A month ago, Jason Calacanis wrote an intriguing and controversial post – Do We Deserve–or Even Want–More Jobs? – about the declining work ethic of Gen-Y. Check it out if you haven’t already.
I have something to add to this, for all the people who think there aren’t any jobs out there.
For the last month, the company I work at has been trying to hire a programmer for some simple SQL Server tasks. It’s a relatively high-paying and very easy job, for someone with relevant experience. I’ve been doing the interviewing, and I think I’ve set the bar really low.
First, I ask a few simple questions in a phone screening, to confirm that the candidate has a pulse. People who are able to string a few coherent sentences together are invited in for an on-site interview, where I give a written test with two easy problems and two moderately challenging problems.
I quickly learned that I had to scrap the moderately challenging problems because everyone was getting their ass kicked by the easy ones. I’ve had more than one person make the claim of “Expert in SQL Server” on their resume, who turned out to not even know what an outer join is. This is roughly equivalent to someone claiming to be an expert carpenter, but not knowing what a hammer is.
Out of the 15 or so people I interviewed, only one of them was able to pass the dumbed down version of the test. In the end, the position was eliminated.
And yet we keep hearing about how there aren’t any jobs out there. Maybe people just need to try a little harder.