Message to Unemployed White Collars: It’s Not The Economy Stupid, It’s The Hiring Practices

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Eva Jenkins of VIP Innovations blames slipshod hiring practices and ineffective corporate recruitment policies for white-collar professionals unable to find work.

“White collar professionals who can’t find work in the 21st Century shouldn’t blame the economy only,” says Eva Jekins of VIP Innovations. She cites “incompetent corporate recruiting practices” and “under-trained, over-tasked hiring managers who don’t prioritize the importance of the hiring process enough to focus or take the time to define the position itself rather than the person in the position.”

Where Have All The People Gone?

Today’s marketplace is experiencing high job turnover rates and a prevalence of unfilled jobs. And the future looks bleak. “In the next five years, a Baby Boomer retirement wave is going to leave many companies high and dry,” says Jenkins.

Jenkins prescription for companies whose hiring practices are ailing is “training, training, and more training of hiring managers,” she says. She believes that management training should include a heavy emphasis on the hiring and interviewing process, but adds that, “A very specific training program aimed at retention is critical.”

According to Jenkins, businesses that fail to reevaluate their recruitment processes and develop strategies “to respond effectively to increased demand in a decreased pool of skilled labor” are likely to be doomed. Unfortunately, she says, “some corporate cultures do not emphasize these types of training experiences for their managers.” The result, she says, is constant turnover and reduced productivity.

Jenkins urges H/R decision-makers to “change their thinking of hiring to hunting” and to focus on “consistent measurable results.” She suggests that strategies be put into place to “obtain and retain the best candidates, not just qualified applicants.”

Who’s Minding the Store?

Human resource professionals have their priorities skewed,” comments Jenkins. “They appear to be consumed with cost-per-hire, total recruiting fees paid and how ‘fast’ someone is hired.” However the quality of the new hires, and the long-term value or cost to the company of hiring a mediocre applicant is completely overlooked.”

It’s literally a vicious cycle, says Jenkins. “The people who hold jobs in H/R and corporate recruiting came up in the same flawed system they work for.” Mis-focused and under-trained, “they ensure that ineffective recruiting processes prevail.”

The Culprits

Armed with superb resumes and impeccable qualifications, white-collar professionals now comprise one-fifth of all unemployed workers. “That’s double the rate from a decade ago,” Jenkins reports. She adds, “And they’re staying unemployed longer than before, too.”

Who are the culprits? “Humans and technology are both to blame, says Jenkins. She says that “rather than using technology as an addition to the toolkit required in making hiring and placement decisions, it’s become a substitute for thinking.”

Jenkins points to an alarming majority of corporate recruiters who “don’t actively source, create or market jobs. And they don’t bother to explore or define job competencies, either.” They simply retrieve resumes with certain ‘key’ words and then pass them on to the hiring managers.

The Right Candidate for the Job

According to Jenkins, staffing professionals frequently overlook the “diamond in the rough” of an above-average candidate with superior qualifications. “All too often, people allow their emotional responses to override their judgment,” she explains. In the end, they wind up choosing candidates who have mastered the art of being interviewed, rather than people are have mastered the skills required for the job they’ll do.

“Feelings, prejudices and intuition can easily override judgment,” says Jenkins. “If a candidate is not a seasoned interviewer with dazzling presentation skills, he or she may easily be overlooked.”

The irony, says Jenkins, is that “It’s frequently the people with the most impressive credentials who are least impressive in an interview.”

For additional information on Eva Jenkins and VIP Staffing and Innovations, please visit or call 202.973.0179.

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