a pretty amazing place for alllllll of those things. Like amazingly awesome.

    But our work requires (really requires, not ‘because we say so requires’) in person people. And people who are looking for work are seeming to really struggle to work for us (as amazing as we are) in a ‘high risk pandemic, working with unvaxed populations’ for less than they’d start off currently in fast food–and I don’t blame them; I’m considering picking up subbing jobs and side hustles and applying elsewhere because all the other perks in the world don’t pay my housepayments and it irks me that it’s still so much seen as ‘hobby job’ that pays (women, mostly. It loosely falls into ‘care work’) crap.

    1. JSPA*

      It also falls into, “people cut too much slack to companies who make promises they can’t keep.” If you’re Theranos, that’s, “the technology works, just throw money at us.” If it’s an educational nonprofit, that’s, “we can provide high quality in-person services without paying a minimally reasonable salary.” These are both lies.

      No matter how much we want to make a diagnosis based on a single drop of blood, and no matter how needy the population receiving educational services, the ripples of those lies reach far and wide. Finding a ready audience among the many people who want to believe that such things are possible, puffery from companies that run on magical thinking, guilt and magical accounting crater the public will to fund things properly.

      Like any other company that runs on wishes, chewing gum, and the suffering of their employees, unsustainable nonprofits should go under, if they can’t reform themselves to pay a decent wage.

    2. HigherEd-staycation*

      Non-profit/public health – budgets are huge barriers. They want all kinds of things, public-facing, workload for little pay. So many staff are burnt out and leaving the industry- people who have been in it for years are finally fed up and know they can’t find anything that will pay enough in the sector, so they are going elsewhere.
      The “mission” of any non-profit is becoming harder to love when you’re exhausted and not paid enough to pay the bills or save money.

      1. anon for this*

        This is something I’ve been discussing a lot as a nonprofit, department head level employee. I think a lot of us in the nonprofit/medical research sector are very aware we can’t continue underpaying and overworking people as much as we have been if we’re going to keep high quality employees, and yet there are some really strange entrenched ideas about hiring for nonprofits somehow needing to be “not about money.”

        I’m lucky in that my org is one of the better ones when it comes to understanding that strong employees are worth the money — once you are in the organization and have proven to be a strong employee. When it comes to hiring they still play strange head games (they absolutely REFUSE to let us post salary in job positions, even though many of us have been pointing out that it may be causing good candidates to self-select out because they assume we’re going to underpay if we don’t list salary).

      2. MissBaudelaire*

        I can love a mission and really believe in the cause all I want, but if I can’t pay my rent I can’t. I can’t afford to work for the joy of it. I wish I could, that’s just not a reality in my world. I’m sure there are people who can and do. I don’t know any of them.

        1. emmelemm*

          Right? Like, I’d love to serve this mission, but if I become homeless because I can’t pay the rent, then I’m the one who needs services!! It’s a vicious cycle! Or circle, whichever!

    3. ECE Policy Wonk*

      Sounds like you’re in an Early Childhood direct service role. I feel for you right now. It was hard when I did it 20 years ago, and I can’t imagine how hard it is now. Hiring and retention is just abysmal in ECE right now.

      On the other hand, there’s a veritiable smorgasbord of funding coming down the pike, the nation has never seen a call for ECE like we have since the pandemic, and if BBB passes, then there will *finally* be some pay parity between the private & public sectors.

      ECE is hiring like mad in the classroom and at the policy level, but in-between there is slim pickings.

  32. JustaTech*

    In my industry (biotech, specifically cell therapy) I keep hearing and seeing that there is a desperate need for trained employees (this is a new and specialized field and there isn’t really ‘school’ for it yet). My company complains that our best folks get poached (not hard since other companies don’t have to run on the night shift), and the companies that get employees from us complain that they’re have folks poached too!

    I know that in my department we’ve been trying to hire some specialized positions forever, and at least some interviews have happened, but the interviewees turn the jobs down because we’re not paying anything like what our closest (job type and physically) competitor is paying. Since everyone in our department knows this, no one I’ve talked to seems to know why we aren’t offering market rate.

    1. Mia*

      This is interesting to me, as biotech, and specifically cell work, is the field my high school senior is planning to get into. Finding a college that offers this program wasn’t easy, and it’s even harder to find specific info about careers within the industry. In your view, what would qualify as a “trained” professional employee? Lab skills, the science understanding, something else, a combination? Thanks for answering if you can!

      1. Another biotech worker*

        The best approach is probably a general bio degree (focus on cell or molecular bio if possible) but make sure the university has someone doing work in cell therapy and try to get a position in the lab doing undergrad research. (If that’s not possible, any position in the lab would be good especially because once you get your foot in the door, you’ll likely be the first to get further opportunities). But ultimately be aware that with only a bachelor’s, there will be limits to the positions available and they are very exacting/stressful work. This is definitely a field where following up with a PhD will likely be necessary to advance beyond entry level.

      2. Lora*

        Am director level in biotech, if this helps:

        -You don’t actually need your degree to say “Biotech”. Biology, biochemistry, chemistry, chemical engineering, are all perfectly fine and will cover the waterfront. We have some clinical lab and robotics/automation people too.

        -There are a LOT of sub-fields within the field, and while some are fairly niche others can be moved between. Strongly recommend that early after graduation, a first or second job should have a cGMP component. This is not something taught in schools at all, must be learned on the job, but once you have that experience it’s a HUGE boost to your resume for the next few decades. These roles are often available in operations type departments (manufacturing, clinical tech ops, engineering, Quality). If kid decides cGMP sucks out loud (many people do), they can certainly find work in other departments.

        -Which of the sub-fields your kid ends up deciding they excel in or really enjoy, is actually something of a crapshoot. A ton of people get the STEM degree and then decide they hate pipetting and go into Quality because it pays well; on the other hand, you basically can’t have any work friends if you work in QA/Compliance. Some people decide they would rather be a computer programmer than wear a Tyvek bunny suit all day and go into Automation, but then find out they hate the emergency call-outs. It’s really just on your kid and what they find they like when they start doing this stuff in real life. There is a nontrivial amount of training to move between these sub-fields, but it can be done – you’re just looking at another 1.5 – 2 years of schooling if you make a major switch, but others are much easier.

        -An advanced degree of some sort is pretty much required. Master’s of whatever is fine for most roles, MBA is also considered acceptable for certain departments, a PhD is mainly required for advanced Discovery roles only. For Discovery roles in particular: the graduate school must be a name brand school (Ivy, near-Ivy or top of its field program) and the research must be focused on something the company is actively pursuing. An industrial postdoc or a postdoc from someone the Discovery group PI knows personally is also usually required, so if this is something you want to do, you need to look VERY carefully at advisors who are well-connected to industry in particular. Also bear in mind that Discovery, while considered very elite, is also first to be laid off in recessions and last to be re-hired, and also pays probably the worst considering the amount of schooling they require. Everyone wants to cure cancer, nobody wants to audit batch records.

        -The places where there are jobs are Boston, San Francisco, a little bit outside Philadelphia, Singapore, the Rockland MD – DC corridor, RTP North Carolina, Munich, Milan, Basel and…that’s pretty much it. There *exist* jobs in other places, but they don’t pay nearly as much even relative to the cost of living and if you’re laid off or your boss sucks, it’s much harder to find another job in the field. Strongly suggest relocating to one of those places after college when possible. Quality of life is much MUCH better in those hubs, than it is trying to find something at one or two small companies / startups elsewhere.

        1. Mia*

          Thank you both SO MUCH for this info! Luckily, the largest university in our state does offer this degree and that is where he is headed, and I’ve already had the “lots of adjacent fields” chat with him. As for employment, the mom in me is excited that the largest university in our city recently announced a massive investment/redevelopment project focused solely on this field and type of work, so hopefully coming “home” will be an option, eventually if not immediately.

        2. JustaTech*

          Also Seattle, SoCal (San Diego is really picking up) and Atlanta.
          Sadly, aside from maybe Atlanta none of these places are cheap to live.

          You know what’s really fun? Auditing batch records *while* curing cancer! And then spending a week fixing the microfiche reader because that’s the only place that one report was stored. Yay development.

        3. WhatAMaroon*

          Will also add biotech has a presence in San Diego (source: is my husband’s job) but it’s more so manufacturing plant specific opportunities

      3. JustaTech*

        I guess my question is does your kid want a good paying manufacturing career, or do they want an R&D career? Because they’re pretty different on an educational requirement front (not that people from biotech manufacturing *can’t* move over to R&D, but it’s harder).

        Because the field is so new “trained” just means lab experience and an understanding of the general principles, and a strong willingness to learn on the job. Oh, and excellent fine motors skills (not 100% necessary but very beneficial) and good balance. (Like, literal balance, if you work in a clean room you have to be able to stand on one foot long enough to put on a sterile sock.)

        At my company the manufacturing folk generally have an AA or BA/BS, while the Quality and R&D folk are more likely to have advanced degrees (though I don’t have a PhD, and my master’s is tangential).

        Other than that it’s about the usual stuff in science, attention to detail (at least in the immediate work, my ADHD hasn’t been an issue), ability to pay very close attention to incredibly repetitive stuff (I’ve probably run the same assay a thousand times, but I have to pay attention every time), legible handwriting (though this is going away) and the ability to balance curiosity with regulations. (Oh, and take statistics! It will get you so far if you know how and why and when and which statistics to use.)

        Academia is exciting and new, industry pays and gets the big toys.

        And super congrats to your senior for having such a specific career goal before college! I just kind of blundered into this field (I was going to do astrophysics), but it would have been easier if I’d planned a little more. Good luck!

    2. Gary Patterson's Cat*

      In a new field like this with relatively few trained professionals you’re simply going to have to pay more or go without. Probably there isn’t even lower-level techs who can be trained to do the work yet. The only way I see you even getting grad students is if the job fully pays for the education while working the job. Otherwise, people who have graduated can make more money elsewhere.

      I’m old enough to remember the early days of the internet when a web developer or designer could make a six-figure salary because very few people knew how to create a website. Now, it’s a fairly low-to-mid level position because it’s quite easy to make a website.

  33. Goldie*

    I’m at the top end of middle management in a creative field, and my next step is VP or above—those jobs are rare. I do see some jobs out there that have my title and responsibilities, but offer half of my salary (or less). I also see jobs for which my resume checks literally 95% of the boxes for, and I can’t get HR/hiring contact to return an email (even after an intro/referral from someone else within the company). I think that if you’re a more junior or truly mid level person, there are a TON of opportunities out there.

  34. ER*

    I’m job searching to make a lateral-downward move within the data space, from senior data scientist to more of an early- to mid-level data engineer. I’m currently in the interview process for 5 roles and interviewed for and was rejected from two other roles (damn live coding interviews and my nerves!), but I think this is maybe only a little bit more than average and isn’t exceptionally unusual. In early 2021 I was applying for data science roles and was also getting a substantial number of call-backs so I think to some degree it’s just the space having a lot of growth. That said, I’ve heard from recruiters that pretty much everyone they’re speaking to is in interview processes at multiple places (one even said she’d be confused if someone wasn’t) so I think there’s some truth to it being easier right now. I’m grateful for that, because a lateral shift can otherwise be a harder sell.

    However, more establish tech firms (not just FAANG but other big ones like Spotify, Atlassian, etc.) can still be difficult to get into. The data engineering interviews I’ve gotten are mostly at smaller companies with concomitant lower pay, though if I had wanted to stay in data science I would be more likely to get interviews at bigger tech places who generally are hiring for more experience. With data engineering, though, it’s largely about getting a foot in the door and having the title so I’ll take lower pay (to a point) at a smaller company in exchange for the experience.

      1. ER*

        I’m assuming you’re also in the data space, then? If so, definitely stick it out for the bigger firms if you can wait and want to work at them! I just had three former coworkers land jobs at Meta, Google, and Apple in mid- to senior-level data science roles. I expanded my search more quickly in part because I’m trying to switch over to the engineering side and in part because my current situation is not tenable so I’m hoping to leave sooner than later (though I’m still making sure to be picky enough that I land somewhere I can really learn and grow in and that has the kind of tech stack to make that possible).

        1. J.B.*

          I’m more in data engineering (in a very small and super specialized place) and am currently doing more management of projects and people than I would prefer. Because people see my resume and see that specialization, I’ll probably need to move to a similarity small but hopefully less specialized place first.

    1. ER*

      One thing I will add is that it has been MUCH easier this time around to get salary information. Part of it is that more places are listing the salary in the job description (largely because they’re remote jobs that can be done from Colorado, which requires salary information in job listings – thank you, Colorado!) and part of it is that when I gently request salary information from the company before providing my own range, all but one place has been quick to give me the information. The data space is rife with insane pay differences – I’m currently interviewing for a place offering $140-160k and one offering $90-100k – so for me, it’s critical to get that information upfront. I’ve felt more at an advantage when asking for that information that I have during previous job searches.

      1. Fashion Show at Lunch!*

        I’m based in Colorado, and in my recent job search, I did come across a few postings for remote jobs that said “This job can be performed in any state except Colorado” — presumably so they didn’t have to list salary information. I was like, “If you’re that committed to being opaque about salary information, presumably so you can continue underpaying people, then I don’t want to work for you anyway.”

    2. this is ka*

      Data science advice please! My husband has just decided to make the switch from teaching to data science. He has a PhD in mathematics and is giving up on finding a tenured position (he wasn’t willing to leave our very desirable living location to truly pursue an academic career, so the options are quite limited). He’s just started doing some self-teaching through online courses to learn python and other coding, databases, etc (forgive my ignorance, it’s not my field). What would you recommend to someone like him as far as how long to spend trying to self-learn the coding side of things before pursuing data science positions. He’s been hoping that his PhD will give him the boost he needs to get into the field without becoming a coding expert first.

      1. ER*

        Hi! It varies so much given how broad and nebulous the field has become. Given his PhD, I’m assuming he’s more interested in going the ML-route and in general would aim for more stats- and methods-heavy data science roles? I have seen my fair share of data science jobs that prefer math/stats PhDs, so that gives him a leg up for those, but they are a more narrow subset of job openings (granted, a narrow subset that often pays quite well). They’re also the type of roles that are generally going to be more mid- to senior-level, which does require being able to show some experience on actual implementation, coding, version control and other best practices, so he should try to get a well-rounded foundation that includes that.

        It’s great that he’s learning Python (focus on pandas, numpy, scikitlearn, etc., and learn SQL in some basic capacity, too) and he’ll likely need to get comfortable enough to pass a live coding interview. A green flag for a company is when their live coding is looking for someone who can understand and explain how they’d implement something rather than someone who’s memorized which library does which thing, a red flag is if they prioritize the latter. So in that sense, getting enough experience to be able to generalize a problem and turn it into a function will be helpful (e.g., write a function that tells you whether any two numbers in a given list can add up to a given value). Apart from coding, though, a big thing is that there’s a huge difference in the skillset of someone who has just coded alone on their own vs. someone who has coded in a professional environment, so the closer he can get to closing that gap (and being able to show it to an interviewer), the better. This includes learning version control (use GitHub, it’s free, and make sure to add it to the resume as a skill), being able to speak to best practices when building out reproducible and production-level code, and understanding the types of business problems the place he’s applying to may need to answer (e.g., if looking at product data science roles, be able to speak to defining user activation metrics or how he would go about designing an A/B test for evaluating a product’s performance).

        Interviews will also involve behavioral questions along the lines of “tell me about a time when you…[impacted business decisions using data, had to handle questionable data quality, etc.]” so he’ll also need to make sure that any side projects he’s done have been in-depth enough that he can use them to answer those types of questions, and then also add in, e.g., “if I had done this in a professional capacity on a team in a production environment, I would have also taken into account X, Y, and Z” to show that he understand what’s needed.

        This is more than you asked for, but in short – he won’t necessarily need to be a coding expert, but to use his PhD he’ll need to aim for mid-level data science roles (and I think he should – don’t go for entry level ones even without experience coding in the workplace, as those are for people who are new to all of it and he clearly is not new to the methods component and I think that can take him quite far) he’ll need to have a solid enough grasp of Python to pass a coding interview and he’ll want to have a decent grasp of everything else that goes along with productionalizing code in a professional environment. Also, as someone who has hired data scientists, I would recommend including a short 1-2 sentence explaining his pivot to data science at the top of his resume because hoo boy do people not read cover letters.

        One last thing: he should start reading job descriptions NOW for the types of roles he’s interested in, and make note of the tools they mention. Don’t learn all of them – that’s not needed – but understand what they’re used for and when they’re used, and try to get experience with the tools that seem to show up in every job description. Also take note of what the responsibilities of the jobs are and what problems the role will solve and see if he can come up with projects to answer similar types of questions even if it’s on his own with an already generated dataset.

        1. this is ka*

          Thank you SO VERY MUCH! Your advice on what to expect in an interview and how to prepare will be invaluable to him. He has already been looking at job descriptions to identify the most commonly requested tools he should learn or be familiar with, and has spoken to a couple of friends who work in data science, but being prepped for an interview – especially as someone with a fair amount of anxiety who hasn’t worked in a corporate environment before – will be a big challenge for him. So having that advice is really really great. I’m so excited that he’s decided to make this change and feel like once he gets through the roughness of the transition, he’ll be so much happier. Thanks again for taking the time to respond so thoroughly!

    3. Katt*

      This is mildly off-topic, but is it roles in the data space in general that are difficult to get? I’m not currently looking to leave where I’m at, but I hear that there’s a huge need for data specialists. I personally am currently working in a data analysis role which I’m happy with and I’m not so much interested in the data engineering side of things, but I am wondering!

  35. I've Escaped Cubicle Land*

    My boss does interviewing for a state department. Our wages are below industry norm but not horribly below and the benefits are supposed to make up the difference. He’s mentioned an increase in lack of applicants, no shows at interviews, people turning down the job offers etc. Most of the positions are for call center or entry level admin jobs. Foot in the door type jobs so often new hirers end up taking a better position once in and the original job ends up serial reposting. They have started making more positions fully work from home to have a wider pond to fish for new hires from. But the ones that have to be on site are having a harder time finding employees.

    1. Danish*

      I think the general burnout and disillusion of the pandemic applies here too – “foot in the door” jobs don’t sound appealing currently, because we’re all very used to a bait and switch, or the entire company and it’s door changing out from under you, or the company deciding that your new job is “door stop”. There’s almost no incentive to hold out for eventual, theoretical advancement because so few people have seen that actually come to pass for them.

  36. Green Post Its*

    Sadly I think this won’t be very informative unless people are willing to say what industry they’re in and where in the world they are.

    I’m in HE in the UK, but my employer has had poor student recruitment so we’re no recruiting as strongly for most academic and professional staff.

    1. mlem*

      Yeah, I’d really love to see field, region/area, and remote-or-hybrid-or-in-person for people hiring and especially for people looking. I think that might be informative.

    2. HigherEd-staycation*

      I’m also in HE and we have seen a downturn in candidates, but that is mostly due to historically low salaries in the industry and lately in the institution that I work for.

      1. borkdrive*

        Also HE in the UK and having a lot of trouble attracting candidates at all but the highest levels. Salary bands have to match existing staff compensation and since there’s been no general uplift to cover higher COL we’re a bit stuck. The uni won’t let us formally offer remote or even partly remote work until they finish a veeeeery long consultation about it.

        Likely Brexit too. We are processing so many more visas for people who could otherwise have started in a couple weeks. The Home Office’s visa application paperwork and 3+ month timeline are not exactly inviting.

        1. Green Post-Its*

          The lack of raise in August 2020 was awful and the paltry 2% or so doesn’t really cut it. I work in HE finance in London so I know how pushed budgets are, but it really makes it hard to attract people when the best candidates for many roles can go to several other prestigous universities where they pay about 10-15% better. Or, indeed, go into private sector.

          Not offering even partly remote working is nuts. I know that a lot of teaching must be done in person – some labs, etc – but most staff have enjoyed WFH and many are doing it whenever their schedules allow.

          I interviewed for professional services roles at about seven London unis this past summer and all of them – without exception – said 2 days in office, 3 days remote as a starting point. This is for a non-student facing, non-helpdesk role though. Anyone who’d required full-time in office work would have been very out of the norm.

  37. iceberry*

    I recently applied for 4 jobs, and got an interview for each one and 3 offers! The candidate pool has been much smaller than in the past.

  38. learnedthehardway*

    From the recruiting side, it’s been crazy this past year – urgent roles all the time, but hiring managers don’t want to compromise on skills or compensation.

    1. Pants*

      A friend of mine is at a staffing agency. They constantly have to tell their clients that the reason they can’t fill the jobs is because the clients are offering a pittance as a salary. The clients tell them to keep looking for people at the same pittance.

      The entire working world has changed, but the people with the money refuse to change with it.

  39. Mezzo*

    Laid off in November, along with my entire team and most of my department, from a huge tech company.

    Interviewed with 11 hiring managers in November and December
    Four positions cancelled (two because the hiring managers resigned)
    Three rejections (one “you’re overqualified,” one because an internal candidate appeared at the 11th hour, one unknown)
    Withdrew three applications after it was clear that the hiring manager or grandboss were micromanagers or vindictive
    Waiting to hear back from the remaining one

    Have applied to over 100 jobs so far. There are literally thousands of openings in my field (marketing for healthcare and tech companies) but lots of churn.

    1. HereKittyKitty*

      I was in the same marketing boat- healthcare and insurance. Whole team laid off in August 2020, spent about 10 months before I was finally hired full time. Applied to 100s of places. Was mostly seeing either entry-level positions or super senior positions that I wasn’t qualified for. The few “middle” positions were highly competitive. In my new job, there’s been a lot of churn in the department. I suspect a big factor in marketing is who is remote permanently and who is not. About a month before each aborted “reopening” we’d have people leaving or moving departments to avoid going back. We’re still fully remote, thankfully, but I think some musical chairs are happening with marketing. There’s a lot of jobs, but everyone is looking for a different seat.

  40. kittymommy*

    I work in government and I haven’t really noticed a big difference. We have the same openings and difficulties we have always had (competing with private pay scales on the higher skilled positions is hard).

    1. FisherCat*

      I wonder if gov jobs will start seeing this more in another 6 months- 1 yr. Given the long hiring timeline for (many, though of course not all) gov jobs I think the trend might take some more time to show itself in that sector.

      Anecdote, but 3 new members of the team I’m on (all ICs) are much less experienced than usual for the position. Wonder if that’s coincidence or the hiring squeeze.

      1. Wintermute*

        I think part of the difference is the government is known for stability, people go there to be stable. In my field in the private sector I have absolutely no stability, but high wages. Employers have little loyalty to employees and employees reciprocate. If what attracted you to your job was the pay, you’ll leave for higher pay, if what attracted you was the stability and pension, you’re not likely to find better easily than some government fields.

  41. Anonymous Knitter*

    My team is desperate to hire, in our case mid-level IT infrastructure people. We’re outside any major tech hubs, so the talent pool locally is relatively shallow. Due to the nature of our work, so we can’t offer work from home and we have a number of inconvenient restrictions even when working in the office (e.g. no cell phones). We used to be the major game in town, but now we’re competing against local employers and remote employers who are offering WFH. So it’s a challenge. We’ve had better luck getting applicants for the non-technical role we have open.

    1. AnonyFed*

      Same situation for my side as a federal contractor. At least the no-cell-phone stuff isn’t full time, but there’s other limitations like all employees must live within 1 hour of the office for response time for emergencies to minimize downtime which limits them to an expensive COL area with a very limited housing supply. It’s looking bleak, especially as we’re looking 5-7 years down the road and realizing there’s a good quarter of our current employees who will be eligible for retirement at that point. We aren’t getting any qualified applicants applying to our mid- and senior level tech jobs and we’re already severely understaffed. Our benefits packages can’t cover the gap between private and public pay anymore, not when the pay gap is hitting 50% for IT and tech jobs.

    2. Wintermute*

      This matches what I’ve seen in our “shallow labor pool” markets at work.

      We actually had to cancel planned layoffs of people left without an office after one closed because our southern data centers can’t hire people fast enough to remain staffed and keep them. In Chicago you can put an add in the newspaper and get experienced people with the exact application experience you need, or network operations experience generally.

      Down in the deep south you’re hiring people with an IT degree or with helpdesk experience and training them in network ops, unfortunately then you’ve suddenly taken someone from 30k a year to 55k a year in salary value with two years of training and if you’re not giving raises/promotions fast enough they’re going to leave for someplace that will pay them that 55k.

  42. Stuck in the Middle*

    In my field, a lot of senior-level people were laid off after the pandemic. Now, only entry-level people are being hired back. I’ve been job-searching to escape my toxic job but I’m senior-level. So, there’s few postings. I took certification classes to enter a quickly growing neighboring field—but that field is only hiring senior-level people! I’m stuck in between the two, worried I’m going to be laid off before I can find another job.

      1. DEJ*

        I was in an adjacent field (public relations in an industry seen as ‘cool’ so the salaries are typically low anyway) and the two-longest tenured people in the office were both laid off and replaced with people hired at $10k less. Marketing and PR took the biggest hits of the layoffs, and a ton of long-tenured people across that ‘cool’ industry were laid off because they could hire back at lower salaries. However, I’ve also heard that the talent pool isn’t nearly what it used to be before the pandemic.

        I ended up getting into a different industry and got a 25% pay raise out of it as well as much more normal hours.

      2. I'm the social scientist you need*

        Search in the San Francisco market — there are TONS AND TONS of UX positions posted here.

    1. HigherEd-staycation*

      But people need to actually make money to decide if the job is worth it. In the times I have looked around casually, having salaries listed helped me not bother since they would not even be able to match what I make now. In some industries (such as HE) it is really hard to get a real feel for what a title means in the big picture and org chart at that Uni.

      From the other side, I have been on enough search committees to have all that time disappear even with a candidate we loved because when we finally gave our salary- they turned it down.


      1. HigherEd-staycation*

        (by the way, I am agreeing with you, *Cait*, and the above is saying it to whoever wrote the email in the tweet).

    2. AnonEMoose*

      Which is so unrealistic…I want to like my job, but I have never been a person who lives to work. I work to live, and I want to know that I will be appropriately compensated. It’s disingenuous and manipulative to pretend otherwise, if you ask me. And a red flag for an organization that is going to try to obliterate boundaries because the work is just so important.

  43. Bob Dole*

    It might be the industry I’m in, but I started poking my head around just to see what was out there in early December and got a job offer within a week from first phone screen with the desired salary I stated during the recruitment process. I gave my current employer a month’s notice on December 16.

    I think the speed at which they put forth my application probably has to do with lots of jobs going unfulfilled as they still have a load of postings on their LinkedIn, but it was nice to see that they didn’t try to give me the runaround regarding salary and benefits, either. At least in this instance, the notion that employers are desperate is true.

    1. Bob Dole*

      Adding field/area details — I work in the digital advertising industry at the top end of middle management. My current position is based in the Washington, DC area, where it will transition into a hybrid working environment. My new position is headquartered in NY but is 100% remote.

  44. Lady Glittersparkles*

    I recently went through a job search and it was interesting. I received an offer from every interview – one actually called while I was on the way home.
    What some employers were offering is still laughable though. One healthcare agency that involved direct contact with medically vulnerable patients boasted in the interview that they encourage taking time off and promoting a healthy work-life balance. Their PTO benefits were 7 days off a year which included both vacation and sick time, with no COVID-related sick time allowance. Unbelievable. Last I saw they still had a job ad up marked as urgently hiring.
    I did get a great job offer though from another place, with an unexpected hiring bonus.

    1. JelloStapler*

      This is some of it too- companies, and work in general in the States- is so tone-deaf that they do not even know what good benefits are and what work/life and PTO really needs to be.

    2. Not So NewReader*

      Ironic isn’t it? They are in the health field, but their policies are the very thing that cause people’s health to fall apart. The dots just don’t connect for them.

      1. Wintermute*

        It’s a shame how few people really connect the dots. I can make a strong case that labor conditions in the US basically caused the opiate epidemic, and yet no one seems to care that we’re creating societal problems by these individual low-level choices.

        1. DJ Abbott*

          Having grown up in a Kansas factory town, I agree.
          There is another aspect shown in the Dopesick TV show, what is that elites do not see working class people as people. They see workers as tools to use to make themselves rich.

  45. Rachel*

    I am in accounting, mid-level career. Apply to remote jobs on LinkedIn and mostly get ignored. 1 position where I had the exact experience match (specialized company type) auto replied ‘no’ very quickly. Not sure if they read the cover letter or resume at all.
    Getting lots of emails from Indeed for in-person positions with a long commute and/or low salary and/or entry level jobs that I am over qualified.
    Started a spreadsheet Jan 3 to track the rejections/replies – we will see what happens.

      1. TYVMD*

        What do you like most/least about your firm and what makes it stand out from other public accounting firms? Would you be willing to chat about it over email? (I’m career-changer accounting student)

  46. Shiver*

    My former company is having a hard time finding qualified people, but they’re also asking for the Sun and offering below market rate salaries, soooo…

  47. High Score!*

    Depends on the industry. I love in an urban area. Every place I go has help wanted signs. Many restaurants are open less days then before the pandemic. Stores had reduced hours. No more 24 hours grocery stores.
    I’m in tech. Our company is hiring for some positions due to normal growth but since they treat employees well, there wasn’t a mass exodus last year. Competitors are hiring for a lot of jobs due to employees leaving.

  48. Important Moi*

    Many employers are seeking unicorns. I am getting more comfortable not being an unicorn and still applying

    1. The Smiling Pug*

      Exactly! When I started applying, the requirements were so specific and ridiculous. I applied anyway, because I can always learn new tech/skills/whatever when I’m not working.

    1. Green Post-Its*


      I thought it was a hub for lazy folks but it’s also about promoting a good balanced working life and knowing your worth.

    2. AnonInCanada*

      I <3 that subreddit! Particularly when they call out companies for not paying people what they're worth. See Kellogg's and what the antiwork community did to get them to negotiate a fair deal with their unionized employees (who were about to be canned and replaced with scab labour I may add. BOO!)

  49. Murfle*

    When I was job-hunting last year, I applied to between 12-20 jobs and had about 5 interviews. The new job is fully remote and I got more pay and vacation to boot. However, I work in tech, so I may be an outlier.

  50. Lolly*

    I work in steel as an account rep and we are hiring like crazy. Salaries have always been decent but they are going up (starting for office work like my job is 50-60k), semi wfh, last year had huge bonuses. The downside is locations are not ideal unless you already live in the area.
    They hired 2 groups to our division last year and are rumored to hire more soon, probably 30 people across multiple groups.
    They definitely have some unfilled positions because lack of (qualified) candidates.

  51. Ann Perkins*

    I changed jobs last year and my small team is now looking to fill a role as well, due to someone leaving for a permanent WFH job. I have a specialized role that requires very specific licensing so it’s hard to find candidates in general. I had an easy time finding a new job due to that, and it’s still hard to find someone, even though the pay and benefits are good at this company.

    1. Bronson*

      I have 6 open analytics positions on my team. Not entry level 5-7 years experience in a data analytics role, financial service background a plus but not required. All positions start low six figures + bonus, 4 weeks vacation, 11 paid holidays and good benefits. I have had less then a dozen applicants for these roles, and most don’t have the skillset to do this work. It would take a solid year to get someone without the technical skills up to speed and I need people now not a year from now. I’m talking to my boss tomorrow to see if we can get the salary higher…….I need people asap, my team is way too short staffed for the amount of work we need to accomplish and I’m worried they will burn out.

  52. Dodubln*

    My office is not currently hiring, but another office I work remotely for is. They are having an awful time with it. It is entry level work, no experience/degree needed. My boss there is offering $17 an hour which is $7 over minimum wage in the state, plus PTO and vacation days. No takers.

    1. Windchime*

      In my state (Washington), I don’t think anyone could get by on $17/hour. It’s literally not enough to pay rent, bills, and buy food for the month.

      1. Sammy Keyes*

        Fair, but in Washington our minimum wage is $14.49 per hour. $7 over minimum wage for us would be $21.49 per hour, which at a full time schedule works out to over $44k per year. Not a great salary in the Seattle area, but it’s within the range of what I was offered for an admin job here recently (and it wasn’t entry level).

        I agree that it’s still a low salary, but not quite as drastically so if adjusted by region.

      2. Starbuck*

        You kind of can (I have been) as long as you’re not close in to the urbanized areas of Puget Sound and Vancouver/Portland. But it’s definitely gotten harder during the pandemic because a lot of our far-flung cheaper rural areas are beautiful and so have been marketed as a “remote work paradise” which is just absolutely toxic for the locals housing market.

    2. Beth*

      Are they offering benefits? Actual medical insurance? Opportunities for advancement? Parking?

      And why compare the wage to minimum wage, which is recognized as poverty-level by everyone except employers? Compare the wage with the minimum required for standard living expenses in your area.

  53. gnomic heresy*

    I think that it is true that there are a massive number of jobs open in certain fields, but not in, for example, remote intellectual work, where lots of people (like myself) are searching right now. I’m trying to get out of teaching and into corporate training. I have strong skills and have created trainings and evaluated teaching staff, but because I haven’t been a L&D specialist in a corporate environment before, my masters in educational management and strong background in learning design mean nothing apparently.

    I got a response to an application for remote educational administrator asking my salary needs. I first responded asking their budget; the recruiter wouldn’t reveal, so I gave my target range. She responded saying they couldn’t meet that, and then I gave a floor that was $20k less than the low end of my target range (which btw was already in line with other jobs I’ve been applying for). She said “we’re still pretty far apart.” I said thanks anyway and good luck.

    I mean I guess they’re not that desperate?

    I’m seeing a flood of job postings for shift workers and delivery drivers, though. Thought for a minute about becoming a truck driver, but then remembered I’m periodically too dizzy to drive and that’s partly why I’m looking remote in the first place!

    1. Shortcut*

      Fellow teacher who made the switch to L&D here! Your experience is so common. It is a really difficult field to break into, even with previous education experience…the skills are so transferable but companies just don’t seem to think so. It took me two post-bacc certificates and over 100 applications before I got an interview with a smaller consultant group that was more open minded about professional background and landed the job. Hang in there!

    2. Working with Professionals*

      I made the jump from elementary teacher to instructional designer many years ago now and what made the difference was an online portfolio of projects and having computer/IT training under my belt. There’s a need for those who can display ability with online elearning development and video dev. Double check your resume highlights how your skills can be applied in a corporate setting and don’t get discouraged!

  54. Alexis Rosay*

    Speaking from the employers’ side, people do not seem aware right now that the difficulty hiring might apply to *us*. My coworkers seem to be assuming it is a problem other people are having, while *our* nonprofit is so great that people will obviously want to work here, right?

    Some things I have seen recently include:
    – My boss being aggressive and bit rude to the *only* qualified candidate during her interview; she later withdrew from the process and we could not hire for that position
    – Creating stricter cover letter requirements when posting a new, fairly unattractive position, with the result of not receiving *any* qualified applicants

    I try to advocate for a greater respect for job seekers (and by extension employees), but I am not always successful.

      1. Winter is cold*

        I went through 3 rounds of interviews for a job that I was 100% qualified for and then they ghosted me. Prior to me applying, the job got reposted twice and was up for a long time. Employers are still treating candidates like garbage, so nothing has changed.

  55. Recovering Manager*

    I get the auto “we’ll be in touch,” message, but they rarely are. Out of the 23 jobs I’ve applied to in the last 3-4 months, I’ve heard back from 12. The others are radio silent. Not bad. But, out of those 12, 7 immediately rejected me. I made it to the project stage or 1st round interview for the other 5, but got rejected.

    In one case, I was scheduled for a first round interview, but 3 minutes before she emailed me to say she was sick and had to reschedule for today, in fact. I emailed her back right away to accept but never heard back and she hasn’t called. I emailed her again and we’ll see what happens.

    From what I’m hearing from the HR reps I do talk to, they’re getting tons and tons and tons of applications. Is that true? I don’t know, but that’s what they say. Can’t speak to salaries since I haven’t gotten there yet.

    Honestly, this feels about the same to me, compared to other job searches.

    1. MissBaudelaire*

      I’ve told this story here before. My husband went to a job interview. Had confirmed it with the manager. Walked in–manager was nowhere to be found. Had called in that day, and not called my husband. Husband emailed and tried to call the manager to reschedule. He never heard back from them again. Super rude.

      I do think places gets tons of applications, I think the bigger problem is a lot of employers don’t understand we’re coming into a whole new world, and they’re going to have to change with the times.

  56. Stacy*

    My spouse is a mid-level financial analyst who has been looking to switch companies for about a year. They get approached by multiple recruiters weekly, but the salary is always way too low for the position

  57. Aisling*

    I’ve been looking for a few months and what I’m seeing is that the non-profit admin field is trying to churn along with the same old salaries and job descriptions, but having a hard time filling jobs because the big box stores and fast food restaurants in the area have significantly raised their pay. Non-profits don’t seem to understand that they need to raise pay to attract and retain good workers in this environment.

    1. Elle*

      For us the problem is private and government funders do not increase the amount allocated for salary. We’re a public health non profit and have complained for years that salary is too low to staff positions. We are no longer applying for grants that fund salary below a certain amount.

      1. 100%thatlizzofan*

        Exactly this! We can only pay what we get funded for. We are also being choosy on what we write grants for. When it comes from funding we receive from the state, we tell them we can’t afford to do the work with that rate but change nothing!

      2. Data Bear*

        I feel ya. One major funding agency has restrictions that prevent us from funding more than 1/6 of any named personnel’s salary with their grants, and I think there’s absolutely no point in even looking at their solicitations. What, we’re supposed to land and juggle 6 grants simultaneously to keep our soft money people covered? That’s ridiculous.

        Private funders also have the problem of being incredibly stingy about overhead. Like, sorry, your indirect rate limit is less than a 1/3 of our actual overhead costs. Do you think our admins don’t need to be paid because they’re magical fairies who subsist on sunbeams and dew or something?

        1. Elle*

          My favorite is $32k for a minimum bachelors level person to do weekly home visits for first time moms, often providing support for domestic violence situations, eviction, unemployment and many other crises. Those are the positions we can’t fill. We keep getting told about how critical those programs are yet no one is willing to fund a decent salary.

  58. Construction Safety*

    We’re crying for workers.

    Welders, fitters, millwrights, riggers, bull gangers. $28-$32 per hour, 50 hour week (some shutdowns are 7x12s), ~$100/day per diem, working in the elements in generally rural locations, inadequate travel pay (I think we are in violation of federal law), decent health care (after 60 days), borderline paltry 401(k) match (most don’t care), no PTO

    1. The Dogman*

      I think I can see why you are not getting the numbers of applicants your bosses would like…

      and wow… 50 hour weeks doing dangerous and/or uncomfortable work… no thanks, not for that level of pay an benefits!

      1. Not So NewReader*

        The construction arena has this problem, too. You work while you are sick or injured or you don’t have a job period. I read of a study that showed construction workers have a high rate (than other arenas) of drug abuse because of the demand to work while sick or in pain.

        There has to be an attrition rate attached to the health problems that were set to happen with this plan.

    2. Generic Name*

      Yeah, construction is terrible. I’m uniquely qualified for a niche field in construction oversight, and there is no way in hell I’d work for a construction company, for any amount of money. The work life balance is utter crap.

    3. Jaybee*

      Have a friend in the same field who is preparing to quit due to similar conditions. They’ve been hemorraging workers for a while and can’t find anyone to fill the positions.

      People are moving to better paying jobs where they get treated as humans rather than replaceable cogs. There’s a lot more space in some nicer areas of the job market because a lot of people who could afford to do so, retired during the pandemic.

    4. DJ Abbott*

      Doing physical and dangerous work with no healthcare for 60 days? Not a friggin chance! Absolutely someone, probably me, would get injured in less than 60 days and not have health care!
      Also no PTO = workers will only stay until they find a job with decent benefits.

  59. Bernice Clifton*

    I was job searching last summer after my position was eliminated. I would say that I landed more interviews than I had during previous job searches, but I still got ghosted by plenty of employers. The jobs I was applying to had dozens of applicants per LinkedIn and Indeed (and that was only the number of applicants applying that particular channel).

    I was actually really annoyed at the attitude that there tons of jobs out there. I was unemployed for 3 months (which isn’t long) but I had people look askance at me that I hadn’t found something yet. I probably could have got a job in retail or fast food, but those jobs would not have paid my bills.

  60. Can't pass again...*

    I work in Accounting and it’s a pretty crazy environment- mid review cycle compensation adjustments, lots of departures, amped up recruiting. I’m getting a lot of touch points from third party recruiters and other firms.

  61. J.B.*

    I have gotten very few calls, partly because stupid ATS systems demand you put in one salary number and my current situation is comfortable enough that I won’t low-ball myself.

    On the employer side we didn’t get much interest in a state university staff role, the slowness of bureaucracy is probably killing us.

  62. Philly Redhead*

    I’m a graphic designer. In the past, I’d send out dozens of resumes, and get maybe three invitations to interview. I don’t know if it’s the advice from this blog, or the current job market, but I recently applied for two graphic designer jobs at two different universities and was immediately contacted by both to interview. I got to the final round for both jobs — for one job, they called me and told me they were going with another candidate (which I was fine with because I was thinking the job/salary wasn’t a good fit for me anyway), and the other hasn’t been in touch in nearly a month.

    So, in some ways, the market has been very different (getting immediate interviews for both of the resumes I sent out — in sectors widely know to move VERY SLOWLY in hiring), and in some ways the same (getting ghosted after interviewing).

  63. Hypnotist Collector*

    I’ve been applying for jobs and have had no luck for 18 months, and I’m sorry to beat this drum, but I’m older and that matters. For almost six years pre-pandemic, I worked at a tech start-up in online learning that was successfully acquired by a major media company (that closed us down because we couldn’t do live video production during the pandemic) so this is not an issue of “she’s too old to work in a modern company” or “she’s not comfortable with technology.” I’m doing part-time hourly work that mostly pays the bills that I’m very grateful for, but everything (rent, health insurance as my COBRA ends, food) is far, far more expensive this year than last year. I will believe companies are desperate for skilled and experienced employees when they start interviewing, let alone hiring, older people. But nobody’s DEI program gives anything more than lip service, if that, to age discrimination. They said in 2020 that older women would be the last to be re-hired, and apparently that was accurate.

    1. Hypnotist Collector*

      (and I don’t want to be quoted, too identifiable, thank you Alison for the heads up on that)

    2. EJ*

      Often can be MUCH cheaper than cobra. Losing health insurance post job loss counts as a qualified change in status, so you should be able to sign up off cycle. Call the navigator number on the website for your state, theirs is a legally mandated position to walk you thru the process and very helpful. In your position you may qualify for subsidies to make it even cheaper.

      1. Hypnotist Collector*

        It’s not cheaper for what you get. I had an absolutely phenomenal plan through my last employer, was very willing to keep paying for that plan, and nothing in ACA compares to it – not even close. I wish they’d considered extending COBRA to 24 or 30 months for people who got covid-laid-off so I could keep that plan. I’m working with a reputable broker, I’m not stupid and I’ve researched all my options. Bottom line, it’s not cheaper when you’re older and in the limbo between being employable and Medicare.

    3. Anon for this...*

      FWIW, I’m getting ready to make an offer in accounting to an “older” female candidate – she was not my ideal candidate and my boss is concerned about her adaptability but I think her experience and knowledge makes up for any hesitancy on our part.

      Persistence. :)

    4. Rara Avis*

      My husband finally found a job after 18 months. He is approaching 60 and is sure that’s part of the issue. Because of the way salaries work in education, they have to pay him based on years of experience, so he’s more expensive than younger candidates.

    1. Anon for this*

      I can add an academia story (and do not quote me on this Alison because we do not need it getting back to the state GOP) but my spouse is faculty at one of the “No Mask No Vax In Person Or Bust Let’s Make Those Lazy Liberal Professors Work” red state universities and ummmm most of their colleagues have CVs out to leave the state.

      1. pancakes*

        Why should the state GOP and its supporters be shielded from knowing that they’re driving people away? They can’t criminalize looking for better work elsewhere.

        1. The Dogman*

          “They can’t criminalize looking for better work elsewhere.”

          Only a matter of time til they try… who knew they would criminalise going out of texas for an abortion?

          1. pancakes*

            Anyone in the US who pays even a little attention to the news over the past 30 years or so should’ve spotted that one! The problem isn’t that they’re duplicitous about it but that their supporters like it.

        2. Trixie the Great and Pedantic*

          I imagine it’s less shielding them from the knowledge and more not encouraging them to push people out before the escape plan is fully formed.

          1. pancakes*

            How exactly do you envision legislators pushing individual people out of their jobs? Faster than driving them out with bad policy, I mean.

        3. Anon for this*

          Because the state GOP *wants* to gut the state universities. They *want* to get rid of the “dirty liberal professors” who are “brainwashing their children.” If they find out that they are unhappy with their work conditions, The Beatings Will Continue Until Morale Improves. They’ll get punished further, with more punitive rules coming down from the State House making their work conditions even more unbearable and people will get fired over petty things.

          They need to be able to look for new jobs without drawing undue attention to themselves.

          1. Starbuck*

            Yeah, it’s tough. Half the time when I want to complain loudly and publicly about the negative impacts of this kind of conservative political mis-management, I have second thoughts because it’s just telling them what they want to hear, that their BS tactics are working as intended, and I truly hate the thought that I’d be giving them that satisfaction.

            1. pancakes*

              You think it is unsatisfying for them to have no opposition? Compliance with their policies? They’re happy either way, with that or with angering people. The idea that people who oppose this stuff can make it go away or slow it down by quietly accepting it is a peculiar fantasy.

              1. Starbuck*

                Hah, I said I have second thoughts – not that those thoughts actually stop me from complaining.

          2. pancakes*

            That’s something they wanted and started pursuing well before the pandemic, and I just can’t see how or why keeping quiet about unsafe pandemic conditions is going to slow it down. The idea that they’re going to be placated by quiet obedience isn’t going to improve this situation. It’s just going to continue worsening conditions in the schools and further entrench their belief that most people agree with them. It’s not a coincidence that the same group has been talking up “a silent majority” for decades.

      2. NewYork*

        My sister lives in a red state, and she says along as it is only liberal arts professors leaving, the red states will be thrilled to replace with adjuncts. Less happy if STEM or business professors leave.

  64. Arts nonprofit*

    I am in an arts nonprofit in very large city. We have had a mid-level position open for a couple of months; I think we got fewer than 10 applications of which none of them were qualified. We’re also hiring for a few part-time entry level roles and haven’t received as many applicants as we normally would. I’m also looking for a new position, similar to the one I have now (department director level) and there are definitely fewer opportunities than pre-Covid.

  65. AnonToday*

    My spouse has been trying to get into the clinical research field (just finished a biology PhD) and isn’t getting bites despite many in the field saying there is a huge shortage of entry level staff. We live in one of the major hubs and even working through their and my professional networks hasn’t yielded much yet.

    I’m not sure if the companies think a PhD is over qualified for entry level clinical trial work, or will be too expensive? But Spouse isn’t getting any requests to interview or hearing back from the places they applied to at all.

    1. Grand Admiral Thrawn Is Blue Forevermore*

      My roommate is finishing her Phd in theatre history, and I am praying she gets a local job. Otherwise I have to move, since I can’t afford the whole rent on this house. I’m pretty sure she will have to get a local public school job to get some experience before she can work in the area she wants.

      1. The Smiling Pug*

        One of my friends is finishing his master’s in Theatre and I can only pray that he gets any kind of job related to that field. He has a few years of experience in the nonprofit/teaching sector, but this new variant is staring down the entire arts industry.

        1. Grand Admiral Thrawn Is Blue Forevermore*

          I admit I am still confused about why she would choose a career that isn’t immediately obviously lucrative, but she is very passionate about it. I want her to succeed. I just need more time. I guess we always do.

          1. pancakes*

            Not everyone wants to shape their life around making as much money as they can as quickly as they can.

          1. Me!*

            Oh, but theater, art, writing, music, etc. aren’t actually WORK. God forbid creators should get paid! It’s all passion, don’t ya know! /s

          2. WellRed*

            This is a job thread. I’m well aware that theater has been around for millennia but I am pretty sure job prospects are poor and jobs that require and pay for a PhD person are thin on the ground.

            1. Fran Fine*

              Yeah, that may not have been the most prudent course of study, but god love her for doing it – someone has to. We need artists and art historians. Culture depends on it.

            2. pancakes*

              People who want a strictly vocational education aren’t barred from pursuing one. I don’t agree that any and all higher education needs to be vocational training. We have enough anti-education sentiment and public policy as it is. That is not a world I want to live in.

            3. Jaybee*

              The ‘real world’ is not comprised solely of for-profit companies and their needs. The fact that this is a thread about jobs isn’t an excuse to be rude about pursuits that aren’t intended to be profitable.

    2. Sutemi*

      I’m in biotech, and I’d ask how important is it that their first job be clinical? It is harder to go straight into clinical work with a PhD than into translational medicine or research. Getting some experience in those departments and then doing a transfer to clinical work may work out better, especially in a small to mid sized company which allows people to move around. The spouse isn’t over qualified, they are differently qualified than what is needed for a lot of entry level clinical jobs.

      I see a lot of people moving around, lots of open positions in Biotech but often difficult to match experience and skills with the job needs.

      1. AnonToday*

        Thank you for your response! I really appreciate the advice; we have a lot of life changes this coming year so we’re both anxious for something to shake out soon.

        I know Spouse doesn’t want to do bench work anymore, but I’ll share your suggestions. We didn’t really think about that approach, and Spouse is totally willing to do a year or so of the very entry level clinical research jobs to break in. Based on what you’re saying, research or translation might pay better and be a more solid bridge anyway.

    3. Monday*

      I work in clinical research and I do think a PhD on the resume might be initially off-putting for an entry level job. BUT this could easily be overcome in a good cover letter. In my area of the US there is a high demand. Good luck to your spouse!

  66. Grand Admiral Thrawn Is Blue Forevermore*

    My company is currently hiring for several positions. They have increased their pay – last year I got $2 more an hour just for sticking around. This month I asked for a raise and got another dollar per, although I think that is past what they are normally willing to pay this position. It was made clear that this raise caps my salary for this job, which I am fine with due to the amount of OT I get.
    The first person hired only lasted a day. Her replacement starts Monday.

  67. Rage*

    We’re hiring like gang-busters over here. Of course, industries like mine that rely on direct care professionals (AKA DCP or paraeducators) for disabled children and/or adults have been hit hard by the pandemic and everyone is struggling. We have directors working in our group homes pretty much every weekend, just to help keep everyone safe. I, myself, normally a 1st-shift admin person, am working 3rd shift this Friday & Saturday because Omicron variant has knocked out a good chunk of our staff.

    We have not been doing in-person interviews for quite a while now, and our HR has been pretty consistent with scheduling Zoom interviews for within 24 business hours of receiving an application. They are very aware they need to move quickly, given the state of the market these days. But we can’t just drag in anybody off the street: we’re a residential school, so we have to follow a number of state mandates, including a drug-screen, background check, and FBI fingerprint clearance (that takes the longest, and we’ve lost a solid chunk of people who had something in their background that precluded them from being able to work in a DCF-licensed facility). This is our “entry level” position and the only requirement is a high school diploma/GED and the ability to pass the background check.

    They are talking about re-starting in-person interviews, but know that those are not as easy to schedule on such short notice, and they are concerned that it might cause them to lose out on potential recruits.

    Our new CEO (bless her heart, came on board in June 2020 and ended up COVID quarantined during her first 2 weeks) has boosted DCP pay to $15/hour base rate (for all staff, not just new hires), plus pretty decent benefits (including a scholarship program and tuition reimbursement plan). It’s a hard job, not gonna lie, but the culture here is better than a lot of places I’ve seen (and they are still working hard to improve it), and we are very much a “grow our own” culture. My current boss, the division director of the school, started off 18 years ago as a DCP in the group homes. So it’s not just talk, they really do prefer to promote from within, and will develop people specifically for that purpose. This is all to say that my organization is working hard not just to bring people on board, but to make them want to stay and develop them further.

  68. Lady Glittersparkles*

    My soon-to-be-former employer has been hit hard with the staffing shortage, though. They only have the board to blame for refusing to raise extremely low to below market wages depending on the position (we’re a non-profit). One program area that was extremely essential to our clients has completely shut down for months now because they can no longer find people to do extremely difficult work for practically minimum wage. It’s sad for our clients, but they continue to blame the market for something they could do easily fix.

  69. Prospect Gone Bad*

    I got headhunted for a few roles that were way way more specific and picky than jobs have been in the past. I do think many of those 10M open jobs are nice-to-haves where the company is fine waiting months or years to hire someone.

    I think many things are overlapping here. It’s not just the s0-called great resignation. It’s how jobs are changing. Jobs are getting more specialized and gal/guy Friday jobs are decreasing in number. So you end up with really specific technical skills being needed on top of jobs (sometimes unnecessarily) demanding very specific industry experience. And suddenly the ad sits there for two years and the position never gets filled.

    Personally I am not thrilled with this one-sized-fits-all great resignation narrative, because it may give lower skilled applicants who are not in demand the idea that they can play hardball, ask for an unreasonable salary, and job hop, without it causing them to lose offers.

  70. HugsAreNotTolerated*

    Laughably low offers from employers. This is from a real posting I saw the other day and saved so that I could forward it to my friends and show them just how out of touch some employers could be.
    Executive Administrative Assistant role for a mid-sized consulting firm in major North Texas city
    -10+ years of experience overall
    -7+ years of direct C-suite support
    -Hours stated as 7am -5pm M-F, but OT often required and on-call on weekends
    -Must be “Boardroom ready at all times both in demeanor and appearance”
    -Expected compensation between $38,000 to 42,000.
    Not sure how they expect someone to afford “boardroom ready” clothing every day of the week on that salary.

    Another example from my current company:
    Our shipping & receiving manager recently left and I laughed when I saw the job posting. They want someone to handle all our incoming & outgoing mail/FedEx, etc.,deliveries, and facilities work and the listed pay was I kid you not.. $15-16 an hour.
    Our receptionist makes $14.75 an hour.
    They got a temp to fill the role and the guy is doing great in it, I was chatting with him and asked if he was going to apply for the role full-time and he said that taking the job directly with the company instead of through the temp agency would be a $4 an hour pay cut.

    1. Agile Phalanges*

      Yeah, at my last job, we had a hard time hiring unskilled labor. My boss suggested we try a temp agency. They told us they’d have to pay a minimum of $15/hr, plus their fee on top of that, and my boss was currently paying $11. So yeah, no wonder we can’t hire workers. He didn’t raise his minimum, and we struggled to hire. Even when we worked directly with a parole/probation officer and took people in her program for non-violent offenses. When you can’t hire/keep even felons desperate to maintain employment in order to stay out of prison, maybe you should re-think some things.

    2. A Girl Named Fred*

      I’m also looking for AA/EA type roles, and this has pretty much been my experience so far too in the Midwest. Paying $15/hr if you’re lucky, and they still want 5-10+ years of experience, special experience with whatever software they use rather than looking for comparable experience and providing training, must be available 24/7…. it’s absurd. I’m just trying to find one that’s acceptable, not even great, and my options are still pretty limited.

      Of the ones I’ve found that did seem okay, I’ve gotten to two first-round interviews and one second-round interview. I was rejected after the first-round interviews, and ghosted after the second-round interview. Seems like it’s pretty much ‘business as usual’ here, unfortunately.

    3. Jax*

      Laughably low offers and inflated titles. I am in the Pittsburgh area and have looked at HR positions. An “HR Manager” does not make $40,000 per year, process weekly payroll, and “handle the office mail” on top of benefits/recruiting/hiring/onboarding/performance evaluations/labor relations. You want an Office Manager, a Payroll Manager, and an HR Specialist all in one. For $40k?

      Good luck with that.

      On the other hand, I’m also seeing very senior HR roles posted that sound terrible (up to 75% travel between multiple locations, heavy responsibilities) listed for $75k. I’d be thrilled to make $75k, but after reading the job descriptions I have no desire to apply. I can already sense the insanity.

    4. AnonForThisDuh*

      Mineral extraction here. I’ve had almost a half a dozen offers (as the incumbents refuse to be vaccinated and are subsequently let go), all laughably low pay and unreasonably high work load… which makes wonder about the real reasons people left.

    5. Starbuck*

      -Hours stated as 7am -5pm M-F, but OT often required and on-call on weekends
      -Expected compensation between $38,000 to 42,000.

      Ugh, how ridiculous. Yet another reason that the federal minimum overtime-exempt salary threshold needs to be raised annually.

  71. ThatGirl*

    My husband’s workplace (a smallish liberal arts university) has had an open counselor position for at least 6 months. Last he knew, nobody had even applied for it.

    But it’s plainly obvious why: they are asking for much more experience than they’re willing to pay for, and also ideally want a bilingual counselor who’s also a POC. For crap pay at a university with a mediocre to bad reputation for staff. Any clinician who’s bilingual with any significant experience is gonna go get paid well elsewhere. They SHOULD be targeting grad schools for recruitment but noooo….

  72. anonymous IT*

    I work in IT (10+ yrs xp). I sent out 3 resumes 12/31/21 and had 2 interview requests by the Monday. I have 3 interviews (1 recruiter, 2 direct) and was contacted by a recruiter at a 4th company where I hadn’t applied in less than a week (almost exclusively using LinkedIn). It very much depends on what field you are in and what level in that field. I see a lot of entry level and mid/senior level technical support roles and software engineering roles open at a range of companies. I honestly thought that I would have time to assess what I want to do next and give my current employer an opportunity to retain me but the level of response (colleague already has an offer letter) for my team’s skill set is intense.

    1. Love to WFH*

      I’m seeing a lot of hiring of software engineers, and related roles on development teams.

  73. C.*

    I’m looking for a new job now, and I’m waiting to hear back on three positions: two of which that I’m pretty sure I’ll receive offers for. Just yesterday, an employer I applied to reached out to me to let me know of a new position they listed that’s better-suited to my resume and encouraged me to apply. So, I’m feeling pretty confident that I’ll be in a different situation within the next month or so.

    Before all this? It was the “always the bridesmaid, never the bride” situation for me when I was trying to land a job offer. So, I have to say it’s nice that I have options and—even if nothing comes of these—I get the distinct sense that more opportunities will present themselves.

  74. BRR*

    I think it depends on the field and area. In my field, fundraising, I’m seeing a lot of what I saw before the pandemic, high expectations for what they want in a candidate and minimal effort to attract and retain employees. I get the sense that a lot of employers aren’t asking themselves “how to we make this a place where people want to work?”

    My personal theory is starting during the 08-09 recession (or possibly earlier but that’s when I graduated so this timeframe is my knowledge base), hiring has been disproportionately balanced towards employers. It was very slowly shifting pre-pandemic but a lot of employers weren’t changing their perspective. And now a lot of people don’t just want a job but a good job while I think there’s a lot of stubborn leadership that thinks “you should be grateful to have a job.”

    1. Birdie*

      I’m also in fundraising and I too am seeing job postings with very high expectations and requirements with really low salary ranges. Which is what it was like before then pandemic, too. Very frustrating.

      I’m being really targeted in my job search. I’m horrifically underpaid right now, overworked, somewhat burned out, dealing with an absentee director, and just about ready to start smacking some non-fundraising colleagues around (the usual tensions between fundraisers and programmatic employees), but at the same time, I come and go as I please, really enjoy working with the small team I lead, we raised record amounts this year…, not willing to switch jobs unless it means a pay increase, reasonable expectations, and is in the major metro I would like to move back to. I’ll dance with the devil I know for a bit longer.

  75. Cheap Ass Rolex*

    “I desperately want to stop being understaffed [but not enough to improve the pay or work environment]”, they cry in the papers.

    Seems like they don’t want it very much, then.

  76. Xenia*

    I recently got hired at a smaller public accounting firm. We are still furiously hiring. Public accounting sees a LOT of turnover in general and right now we’re really wanting experienced people, to the point where current staff are being offered VERY good referral bonuses. I’d say that our office and firm specifically is a pretty good place to work within the realm of public accounting. There’s a late winter/early spring busy season that’s not super fun–to the point where I’d say it’s the single biggest reason for people to get out of public) but I’d definitely say that where I am the partners do their best to keep it from tipping the line from “overtime is not fun but doable” to “unreasonable workload”, the pay is decent, the benefits are good, and the work environment is pretty solid. But public accounting has a bad rap for being a bear so keeping people in past 6-7 years or so can be hard.

  77. Tessera Member 042*

    I got a job as TT full-time faculty at a community college in June, a replacement for a COVID retiree. There were a total of 8 new faculty hires with me, and that’s the most this college has had in a single year for the past 10 years. Pay is fine (I probably could have done better if I kept applying and adjuncting), but I prioritized moving closer to family and into an area with much more affordable housing so we can possibly buy a house in the next year or two – we were totally priced out in the area we were previously living.

  78. WingedRocks*

    I know my employer hasn’t had any trouble filling vacancies – but they also offer fully remote positions, a competitive salary (seriously), and lots of flexibility and autonomy. I think they hire less than 5% of total applicants? No apparent issues with recruiting here.
    Now, we don’t have any jobs that are listed as entry level – but neither do we seem to hire people without prior relevant experience. On my team, everyone has at least 4 or 5 years of post college work. But that’s all clear in the postings, too.
    Before I got this job, I was actively looking, and got several lowball offers. Or the job posting made it seem like flexible/remote work was an option, but in interviews, it was clear that they were not really OK with it, or that it was a privilege to be earned.
    Anecdotally, it really seemed like some companies were trying to put up window dressing to make the work look more appealing than it actually was. It seems like clarity and transparency in the hiring process benefits everyone involved – a really scalding-hot insight, I know.

  79. J*

    At my employer (university), there is certainly more hiring going on than there was last year, but it comes with a lot of caveats. We were under a hiring freeze until last Fall; now that this has been lifted, departures are being backfilled (and there are a lot of departures), but most positions that were open/frozen during the hiring freeze are NOT being reinstated. So while we have openings, I don’t know that we actually have more positions overall. And many of these positions are relatively entry-level (or simply roles that are notoriously underpaid/overworked); I don’t know this for certain, but I don’t think we’re doing much to make these positions more desirable. So someone leaves for a better-paying job (or more remote work, etc.), and we just try to backfill it without changing anything about the job or compensation.

    Generally, it seems to me that employers are using “we can’t find anyone!” simply to brush off complaints about poorer quality service/products, because the primary lesson they learned from the pandemic was “if our employees have to do more with less, they will, and it’s better for our bottom line than upholding a standard of service/quality is.”

    1. Loulou*

      The hiring freeze thing is big and I haven’t seen it talked about much. I’m seeing a relatively large number of job postings in libraries too…but my sense is few of them are new positions, they’re just vacant positions that the institutions are newly able to fill.

      Combined with how many people have been laid off and how many new professionals have been unable to build skills through in-person work this year…I would not say this is a good time to be a new librarian, even as anecdotally I see a lot of early-career people getting great new jobs.

  80. Agile Phalanges*

    I just searched. I started looking right around Christmas time, so of course there weren’t a whole lot of appropriate active listings, but I applied for the three that looked good, and figured I’d check back in January.

    One, a large corporation, sent an automatic e-mail that I’d be considered, and I heard nothing else, but the listing was on Indeed but not their website, so it might’ve already been filled.

    One, a smaller regional company, sent an automatic e-mail that I’d be considered, and also had the listing on Indeed but not their own website, so again it was a just-in-case application and not one I thought would pan out. They called me, though, and in our phone conversation said that particular position was filled (as I thought) but they’d still like to discuss how I could fit into their department, as they really liked my cover letter and resume.

    The third, a much smaller local company, contacted me, we did a phone interview last week (between Christmas and New Years), then had an in-person interview Monday the 3rd (the first time all the appropriate people were back in the office), they offered me the job on the spot, and I accepted Tuesday.

    I’d say that’s pretty good odds, and definitely better than it was last time I searched (starting this time last year, landed this job in March, and yes, that’s the shortest I’ve ever worked in a place), but I’m an anecdote of one.

    1. Agile Phalanges*

      One more add-on: I’m not directly involved in hiring here, but overhear the person who does do it, and it seems we’re having a hard time getting employees, both blue-collar and white-collar. I have no idea if the pay range is fair for those positions, but I was offered a fair salary when I started 9 months ago. At my last job, I did help with hiring, and it seemed like it was hard to find both blue-collar and white-collar workers, but we didn’t post salary range, and paid blue-collar workers barely over minimum and well below comparable companies/roles, so yeah. That wasn’t surprising.

  81. Cat Lady in the Mountains*

    I’ve been having an extremely hard time finding candidates who are qualified (across all experience levels). We offer salaries well above industry standards (high five figures for roles with 2-3 years of experience, regardless of where you’re located), great benefits, genuinely good work life balance, and fully remote work from anywhere in the U.S. for anyone who wants it, so I don’t think pay or benefits is the issue. Our requirements are all skills-based – i.e. “great writer” rather than “English degree” – and historically that’s helped us build broad, excellent candidate pools, but it’s not helping now.

    For the two senior-level roles I was hiring for in the fall, I got barely any applicants after an in-depth recruitment process, and when I finally found two great finalists I lost both of them within 24 hours to jobs in completely different industries. For the entry-level role I’m currently hiring, it’s a writing role, I’ve gotten over 100 applicants in two weeks, and exactly two of them had coherent cover letters. (I’m not talking “two great cover letters and plenty of ok ones” – I mean “two candidates who wrote in complete sentences.” Half the cover letters were 3 sentences or less.)

    We post salaries on the JD’s, so for the entry-level one I’m guessing we have a lot of folks who see that salary and figure “why not apply?” (I hear this feedback a lot in phone screens.) For the higher-level roles with nonexistent candidate pools, I think it’s because everyone in my industry is hiring and the skill set I need is one for which it’s fairly easy to find a “sexier” job.

    For folks with experience in my specific industry, there’s also a lot of burnout (it’s a field notorious for “you spend your whole career trying to move the needle a tiny tiny bit to make people’s lives better but are constantly barraged with news about how it’s hopeless). So I’m hearing from more-experienced candidates that they’re trying to switch industries to somewhere where they can make a bigger impact. Which, totally fair.

    1. Jules the 3rd*

      I wish there was an AAM job board. I’d love to assess your actual company and those senior roles. I have an MBA in supply chain, and I love quixotic challenges.

        1. Fran Fine*

          Seconding this. My team is trying to backfill a position as a Communications Specialist, and I’m sure there are probably many posters here who could do the job if they knew it existed (and it’s 100% permanently remote!).

      1. A Girl Named Fred*

        Agreed! I recognize it’s totally safer for everyone to remain anonymous, but I’d love to at least read the actual job descriptions for the roles several folks (including Cat Lady in the Mountains) have described and see if there’s anything I might be a fit for.

    2. Gracely*

      From what I can glean from your description, I have to say I’m intrigued about what jobs these are. I probably don’t have specific industry experience, but I have a lot of transferable skills. Any chance you could point me in the direction of your job ads?

    3. Starbuck*

      You know, one thing that’s been really interesting on here is how differently cover letters are talked about vs. where I see them discussed among the general population online (Twitter, Reddit, and even in person).

      Here, it seems the consensus that it’s reasonable to ask for a cover letter describing why the person wants and is well suited for the role, and that job seekers on here agree that writing a good one following the advice here has helped them a lot and been worth it.

      Out there – the tone of the discussion (from job seekers mostly) seems to be, how dare they ask for this, it’s an absurd thing to ask of applicants when they’re just getting not read and ghosted anyway, if they do write one it’s damn well gonna be a generic copy-and-paste deal, plus lots of people saying they won’t even waste their time writing a letter if they’re applying somewhere it’s requested, or just not applying for those roles at all. It seems like such a huge disconnect.

      1. pancakes*

        That isn’t something I’m seeing on Twitter. I think this really, really depends on who you follow and interact with.

      2. Gracely*

        Well, I think here we recognize that there is a use for them (even if you don’t like writing them). And the audience here is attuned to that fact. We also probably have a higher concentration of people who are on the other side of hiring and use them to evaluate candidates. Elsewhere, people are more likely to be ranting about how much they hate having to write them, and when you’re ranting, you’re generally not looking for the positive side of the thing you’re ranting against.

        I loathe writing cover letters, but I’ve been on hiring committees, so I do understand how important they can be. Doesn’t mean I don’t still hate having to write my own.

      3. Jaybee*

        It sounds like you’re interacting with a lot of people who are bitter and ineffective job-searchers. Nobody I know in real life has ever expressed that opinion; we often help each other with cover letters.

        The most vocal population of Reddit (outside of very specialized subreddits) are children and young adults under the age of 25, so they’re not a great source for taking the pulse of the general population of job-seekers. I’m sure many of them are also shocked and outraged to find that there are items like taxes and insurance deducted from their first paycheck.

      4. DJ Abbott*

        I think it’s because writing a good cover letter + filling in ATS fields = 1.5 to 2 hours to apply for one job.
        I’m most annoyed at the ATS. In this job search of nearly 2 years and my last one of five months, I’ve seen the “ populate from résumé” work *almost* correctly exactly one time.
        Almost always, it brings in my name and address and phone number and I have to fill in everything else manually. This is one of the reasons it takes so long to find a job – can’t apply for more than two or three in one day and if you’re already working you’re lucky if you can apply for one a week at this rate.
        I know someone who he has a good job and is looking casually. She gives a big F-Y to employers who expect her to spend that kind of time on their ATS.
        Employers could eliminate the ATS and hire a few people to go through the resumes. It would create jobs and be much better for candidates. But who cares about the candidates?
        Once in a while I do see an employer that doesn’t require the ATS. Bless them!

  82. JustAClarifier*

    My husband and some friends have been actively searching but getting ghosted by businesses.

  83. Sullivmke*

    I work in software. There isn’t a shortage of qualified candidates, but the competition for top talent is incredibly fierce. Starting salaries have increased easily 25%-50% in the last 6 months alone, and people often have multiple competing offers. Startups are poaching talent from the more established players with crazy offers, which is driving the constant hiring (crazy growth + attrition means we’re *always* looking for good people). At least in tech, it’s absolutely a job seekers market.

    1. The Dogman*

      What part of “software” do you work in?

      There is a lot of different areas, all of them so desperate?

    2. Sarah55555*

      Great if you’re a dev. But the business side of software? They have absurdly rigid hiring practices, and I’ve heard a lot of complaints of “we’re having a really hard time finding the right person” while looking for people who ONLY have experience in software and doing the exact job they are looking for (looking for an admin? I guarantee it’s not that hard).

    1. Cold Fish*

      I’ve lost count of the job ads I’ve seen that want 5-8 years of experience (in a fairly unique field) but are only paying $17-18/hour in high cost of living areas and where the job is in-person. I imagine the employers think that is a good pay rate but it really is insulting.

      **I found myself in this unique job field (20 years experience) but in a different branch. I’m having no luck finding openings in my branch though.

  84. BlueWolf*

    I think it’s really industry dependent. My fiancé was laid off from a restaurant job March 2020. He wants to get back into the “professional” world (generally policy related roles) because he doesn’t feel safe going back to in-person work in restaurants. Unfortunately, he has quite a gap in “professional” experience prior to the pandemic, plus the pandemic gap. He did have a phone screen and zoom interview for a job, but didn’t get it. He would be fine with an entry level role, but I think many employers don’t want to take a chance on someone with a gap and/or who is currently unemployed. Either employers are being too picky or there is plenty of competition for entry level roles. He is getting pretty discouraged about applying for jobs because in most cases no one ever even acknowledges the application. Meanwhile, my field is pretty in demand, at least in my geographic area. I have had recruiters contact me pretty regularly over the last year, but I am happily employed and not looking to change jobs right now.

  85. alienor*

    I changed jobs about five months ago and had a pretty easy time of it. On the other hand, my 22-year-old daughter has been trying to get a part-time job off and on for almost a year (she’s still in college) and has had zero luck. She’s applied for more entry-level retail and restaurant jobs that I can count and has gotten called for two interviews: one where someone else got the job, and one where she showed up for the interview and they told her the position had already been filled. I don’t understand it since those are supposedly the industries that are desperate for workers, but there it is.

    1. The Smiling Pug*

      Seems like nothing has changed in some fields. The latter scenario happened to my Mom back in the early eighties. She passed the phone interview with flying colors and took two buses down for the in-person interview and she was told it had already been filled.

    2. Michelle*

      My 19yo was job-searching for two months, and I can’t tell you how many retail jobs he applied for where they scheduled a zoom interview and didn’t even bother to show up for it! And a lot of these places now, if you go in and try to talk to someone about getting a job they will just refer you to their website. So he applies online, gets an interview, no one shows up, and they didn’t give him any contact info except the main business phone number that doesn’t even go to the specific store he’s applying at. At one store he finally managed to hunt someone down, and they basically shrugged and said the online interview scheduling was messed up and no one at corporate will fix it.

  86. Laura Mendez*

    We moved this summer after my husband found a new job and so I also was job hunting, going from a more academic to industry focused job (husband and I are in the same field). I had a bunch of interviews even though in some ways my previous experience was a real stretch and I landed a job pretty quickly. My husband is in a new department and they are really struggling to find qualified people for multiple open positions – they ended up downgrading some of the positions with the idea that since they can’t find people with the technical skills they want they will have to hire entry level people and do all the training on the job.
    I gave notice at my previous job at the end of April, left end of May, and it took them a long time to replace me as well; they ended up just promoting a former coworker into my old job and then hiring a more entry-level person to take over that person’s job duties but that didn’t happen until nearly the end of last year.

  87. VV*

    I’m searching with the aim of starting in the summer, so not really looking in earnest yet, but echoing other folks who say they’re seeing mostly very very junior or very senior (or high- mid level).

    Salary hasn’t been fantastic either. I am looking in NYC, and most roles I’m seeing are offering salaries around what I made in my first job out of school (DC, 2016). That’s not feasible. (This is for the nonprofit/advocacy arena.)

    1. Jo April*

      Same. I saw one listing with 4-7 years of experience required …and a salary that was barely higher than what I made coming out of college, with a liberal arts degree. I work in tech.

  88. Critical Roll*

    I got a new job that was a big step up for me in mid-2021. My industry had a lot of furloughs that turned into layoffs, and then when it was time to get going again, well, turns out those people aren’t where you left them and a lot of them are too mad about how they were treated to come back to you anyway. Unfortunately, the smaller your staff, the more skilled you need them to be, so it’s been a struggle to get core positions filled across the organization, and no, the pay is not competitive either.

  89. Revised Revision*

    I work in HR in a very niche field and am having a tough time hiring for all levels of vacancies. I cant get any candidates from competing businesses to even have a conversation with me with an ‘open salary’ budget for some of the high end roles. I suspect that the company I am working for has a reputation they are not willing to confront. It makes recruiting extremely tough.

    I am however resigning and have applied to a ton of jobs outside my field (but in HR) and have had a few initial calls but no round two’s or three’s. I am looking to move out of the field I am currently in so I think that’s part of the problem but I’m remaining positive. During the dozen or so interviews I did have no one balked at my $150k range asking salary and often said they had budgeted for slightly more.

  90. Chairman of the Bored*

    I’m in engineering, my experience and that of my engineer friends is that you can currently walk into a job just about anywhere for top dollar.

    I routinely get unsolicited job offers (not interviews, actual straight-up job offers) from real companies I’ve had no prior contact with.

    Multiple people report getting great offers right at the end of their interview, and people just out of school are approaching 6 figures in moderate cost-of-living areas.

    I’m currently asking my employer for a ~25% raise for my whole team, and I think we’re going to get it.

    Not sure how long this hiring environment will last, but I encourage everybody in this field to take advantage of it while it does.

    1. MansplainerHater*

      I am also in engineering, with 12 years experience, and this is my world too. Ask for what you want, but ALSO WHAT YOU NEED.

  91. Jack of all trades*

    I’m having a terrible time finding a part-time temporary worker. The pay is actually really fair (I’m pretty ecstatic I was able to get that approved), but the role is 18 hrs a week and will end after about 6 months, so I’m not surprised either.

    But I can’t get budget approval for a half-time or full time permanent role in the next year until I prove that this position helped us achieve goals, so it’s frustrating (For both me trying to get the help, but also for the fact that we can’t offer a fair and permanent role to a deserving candidate!)

  92. balanceofthemis*

    I finally, successfully, concluded my job search just as employers started complaining about the worker shortage. But I know several people who are job hunting, they are employed, but unhappy. Even though they have what are supposedly in-demand skills, they are still getting ghosted, offered lower than average salaries, or dealing with bait-and-switch offers where the position was advertised as full-time, but the offer is part-time or contract work.

  93. Daniel*

    I have not been looking but I do have an idea of what my agency is doing between looking at the internal job board and canvass letters that get mailed out to anyone eligible for a promotion or a lateral. Back in mid-2020 the job board was down from about 25 position to three or four, and absolutely no canvasses were going out. Now the job board is more packed than I have ever seen it, and instead of getting maybe two canvass letters a year, I got four in the span of three weeks. I finally had to take my name OFF the canvass list temporarily since I’m not eligible for promotion and I’m not interested in a lateral right now.

  94. a thought*

    I recently was hiring for a position and it was a fast job market for the best candidates – we had 2 turned down offers (one person had 4 competing offers)! We realized our typical process was too slow (it took approximately 3 weeks). We knew we had to be faster – the third time through, we had an offer in their hands within 9 days of their application, and it was accepted.

    We also increased the salary nearly $20,000 from the first posting to the third posting, because the market was showing us that the candidates we wanted could command more money! (We discussed keeping the same salary but making the role more entry level, but decided to increase salary instead).

    Context: hiring within a grants/fundraising role at a non-profit in a major East Coast city

  95. Bookworms and Cats*

    I’ve applied to some remote positions where they are not set up for employees to be working in the state I live, so that’s an issue (if you are advertising a remote position in the US, please list what states they can live in!).

    I’m mid career, and there’s definitely a gap in available positions in my field, plenty of entry level and plenty of 10 years experience with supervisory, and not much in between (I’ve got 8 years with no supervisory).

    I’ve been on about a dozen phone interviews in the past several months, and only got one actual interview. A handful were recruiters, none of those went anywhere (not sure if it was skills/experience mismatch or salary I was asking). The lack of salary on job postings is definitely an issue in my field.

  96. AllowsItMight*

    I am a legal secretary in a mid-sized city; I started looking for a new job in September 2021 and was hired in December 2021 after applying to only two jobs. (I’m picky; I have decades of experience in a high-paying specialty.) My new position is remote indefinitely, pays 20% more, has better health insurance and better vacation.
    My former employer, an international law firm, has had open positions for legal secretaries and office clerks for more than 6 months without being able to hire. This is partly because they don’t pay great (mid-range for this city), the benefits are low-range, and they are requiring in-office at least 3 days a week.

  97. overeasy*

    I spent 6 months job searching and hearing how employers were so eager to snatch people up was so disheartening. It was definitely my hardest job search ever. I was looking to pivot from the role I was leaving, to either pivot back to a previous niche or pivot to a new but related niche. I have done this type of pivot more than once, it’s not really possible not to when you work in the internet where so many jobs didn’t exist 5 years ago. But wow did I run into so many brick walls. Applied for roles where my previous work had me as one of the (very few!) people with that expertise and got only a handful of phone screens. That niche is growing a lot and yet no one seemed to understand my experience, I hit more walls with that first round of HR screens than I ever have before. Was even worse with roles that were a slight pivot from work I had done, got basically nowhere.

    I ended up getting hired, but only really made progress when I had personal connections to help me get through those early screenings and into substantive conversations. Luckily things are going great, but it’s become quite clear to me that my paths forward are getting more narrow and that if I really want to succeed I’m going to have to stick with where I am. As someone who’s made big and small career changes, it’s much worse than I’ve run into before.

  98. SnarkyMonkey*

    We are hemorrhaging talent, both salaried and production (factory workers) and can’t find/hire qualified applicants who will work for what previous employees were making. We’re going months without filling positions, mostly because our HR VP believes that we’re all overpaid. The market believes otherwise… I wonder who will win??

  99. AnotherSarah*

    I’m an academic in the humanities—we’ve been in a hiring crisis since 2008 at least. I’m lucky to have a professorship, but universities are generally offering “raises” below COL adjustments—effective paycuts. And most universities choose to hire contract workers (adjuncts) rather than pay benefits or a real salary or offer any stability to either workers or students. We’re immune to any good news for job-seekers.

  100. Kodamasa*

    I’m in higher ed and my smallish department has three positions open that we can’t get applicants for. It’s a combination of low pay, no remote work, and it being a rural campus, all things the college won’t budge on. And I think that’s the crux of it; employers need to pay well and/or offer remote work if they want any chance of attracting good (or any) candidates. The people you hear about getting new jobs all say the same thing: “I got a huge raise and it’s 100% remote”.

    1. Aggretsuko*

      I certainly don’t want to move somewhere remote for a job. I once saw a job doing what my specialty was (which is rare) but it was in nowheresville and was all “No way in hell am I moving for that.”

  101. Exhausted Employment Attorney*

    I don’t think this is as relevant to the “current times,” because it’s been an issue for a while, but my firm CANNOT find qualified legal assistants/secretaries, and we’ve been trying to hire them for at least 5 years. We’re in a major metropolitan area, the pay is high, and our firm culture is good (generous benefits, PTO, and the working hours are >40 per week). I think it’s just a dying field – it seems like there are very, very few people who decided to be legal assistants in the last ~20 years, so the actual pool of people who do that work shrinks constantly. We’ve even tried to hire paralegals for the roles – the pay is high enough! – and the problem then is that most paralegals don’t want to do secretarial tasks (which is completely fair).

    1. Jules the 3rd*

      I’ve heard so much about those jobs becoming automated that I’d be scared to enter that field.

    2. AllowsItMight*

      After all they keep telling us our jobs will be gone in 10 years, between the automated pleading drafting apps and young attorneys doing all their own work directly, why would anybody enter this career? Also when I started I got my first legal secretary job with only a high school diploma (no college degree or NALS training or paralegal certificate) but now they want college degrees for entry level $17/hour jobs (seen on Craigslist).

    3. Turvy*

      10 year legal assistant/paralegal here ::waves:: … it’s because the job is demoralizing and offers zero career growth. We’re tossed around like office equipment so that while we might work extremely well with one attorney or team and get interesting and stimulating projects, the next month we could be assigned to someone with a totally different work style who expects us to fetch coffee and process expense reports.

      These days you’ve got two types of legal staff: young professionals just out of college trying to decide if they want to go to law school (they won’t stay long, most leave for a non-legal job post haste), and career veterans who have resigned to their stagnation; perhaps they’ve found their groove with a great attorney/firm or perhaps they’re dead inside and doing the bare minimum to hold their job since zero effort or 100% effort yields the same exact results w/r/t raises and career opportunity.

      I don’t know what the solution is; I’m trying to get out.

      1. Exhausted Employment Attorney*

        This is terrific insight and I REALLY appreciate you – and everyone else – responding to my post! You’re completely correct that there isn’t any “upward” career path for these types of jobs – the most you can hope for is good pay and (hopefully) an assignment to attorneys with whom you have a good working relationship. And even that is subject to change if an attorney retires or leaves or whatever. Also 100% agree with Sammy Keyes point (below) that this used to be a career for women who really didn’t have other viable options. My best friend’s mom was a stenographer (now retired), and she was a huge influence on me to go to law school. But had she been born in a different time, she probably would have done the same.

        I do think that there are lots of jobs ::out there:: that are inherently stagnant, and there are people who take those jobs and find them an acceptable and not miserable way of earning a living. But it’s tough to make that call at the outset of your career, tougher still to do that in a field where there has been significant contraction (the automation stuff) AND where you are tied to the fate of your assignment.

        I don’t think these types of jobs will ever completely disappear, but the profession is likely going to have make even more significant adjustments to accommodate the lack of people. It’s sort of a shame – I love the collaborative dynamic I have with my current assistant – but maybe its a job whose extinction has come (or is pending).

    4. Sammy Keyes*

      It does really seem like young people aren’t gravitating to those jobs as much anymore (I say this as a young person!). I worked at a well kn0wn law firm a few years ago as a receptionist and literally all of the legal assistants/secretaries were 30+ years older than me, and that seemed to be true across similar firms.

      They would have been more than happy to train me up to take that role some day, but after seeing how so many of the lawyers treated them like glorified personal assistants in addition to their legal duties, it just seemed so unappealing! I don’t want to go through years of learning the ins and outs of being a legal assistant to still get called on to go fetch someone’s lunch if they want me to. And there’s a big gendered element to this as well, most women of my generation don’t go to college intending to become someone’s secretary. It just doesn’t feel like as viable of a choice anymore, when we have so many more options available to us.

      That being said, I think this wouldn’t be as much of a problem if the work that secretaries and assistants do was actually valued properly and given the correct recognition!

    5. Dragon*

      Some paralegals couldn’t do a legal secretary’s job if they wanted to. I worked with one paralegal like that, who among other things was a weak typist.

      A recent trend in the BigLaw firms is putting their secretaries into either several pools, or one big pool like there was in the early days of office work. They think it’s more efficient, and will spread the total workload out more evenly.

      Which might be somewhat true, if everybody in the pool has the necessary skill set and work ethic to deal with anything that may come their way.

  102. SheLooksFamiliar*

    I started a new consulting project 4 months ago, a former boss called me out of the blue to offer me the gig. At the time, I was wrapping up a consulting project for another former boss. Both projects support(ed) corporate talent acquisition operations – sourcing, recruiting, tools, resources, and strategies – for Fortune 100 companies. In both cases I wasn’t looking, and I am anecdotal proof that it’s not what or who you know, it’s who knows YOU.

    On the hiring side of the desk, I can tell you all our recruiters are having problems filling hourly and salaried roles, not just in the US but across the globe. They often get fewer than 10 applicants to job postings, and many of their applicants don’t meet even half the minimum qualifications for the role. Our sourcers do a lot of targeted outreach and we get better results from their candidates. Even so, they have a hard time connecting with people of interest because those folks are getting swarmed by agency and corporate recruiters. I think candidates are overwhelmed and tired of so much outreach, and they just ignore it. Can’t say I blame them.

    We tell our hiring and HR partners that it’s a very different job market and we don’t make all the key decisions in the hiring process – candidates do, too, and they have a lot of career options besides us. We need to present a compelling opportunity, offer remote/hybrid roles, and get serious about competitive salaries. We also need to get out of our comfort zones and stop saying ‘We never had to hire like this before,’ and ‘I can’t go over midpoint,’ and ‘I want what I want because I want it.’

    I think that last part is a big reason why employers ‘can’t’ find talented candidates. They can, they just don’t want to adjust their methods or thinking about HOW they do it.

  103. Cheap Ass Rolls>King's Hawaiian Rolls*

    I just started a new job, but was on the job market from March 2021 to November 2021. My industry is non profit, in education. My background is working with middle and high school students. I applied to well over 100 jobs, and had maybe 15 interviews with about 6 organizations. I actually stopped keeping track when I hit 80 applications in April. The job I landed was through a contract from a previous job, and not through applications. I did get one job offer, but the salary was almost half of what I was getting before. I had many potential employers ghost me. Two of which I was on like, the 3rd or 4th interview with. I applied both within and outside of my industry, to non profit and government jobs.

    My take away is that while there are a lot of jobs, there are also a lot of people seeking jobs. Also, I think the industry has a lot to do with it. Companies and organizations related to education are not doing well because of continuous challenges at schools. If schools are struggling, they have no interest in working with non profits. Their attention is elsewhere, rightfully so. For some people, it’s a really tough job market.

  104. Hiring Mgr*

    I’ve been in tech sales management for a long time and never had the difficulty hiring that I did last year. It took me six months to hire two fairly junior roles (not entry level, but not too far beyond). They each had multiple offers and we had to offer signing bonuses which is completely unheard of in this field.

    More than the length of the time though was the level of my involvement in the process – i had to really nurture these candidates and push our HR to be repsonsive, etc.. I was actively courting these candidates and sweating out their returned offers. FAR different from prior years..

  105. Chauncy Gardener*

    My company is in the software sector and finding experienced developers, programmers and implementation folks in our specific, very competitive, ecosystem is REALLY hard. We’re fully remote (with fully supported IT), pay competitively (really), pay at least 80% of medical insurance premiums and have other really nice benefits, have amazing work-life balance, require folks to take their vacations and a very supportive, transparent, employee-centric culture (not the “we’re faaaamily” BS).
    We’ve had folks accept our offer, then renege two to four days later. We’ve had someone START WORKING and after a two weeks, quit because they accepted another offer.
    Our specific job market has always been competitive, it’s now insanely competitive.

    1. Chauncy Gardener*

      That being said, my kids, early to mid 20’s, are having a REALLY hard time finding decent jobs. Every “entry level” role they see requires 3-5 years of experience. In my company, we hire for attitude and aptitude for entry level roles, not experience, and then, gasp! train them. Otherwise it wouldn’t be an entry level role! Duh….

      1. Fran Fine*

        That part. I talked my manager into opening up the role we’re trying to backfill to encompass new grads as well as those who have the 3-5 years experience because everyone on our team, no matter how busy we are, makes time to train one another on things in our respective focus areas when necessary. I think as long as someone’s hungry and willing to learn, so what if they have little to no real world experience yet? This is how they get it.

      2. Sarah55555*

        My group of 12 has hired for 6 of the positions in the last year, including me. 3 of us have zero experience in the industry and they were willing to train us and it is going well. Management just realized that any job needs to be trained and so they’re hiring for the right person even if they don’t have all the right experience.

  106. DJ*

    I work in the biotech space in the DC area and just changed jobs. I found it relatively easy to find a new job but I also heavily utilized my network. Most of my former coworkers who had left Old Job had a fairly straightforward time of it.

    On the other hand, Old Job, is severely understaffed and having trouble replacing people But they have terrible Glassdoor reviews, paltry benefits, and low wages. What I’ve taken away is that reputation of a company makes a big impact on how easy/hard it is to hire.

  107. Wisteria*

    Isn’t this going to be very specific to industry and role? An engineer and an office manager, even an office manager at an engineering firm, will be looking at very different job markets. When employers say they can’t find people or job seekers say they can’t find a job, I don’t think you get a full picture just by taking those two statements at face value. You need the full context.

    You should also consider that as an advice columnist, you are getting a biased set of data. You don’t have anything even close to a random sampling either in your commentors or in the the people writing to you.

    1. Hlao-roo*

      This is very dependent on industry, role, and location. It is also not a good random sample. That doesn’t make this useless. I am enjoying reading the responses people have posted here, and I find the wide range of experiences (both across and within) interesting.

  108. DB*

    Just yesterday I saw someone’s tweet laughing at the ridiculous requirements for job hires (like “PhD required, 15 years experience required, pays $7.25/hour”), and someone pointed out that it’s a way for employers to scam the government – they get business assistance, and only have to prove that they are “seeking employees”, even if their job-wanted adds are ludicrously out of touch with reality.

    TLDR: the government is enabling fraudulent behavior, and employers are taking them up on it

    That’s one aspect of the on-paper-difficulties.

    The other aspect I’m seeing is: Companies want decades of niche experience, but won’t pay for it.
    As an example, I’ve been working in a highly technical field for around 25 years (including management experience!), and over that whole time, my pay has only increased by 30% in real (adjusted for inflation) terms. I’m finally realizing that they want people to slave away for nothing but the non-existent possibility of a fantastic payout (an IPO), and not willing to put up or shut up.

    1. Mordin*

      We have seen people complain about lazy unemployed people doing the same thing for years… interesting that companies can do the same thing when the shoe is on the other foot…

  109. MondayMonday*

    My partner who is in Finance (experienced level) has been job searching. Landed a job very quickly in December with a $5K signing bonus, after 2 short interviews. Determined this job is not the right fit (they changed the job description after they accepted the role).

    They have 3 interviews this week with 3 different companies. All are very eager to hire to the point they are reaching out to them to talk salary and the role even before the official interview. Salary seems to be on point so far for the roles.

    I am in IT and I am still seeing the steady flow of emails from recruiters to hire for contract positions. I am not looking but it seems like that market is still the same.

  110. awesome3*

    I’m seeing a ton of social work roles open and places actively trying to hire social workers, but I haven’t seen any difference in rates of compensation or benefits.

  111. Bananagrams*

    So far with employers I’ve spoken to, it seems like they’re aware about the conversation around the labor market being tight, but unless they’re hiring for highly sought after tech talent or in-person frontline roles that have gotten a lot of press for being difficult to fill right now*, they aren’t considering how they might need to adapt at all – they think it is other companies’ problem, not theirs. They aren’t raising offers, or salaries to prevent attrition, and they’re getting annoyed when candidates push back on unreasonable requirements. I think it’s going to take a little longer for the average employer to really feel the pain of not offering better opportunities (higher pay, better benefits, more regular schedules, more flexibility, what have you). Most employers are still operating like it is 12 years ago.

    * Whether or not employers are thinking about how they need to adapt for in-person frontlines roles seems to vary a lot, mostly based on how dependent an employer is on these frontline roles (how much they’ll suffer if the roles aren’t filled), and how employee-oriented they are in the first place. Plenty of employers still have crappy frontline roles they don’t plan on changing and they think candidates are expecting too much from them. Some of these places may end up shutting down I think, especially if they’re small businesses.

  112. CWT*

    I’m not looking, but sometimes I get solicitations for positions. Usually it’s from a contracting company (body shop) that is just trolling for resumes to pitch into some company’s portal. I can do that myself, so I never respond. Also, the job descriptions are always a step or 2 below my current job description and are “6 month contract with possibility of extension.” No thanks. If any company recruiter ever sends my an opportunity to move up I would talk to them.

  113. Michelle*

    My kids have been really struggling to find retail work. My 23yo has been struggling to find anything full-time that pays enough to cover her rent. Her current job was seasonal, with a promise to be full-time after the season ended, but instead she got dropped down to one day a week. My 19yo was job-searching for two months after his last job screwed him over (significantly cut his hours and reneged on an already promised transfer right after he signed a lease on his new apartment), and finally had to take a job in fast food. He had a lot of problems with employers scheduling zoom interviews and then not showing up and ghosting him. My 18yo and 16yo are both working, but have been actively job-searching for months because they hate their current workplace. The 18yo has an upcoming interview at a big box store that has already been postponed twice, while the 16yo hasn’t gotten any responses at all.

    My husband, on the other hand, was laid off on a Thursday and had a job offer by the next Tuesday (which he negotiated and accepted by Friday). He works in a niche tech field.

    1. Michelle*

      I should add that my 23yo keeps getting calls from her former employer begging her to come back, but that’s the same employer who repeatedly cut her hours after promising full-time, wouldn’t let them ask customers to wear masks and threw a fit when employees called out sick, and suggested my daughter stop paying rent to save up for a car so she could be called into work on less than an hour’s notice.

      1. Lady_Lessa*

        WOW, that is some nasty employer. I hope that your daughter has written them up on Glassdoor.

  114. Hailrobonia*

    I’ve been in a job search for over a year but am still finding it hard to get interviews, even in jobs that are a great match. I’ve been refining my resume and cover letters, but it’s very disheartening, especially since my workplace is becoming increasingly toxic.

  115. Beboots*

    I’m definitely hiring seasonal staff right now for a non-US national park, competitive rates. I’m getting more applicants, but more discerning candidates – more people are turning down my job offers, or taking more time to think about it. So it seems to me anyway that candidates have more choices and options.

  116. WFH is all I Want*

    I’ve been job hunting since August 2021. I’ve had interviews for 3 different roles and sent out 187 applications to date (all of them tailored to the jobs I’m applying for). I’ve been applying for three types of jobs; ones with the same title as I currently hold (exec assistant), ones that I have experience for but are a step forward in my career (Chief of staff to CEO), and ones that are more of a lateral move (office manager).

    I have noticed that the experience requirements seem really out of whack. When I was job hunting in 2019, an EA to the CEO required an average of ten years prior c-suite experience but now the average is 5 years and the compensation has decreased.

    I’m starting an MBA program and hoping it makes me competitive since my 20 years of steady experience isn’t doing it. I just want a job that pays my bills and has enough left over that I’m not living on ramen noodles for two weeks every month so my child can eat real food and have access to good childcare.

    1. Sammy Keyes*

      Have you thought about looking at agencies like Boldly that hire admin/executive assistant professionals for long term contracts with different companies? They’re fully remote and only hire people with significant experience. I know people who have worked with them and I hear good things.

      1. WFH is all I Want*

        I’ll take a look but I have to have health insurance. My child is disabled and top notch health insurance isn’t available for the contract work I’ve seen.

        I’m even on sites like flexjobs to find a part time gig to supplement income and it’s not going anywhere.

        I’m desperately job hunting because I have high level access to senior leadership emails and found out there’s a restructure coming with layoffs across all employee levels. It’s due to be announced in the summer (US) and as an admin I probably won’t survive it since I was the last one hired 3 years ago and the leaders I was supporting just resigned.

      1. WFH is all I Want*

        It’s frustrating. I’d like to add affordable rent to that wishlist too—a one bedroom apartment, in a bad neighborhood, is going for $2100 around here.

  117. Picard*

    I am hiring for my department and have been looking for the experienced level role for over 4 months. We have already bumped the salary up twice. Its a nice office job with excellent benefits/ salary for our area so I’m not sure why we’re not even getting applicants. We’re a small company (around 50 employees) with a fairly flat management structure.

    The entry level position has been posted for a week and I already have over 20 applicants and interviewed 4.

    I’ll be damned if I know whats going on.

    1. Picard*

      I will add that remote work is not available at all for the entry level position and generally not available for the higher level position.

    2. Jules the 3rd*

      From what I read, there’s two shortages, maybe you’re seeing both of them:
      1) Entry level people shopping around to change careers / get better pay / better work situations, driving a lot of churn / applications / employees rejecting offers.
      2) Older people who are retiring, some early. The stock market’s high and we’re in the middle of being reminded that life is short. We’ve been hearing ’60 is the new 30′ since at least 2014, and now boomers are figuring out that’s not true.

      I’m too young / unfunded to retire, and kinda bored, so I am looking at re-skilling and changing careers. But until then, I’m hanging tight because I’m scared of the job market and really like my employer.

      1. Loredena Frisealach*

        “2) Older people who are retiring, some early. The stock market’s high and we’re in the middle of being reminded that life is short. We’ve been hearing ’60 is the new 30′ since at least 2014, and now boomers are figuring out that’s not true.”

        Yes, this is definitely happening! My SIL retired last summer (doctor); my brother is retiring this spring. Both 55. I’ve been targeting 62 as my retirement age but if I were to be laid off I think I would just retire. And I might retire sooner anyway, as my husband’s health issues have made me realize that we’ve already missed the window on a lot of our ‘when we retire’ plans. So if this pandemic ever ends…

        A few of my cousins retired at 60 when offered packages by their employer, and I think that more people may be inclined to take it then happened in the past.

  118. ventures!*

    I do a lot of entry level hiring for more junior roles in our corporate office (think 2-6 years of experience). I have interviewed over 200 people this year and hired 125 (and supported promotions for 87). I am seeing our staff being more willing to promote and take a chance where historically they could be a bit unforgiving/hard on certain individuals. That said, in my own high level job hunt (15 years experience) I’ve had 2 LOL experiences on reading whats in the job description and seniority level desired versus what they are willing to pay for leadership. My translation of it all, easier to find “doer”/execution roles and harder at a more senior level

  119. Sleepless KJ*

    I realize this makes me old, but I remember a time when employers actually hired “the person” and helped them learn specific skills they might have been missing for the job. I am lucky to have fallen into one of those situations with my current job after relocating back to Chicago. Of a hundred resumes submitted, the job I have now is the only one that responded and they’re been very good to me.

    1. A Girl Named Fred*

      This is exactly what my dad always used to tell me. “As long as you can show them that you’re pleasant, show up on time, and are willing to work, companies will train you to do whatever they actually need you to do.” And that has just not been my experience at all.

      1. WFH is all I Want*

        I’ve only had that experience at a tiny company (fewer than 12 people) where the CEO was in his 80s and that was in the early 2000s. I was offered the job on the spot and had multiple promotions as I gained skills and experience in things like accounting and operations. I didn’t even need a degree. I’ve never found anything like the job or the management style since then. And they believed the company was a community but not a family. It was such a great place to work.

      2. Fran Fine*

        I’m very fortunate to be having this experience now. Granted, I have a little over a decade of professional, post-grad experience under my belt (so not totally a newbie), but I was promoted last year into a role I had never officially done before – even though I have a degree in the field (2009 recession grad here) – and my manager is really giving me the space to learn as I go in a very high level, strategic position. I know for a fact I would have never gotten a role like this at another company because communications is a very busy field and folks swear they don’t have the time to train. It’s crazy, and my manager is a unicorn for this, lol.

  120. Tekken*

    We have had a lot of people in my large nationwide marketing department leave this last year. However, we have also been hiring and replacing them, so it seems they are finding the right worker/skills/salary match. However, it’s taking somewhat longer.

    On the tech side (hourly technical workers) we are finding ourselves priced-out by other industries because we expect particular skills for a wage of about $16/hour. Positions have become difficult to fill, especially in certain regions. Yes, we could/should raise the starting wage, but what people sometimes do not understand is that then we would likely not make a profit because our customers may not be willing to pay more for this tech service, and/or we already have a contract for a set rate, which means we’d be operating at a loss. Not saying this is good practice, but certain areas do run at a wire-thin profit margin and there are limits to what customers will pay (even if they value it). If the margin gets too thin, it’s not worth offering the service anymore, which would then mean reducing staff, which hurts more people. It’s a balancing act for sure.

  121. Hermione Danger*

    I’m not looking, as I work with a really great team and I’m well appreciated I’m also still learning a lot and quite challenged in my current position. However, as soon as I hit the three-year mark of experience in this new career/field last fall, recruiters started reaching out to me on LinkedIn.

  122. Me, Myself and I*

    I’m in the UK and work in digital marketing. The pandemic got everyone online all the time and web optimization was and is in such high demand it’s crazy.
    I have been on both sides, recruiting at my old agency and then changing jobs a couple of months ago and, in this industry, the market is definitely not an employer’s game anymore. Good candidates, particularly for mid-level roles, are a rare find and recruiting takes various months (few good CVs of candidates being snatched super quickly and being offered far more than just last year for the same experience). Seeing all that and seeing some new red flags in my old agency, I started to look and got an offer two weeks later.

  123. Nonprofit Life*

    I’m trying to hire, in nonprofit legal services, and there are very few applicants. A couple years ago, within 2 weeks of posting we would have 5-10 applicants for each fairly junior attorney position. Now, we have one position that’s been open for 6 months with about 2 applicants over that time, neither meeting the very basic requirements. We are screening and interviewing applicants immediately instead of waiting to assemble a pool. We had one candidate who applied on Tuesday. We screened them on Wednesday, interviewed on Thursday, cleared references Friday morning, and offered the job Friday afternoon. They declined because they’d already accepted another offer. I am hearing the same from my legal services colleagues, it’s a very slim applicant pool and we all feel the pressure to move extremely fast.