How do you make it hard to find a job?

It is hard enough to find a job if you need one, but if you don’t work, the system that is supposed to support you find a job certainly doesn’t work too. It is broken at the most crucial part of it, its purpose.

This broken system is supposed to help job-seekers find employment, and employers fill vacancies by bringing them together. Here are two true stories that show it does neither very well.

The first is from an employer who also finds the system is broken as it doesn’t help her fill a vacancy she urgently needs filled. All the details are true.
The second is a story that a blog follower emailed in, his words are here without editing.


So, why such HUGE numbers of applications, and from such unsuitable people?
Let’s have a look at the other end of the system, the people looking for a job.


Here’s The Systems Thinking Lesson

The title of this post is “How do you make it hard to find a job?”, the answer is to make a system with the purpose of SHOWING that people are trying to find a job. Subtly different, but different is different, not the same.

In between the jobseeker and the employer is a system which is operated by Job Centre Advisors who also have targets attached to what they do, and therefore a de facto purpose, that works against what matters to the jobseeker and employer.

As this reveals, there are targets on the amount of sanctions that Job Centre Advisors must put on jobseekers. People looking for a job have to show they are looking for a job. Fair enough, it’s part of the agreement. But simplistic targets are applied to this, as in the story above people have to apply for 5 vacancies, which turns an important process into a game of numbers with jobseekers clicking “apply” on random vacancies to make their weekly  numbers like chickens pecking in the grit for seeds.

The system has been so distorted that it barely functions as a jobseeker/employer match matching system. The use of targets to monitor jobseekers search for jobs results in meaningless applications for jobs that are completely unsuitable. This wastes employers time, and hides the really suitable candidates. Nobody wins.

This entry was posted in clarity of purpose, public sector, purpose, systems thinking, systemz comix and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink.

7 Responses to How do you make it hard to find a job?

  1. IncognitoInRome says:

    one of your more brilliant posts. 🙂


  2. Alan Stanton says:

    I posted a link to this blog entry on our most successful local community website. You may be interested in the responses it’s had so far.

    Can I suggest you may want to consider a slightly shorter rewritten version for something like the Guardian’s “Comment is Free”.


  3. Hendrik Ascheberg says:

    I like that post, brilliant!


  4. Pingback: How to run a call centre | thinkpurpose

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