Why Can’t Employers See the Forest for the Trees???

by Richard , updated on May 24, 2012

We received the following email recently from a reader the other day and Karalyn has asked me to respond in blog-form, because the writer has raised an important issue that we think could be relevant to other readers.

I’d like to open with an edited version of the email:

“I’ve been 3 years riding the employment roller coaster and I’ve had to deal with rejections once again in 2012 as I have started applying for jobs. I worked for ‘one of the biggest media agencies’ two years ago but lasted only a couple of months, most probably because they had too much expectations but also likely that I do not have the local knowledge as local candidates do. I bought a restaurant, employed over 10 people over one year but had to sell it due to the retail slump. I lost my savings that I brought to Australia and now I am back at square one searching job sites.

What I find hard to understand is that I tried to contribute to the economy in a small way to retain staff that I had hired, more from sympathy but who never the less ended up validating my hiring decisions. Now that I am on the other side of the fence, I see that not many are that risk-friendly.

I just wonder if Bill Gates had decided to move to Australia presently but in the same age bracket he was fifteen years ago, would he have got a job?”

Wow.  Some really great questions here! And I can hear some very understandable frustration as well.

First of all can I say I’m very impressed at the courage you have shown in opening a restaurant and in taking a chance on people that you had the good sense to realise were worth giving ago.  Opening any small business is a huge risk and challenge but to do it in a country that is relatively new to you is amazing. I’m also very impressed by your perseverance in your job hunting efforts.

I would like to directly answer your concerns but need to firstly say that I hope you can appreciate that it is
very difficult for me to make any meaningful comment about the reasons you feel your role with a media agency did not work out without me having more information.  However I will say that I do appreciate how frustrating it must have been.

I want to immediately say that Karalyn and I both agree with you that Australian organisations seem to be rather more “risk-phobic” than their overseas counterparts.  They just don’t seem to know what to do with job hunters who don’t exactly fit a pre-determined ideal.  Some employers also tend to be locked into a mindset to fill their vacancy with a clone of the previous occupant in the job, forgetting that they didn’t have those skills and experience when they first started.

It’s hard for candidates to break through the “risk-free” attitude of some employers and this is where I think all candidates need to have a good hard look at their recruitment consultant.  Because I believe it’s part of their role to break this barrier down for you.  A good consultant should take the time to get to know your skills and abilities.  Then they should be 100% in your corner fighting to get their employer clients to take a genuine look at you as a potential employee.  The best advice I can give you is to expect this from your recruitment consultant.  And if they don’t come to the party, find a new consultant who will fight for you!

From Karalyn and my experience in the recruitment industry many employers want iron-clad guarantees that a new employee will work out.  So they go with the safe option.  When often it is the candidate with less experience or different but translatable experience that has a burning desire to succeed in the job!  So listen up employers and take a step back to look at the wider picture.  There may just be a shining star standing in the second or third row!

Oh and yes I think you are right that Bill Gates may well have found himself on Centrelink benefit for quite some time here in Australia!

Stick at it and I’m sure with the help of a good recruitment consultant you will find the right company and job for you!


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