What Happened When I Applied To 60 Jobs
Interviewing and employment was a mess prior to the pandemic.
After the pandemic kicked into high-gear, employers were facing tough decisions e.g. reducing staff or completely shutting down.
Fast-forward to 2021.
Vaccines and mask-mandates are getting us back to some semblance of normalcy. But employers are complaining about a lack of people willing to work — usually citing unemployment and stimulus paychecks as reasons.
As a side note: the fear of immigrants stealing jobs (surprise, surprise) hasn’t come to fruition. Due to the “labor shortage”, Republicans are blocking visas for those that are seeking work.
But the answer to why there is a labor shortage is lot more complex than employers and politicians would want you to believe.
However, the one-sided story of people not wanting to work, as told by employers, is what has stuck.
But is there any truth to that claim?
Thanks to Florida Man’s effort that didn’t end in a bizarre event with arrests — we now know what happens when you apply to the employers that were crying out about not having enough people who want to work.
60 applications later
Joey Holz recalled first hearing about the labor shortage when he called to donate convalescent plasma at a clinic near Fort Myers, Florida.
Holz told Business Insider, “The guy went on this rant about how he can’t find help and he can’t keep anybody in his medical facility because they all quit over the stimulus checks,” Holz said, “And I’m like, ‘Your medical professionals quit over $1,200 checks? That’s weird.’”
Holz saw increasing complaints from employers and decided to apply to five dozen jobs which were entry-level and closely matched his experience.
The kicker is that Holz exclusively applied to businesses who complained about being short-staffed.
During the single interview Holz landed (which is 1.6666666666666667% of the 60 applications if you’re a stickler for math), the owner reportedly, “attempted to walk back the pay of $10/hour offered in the listing,” Holz claimed.
The business owner tried offering him $8.65, Florida’s current minimum wage.
I submitted 50 applications and got a Zoom interview
Through Indeed, I submitted over 50 applications alone. Accounting for Craigslist emails, applications directly through employers, other job hosting websites, and agencies; I estimate that I’m well over 100 applications since May.
And as you can see in the photo — hundreds of people are responding to ads.
I didn’t specially apply to employers who’ve been vocal about struggling to find people, but no responses is an issue that’s been ongoing for a long-time.
Millennials have had to deal with the anxiety of not only proving ourselves in the workplace for years, but we’ve dealt with stagnant wages, egotistical senior employees and managers, and a lot of irate customers who are rewarded sometimes instead of punished.
That’s not to say there isn’t entitlement and other issues on our part; we’ve just known the issues employers complained about for the longest have been a bullshit stereotype.
And the worst part about searching for work is actually the application process.
There’s applicant tracking systems, personality tests and assessments. And then there’s curtailing every cover letter and resume to fit the job’s description which is a job in of itself.
I’m not complaining about it. In fact, I actually like showing what I can bring to the table with carefully thought out responses, but that’s what we’ve been up against since we entered the workforce.
It’s a tedious process and it leads to interviews which has been awful experiences.
When I was younger, I learned that remembering basic information about the company I applied for was a good way to show I was interested. I also had to prepare for some basic, albeit outdated, interview questions e.g. tell me about yourself, what are your strengths and weaknesses, etc.
In all my interviews over the years — I was rarely asked any of those basic questions and the interview essentially amounted to what the company needed and talks of salary.
The first question is usually, “How much were you paid at your previous job?” Followed by, “What salary are you looking for?”
It sets up an unfair situation, because you’ve got absolutely no leverage unless you tell them you’re considering another job and best believe you won’t get it.
On top of that, employers couldn’t actually answer basic questions I had for them such as if they doubted my abilities or if they could tell me the best qualities about their managers.
I said I had a Zoom interview after 50 applications and it actually never happened.
I logged on at 3:00 p.m. as the employer instructed. After waiting 5 minutes, I emailed the person who set it up. They never responded but I still waited about 40 minutes until I had to leave. I never got so much as an email back explaining what happened. I actually thought I was being pranked (which was very elaborate) until I called and asked if the job was in fact hiring. They were.
I didn’t bother telling them that I waited for a Zoom interview that never happened, but there’s a lot of disorganization, ego, and bad bosses who aren’t actual leaders; these are the sort of employers who expect miracles from applicants.
Don’t believe the hype from these employers who claim they are struggling.