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WaPo muses over why people can’t get jobs.

Beats me. I get dozens and dozens of job postings from LinkedIn everyday. It feels like the flood gates have opened and there are all the tasty positions I could eat. Nevertheless, some employers are still finding it difficult to get good help anymore and potential employees are getting shut out for no reason. The Washington Post article suggests that employers are being very picky, are using resume scanning software, and want lots of experience but are unwilling to pay for it.

Middle aged women are having a particularly difficult time, as do people of color and anyone over the age of 35. Their plight reminds me of the truly AWFUL way the New York Times repeatedly portrayed unemployed middle aged women during the Great Recession. This was inexcusable type casting. It wasn’t accurate. I didn’t know anyone like the people they portrayed and yet we all had an extremely hard time getting new jobs despite our technical skills and education. I swear that it was this kind of stereotyping that made it difficult for me and other women to find full time work for four years. FOUR. YEARS.

Imagine how much in savings you have to accumulate to survive for FOUR YEARS without full time employment or benefits. Add to that a dependent child with a health issue. Yeah, I do kind of blame the New York Times for perpetuating that myth that we are all overweight, lazy, incapable of learning and frittering our severance pay on trips to Turkey. I’m guessing they were whistling passed the graveyard thinking “hey, this will never happen to me. I work for the NYTimes and have a Butt load of daddy’s social contacts and a built in network to make sure I always have a job.”

They just condemned the rest of us to a kafkaesque nightmare of applying for hundreds of jobs for which we were well qualified only to have interviewers ask us if we know how to use Microsoft Word.

To the employers out there: about age, people can’t help aging. What is the alternative? But it’s even less rational to exclude people over a certain age, whatever that cutoff is these days, because you think they aren’t sufficiently computer literate. That’s nonsense. How do you think they uploaded their résumés to your idiotic résumé scanning app?? As for Microsoft Office, a lot of us learned Word, Excel and Outlook a long time ago. We wrote the first webpages. We used the first internet meeting services. And we didn’t stop using that stuff just because there were upgrades.

Honestly, I don’t understand this reluctance. Sure there are older people who just can’t get with the program. I’ve got news. Those employees exist in every bracket, ethnic group, gender preference and managerial level regardless of age. Some managers can’t be taught. They simply don’t have the skill set and their personalities are unlikely to evolve enough to obtain them. Hiring these people young does not make them improve as time goes by. Not all PhDs are that great at research. Not all millennials are good at technology. I could go on. (I have stories)

If employers are having a problem finding good employees, they only have themselves to blame. Here are some things that might help: offer training, relax on getting the perfect candidate (Ziprecruiter may have unrealistically raised your expectations), offer compensation that makes sense, don’t be a stickler about location (I’ve seen a group lose one of their best developers because his wife was relocated and the company he worked for wouldn’t allow remote location work. Stupid, stupid, stupid).

There are no perfect employees. There are human beings who will be willing to bust their asses for you as soon as you stop being control freaks.

Calm your tits already.