The insanity continues in our job market where millions of people who want to work can’t get hired, and companies continue to complain they can’t find workers. It is as if we are living out an episode of the Twilight Zone! Meanwhile, we are all suffering the consequences: Restrooms go uncleaned, pharmacies close because they don’t have a pharmacist, bank lines go out the door, flights are canceled because they don’t have enough pilots, and the list of frustration goes on.
I will address the AI (artificial intelligence) push another, but today, I want to address the massive discrimination occurring in our country and plead with companies to stop it. I encourage everyone to watch the 2010 movie, The Company Men, starring Ben Affleck as Bobby, a business executive who loses his job. The company wants higher payouts to their board and stockholders and does a massive cut.
In one of the HR (human resources) meetings, they select all the older men and one younger man (Bobby) to fire thinking they are hiding their discrimination. They have bigger payouts when they eliminate all the higher-paying salaries. This is illegal but happens every day in the real world—corporate greed!
Anyway, the movie follows several executives as they struggle to find employment. No one can get hired, and Bobby is only 37. Can you imagine how the other men in their 60s felt? Everyone has mortgages, children, college costs, groceries, utility bills, car loans, etc.
One marriage is destroyed by the stress, one improves because the husband is actually home more, and one man commits suicide (he’s worth more dead than alive). The movie is an accurate portrayal of how broken our corporate world is, and it has only gotten worse. Today, AI programs are screening candidates and tossing anyone over the age of 45 to the curb. With Gen Y at the helm, anyone similar in age to their parents will NOT be hired. CEOs should be paying attention to their job openings. If you can’t fill them, you have discrimination of the highest order occurring in your company. Lack of employees IS killing your company, and you better start looking at Gen X and Baby Boomers again.
Bobby lost his house and was able to move in with his parents. This isn’t an option for everyone, and neither is getting a construction job like he does from his brother in-law. Well-meaning people have no clue how difficult and time-consuming job hunting is, and their unwelcomed suggestions of getting low-paying jobs or what they should be doing differently adds insult to injury. A recent study found if companies learn of candidates taking minimum-wage jobs during employment gaps they low-ball them and try to get their work for peanuts. This puts high-level executives in a predicament. What happened to rewarding hard work and years of dedication to one’s career?
In my corporate days, I remember hearing statements like, “Oh, we don’t want to hire a young woman because she will only become pregnant and leave us.” This was wrong, and so is saying, “They are older and maybe have 10 good years left.” Wouldn’t you rather have a hard-working person with integrity and work ethic for 10 years instead of a rotating door of whining, complaining, lazy younger workers who don’t show up anyway? This is insane. We are all sick of it.
We need to get back to hiring qualified people who will get the job done regardless of their age. If we don’t, not only will your company collapse, but our country will cease being a super power. We are already losing ground to China. They don’t play the political games we do, and they focus on results. What happened, America?
As a professional recruiter, I can help you create a better system for hiring the best candidate. Right now, you are missing out on top talent because of discrimination in your hiring process. Let me resolve those issues and get you great people! Millions of capable people are just waiting to dedicate their talent to your company. Let’s stop the insanity and get back to building great companies and a thriving country.
PS My booklet, Recruit the Right Way, offers great insights into how you can remove bias and hire the right people for the right positions.