Still Struggling To Find A Job? Here's Why It Is So Hard

If you are struggling to find a new job, you are not alone. Over 70% of job seekers believe the current labor market is not favorable for landing new employment opportunities, with many feeling that they must exert more effort to secure a job in today's economy, as reported by talent solutions provider Aerotek. Nearly 70% of individuals said their current job search is more challenging than their previous one. 

Research by Josh Bersin Company and workforce solutions company AMS has found that the duration of global hiring is at an "all-time high," with the recruitment process now averaging about 43 days, a timeline the report deems "unsustainable" for companies aiming to stay competitive and meet the fast-changing needs of their industries.

Why has the hiring process become so arduous? In times of economic and general optimism, businesses typically accelerate hiring to stay competitive in the talent market. Conversely, concerns such as geopolitical uncertainty, supply chain disruptions, and high inflation and interest rates create economic turbulence, leading employers to cut back on spending and adopt a more cautious approach to hiring.

The tech industry specifically has experienced a reversal of favorable employment trends, like increased hiring to meet consumer demand and the ability to raise capital and invest in growth due to lowered interest rates. The layoffs since mid-2022 reflect a market correction, as companies realign staffing to current revenue and growth projections.

A competitive white-collar job market, partly driven by the displacement of workers due to job cuts, allows companies to take their time in selecting candidates. In this hiring environment, employers hold the upper hand, while job seekers typically have less bargaining power. Additionally, as businesses compete in the artificial intelligence arms race, they are reallocating resources and budgets from other divisions to fund AI-based projects and hire relevant talent.

Moreover, layoffs following the Great Resignation hiring boom have disproportionately affected human resources professionals, leading to a reduced HR capacity, which contributes to the disjointed feeling in the hiring process. 

Candidates for white-collar positions must endure seemingly endless interviews. The pandemic led to the proliferation of video interviews, replacing in-person meetings, making it easier for recruiters to request and conduct more interview rounds compared to the previous process of scheduling and attending office meetings.

### Employment Data

In May, the U.S. economy added 272,000 jobs, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. While more jobs were added last month than anticipated, contrasting April's disappointing numbers, the growth was mainly driven by three sectors: healthcare (+68,000), government (+43,000), and leisure and hospitality (+42,000). These sectors accounted for over half of the employment gains in the U.S. The unemployment rate rose to 4%, reaching this level for the first time since January 2022. Additionally, the Job Openings and Labor Turnover Survey by BLS revealed that U.S. job openings declined more than expected in April, with the number of available roles per job seeker at its lowest in nearly three years. Job openings, a benchmark of labor demand, fell by 296,000 to 8.059 million, the lowest level since February 2021.

### When Your Job Search Isn’t Working, Do This

While the hiring environment may be challenging, you can take steps to improve your job search. If you are not having success, it may be time for self-reflection. Evaluate your job search strategy, continually analyze your setbacks, and identify mistakes, knowledge gaps, and areas for improvement. Recognize failures as opportunities for growth, not as reasons to give up.

**Your Action Plan:**

1. **Career Goals:** Write out your career goals and define a daily plan to achieve them.

2. **Target Employers:** Identify potential employers that align with your goals, tap into your professional network, attend industry events, and seek advice from mentors and recruiters specializing in your sector.

3. **Résumé Tailoring:** Ensure your résumé clearly addresses the needs of job descriptions, demonstrating your value and outlining a clear career progression.

4. **Skill Development:** During employment gaps, develop your skills through education, online courses, workshops, or volunteer work.

5. **Interview Preparation:** Research the company, craft your elevator pitch, practice frequently asked questions, and conduct mock interviews with trusted individuals.

Maintain a positive mindset and address any bad feelings from past rejections to project enthusiasm and motivation. Celebrate every gain, no matter how small, to build confidence.

### Consider a Career Pivot

Degree inflation has led to inefficiencies in the U.S. labor market, with many employers rejecting qualified candidates lacking a college degree. Reports highlight that workers without degrees are as productive as their college-educated counterparts and are less likely to turnover and less costly to hire. This trend has especially affected Black and Hispanic applicants, who are less likely to hold college diplomas.

The trend towards skills-based hiring is growing, with experts advising young people to prioritize skills development over traditional degrees. The 2024 Resume Genius Hiring Trends Survey shows that 65% of hiring managers now prioritize skills over education and work experience. The survey indicates a shift in  

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