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upworthy

hiring

A man cries out in rage while working on his laptop.

There’s a strange thing happening in the U.S. economy these days. Unemployment has been at its lowest in decades, and layoffs remain modest. However, people who are looking for work are having a hard time getting hired and it’s frustrating to send resume after resume and never hear anything back. What gives?

Business Insider says that despite a strong economy, employers are cautious about hiring more employees until they’re sure inflation is under control and that the Federal Reserve will eventually lower interest rates.

"It feels like the job market is in a bit of a holding pattern," Daniel Zhao, a lead economist at Glassdoor, recently told Business Insider.


YouTuber Levi Flemming had fun with the frustrations many people experience while job hunting these days in a new video called “The Typical Job Search Experience. Painful.” In the video, Levi has to go through the daunting task of filling out applications on countless websites and then when he finally gets an interview, he has to go through the gauntlet of middle management interviews, only to be rejected.

The typical job search experience. Painful.

Like many job seekers, Levi began his journey on LinkedIn. "We need to make a LinkedIn profile, by the way. It's like Facebook but more professional," he says in the video with nearly 2,000 views. Soon, he was off to the races and mindlessly filled out job applications on Indeed, Workday, Monster, Glassdoor—the list goes on and on.

Why does the auto-populate never work on these sites?

"Got to create my 800th Workday account and I need to upload my resume,” he continued. “Drag and drop successfully uploaded, and the auto-populate didn't do anything, so now we have to … manually enter the dates do you have at least 5 years of experience."

And there are all the strange questions:

Do you have experience with C++?

Have you ever been terminated from a job before?

Have you ever stolen from your employer?

Have you ever committed terrorist acts against the United States?

Finally, Levi lands an interview that quickly turns into what feels like a speaking tour of the entire company.

“Hey, look these guys are actually going to give me an interview. Go through the first interview with the hiring manager," Levi said. "Second interview with the boss's boss. Third interview with the senior boss. Have to do this take-home written assessment that takes me 4 days to do—got myself a fourth interview with the junior director. A fifth interview with the senior director and now we're waiting just waiting, waiting, waiting. Yey look, they finally emailed me back…”

And it’s a rejection letter—time to start all over again.

The video resonated with a lot of folks in the comments.

"Man! This is spot on. So much of my personal data floating around in company website job portals!" Jackbits6377 wrote. "Looking for work right now and the amount of tests I had to do for a f’ing customer support position was ridiculous. I just closed the application, lol," NowayConway added.

"Painful to watch, yet so damn true..." Pastilance wrote.


More

This woman saw a problem with diversity in her workplace. Here's how she's fixing it.

She was usually the only black woman in the room, so she created her own company to change that.

Success in the tech industry isn’t new to Melissa James.

The office-manager-turned-CEO of The Tech Connection helped grow her former team at Sample6 Technologies from a handful of techies to 25 people in just two years. She did all kinds of work, including ciphering through data and metrics, and finding the best and brightest applicants. This is where she started to notice an unfortunate trend, which she decided to conquer by founding her own startup.

When she started her career in tech, James was often the only black person — and the only woman — in the room.


Photo used with permission via Melissa James.

“When people hear the word 'diversity,' they tend to immediately think of race,” James said. “It’s more about the diversity of thought. You want a multitude of backgrounds representing your team, and that currently isn’t the case in most tech offices.”

Now, James is creating a software system to help companies "hire blindly."

Here’s how it works: According to James, many hiring managers see a name and instantly get an idea of who that person is and what their background means. James’ program removes the candidate’s name from the resume. It also removes where they went to school and their current location. Those details are replaced with their core skill set, where they’ve worked in the past, and the character strengths they bring to the table. This, she believes, will help increase hiring diversity for these companies.

While her product is limited to the tech world right now, she's working to ensure that the software won’t just be a product initiative. Instead, she hopes it'll also introduce a necessary dialogue about increasing workplace diversity.

James’ diversity concerns are echoed pretty much everywhere in the tech industry.

Does this look like your workplace? According to the data, probably not. Image via iStock.

Just last year, Apple came under fire for the lack of diversity on its leadership board. White men made up 72% of all leaders. Today, 28% of Apple's leaderships roles are held by women, 6% by Latinos, and just 3% by black leaders. Yikes.

Apple isn’t the only company struggling with diversity issues, though. Just about every major tech company in America, from Google to Facebook, is struggling to find the balance between men and women in the workforce. And the gap only gets larger as you climb higher up the leadership ladder.

Gay and transgender employees still make up about 6% of the workforce for federal, state, and local jobs, and workers with disabilities still struggle to find gainful employment, too.

When we remove opportunities to create and use stereotypes, we open ourselves up to lots of choices.

James' software is a push in the right direction, but it certainly isn't the only step we need for bringing diversity to every workplace.

Thankfully, lots of companies are working on this problem. Just last year, DiversityInc recognized companies including AT&T, Procter & Gamble, and Johnson & Johnson as leaders for increasing diversity. Apple declared a commitment to increase diversity in their offices, and "Saturday Night Live" added Sasheer Zamata to the cast after comments from cast member Kenan Thompson led to an outcry from viewers about the lack of initiatives to increase diversity.The methods vary in all of these cases, but it's clear that in all industries, the need for change has been made apparent.

“Diversity is like rice,” James said. "It’s a staple that’s cooked differently in every different household, and each version is delicious in its own way. We have to have that diversity in culture, ideas, and thoughts. Diversity is not limited to race, and when we tap into various community backgrounds when looking for talent, we inevitably find produce something greater.”

That sounds like a pot of goodness we can all enjoy.