Covid’s Collateral Contamination

For many Americans, the Covid-19 pandemic is becoming a life-changing event. As millions of jobs openings go unfilled, thousands, if not millions of American workers are quitting their jobs and seeking more rewarding opportunities; some of the workers claim that they are striking out on their own to start a business. As marketing classes taught those of us who went to business college, “find a need, fill it.” Business college also taught how to evaluate a market as well as determine what to charge your clients. A few numbers for the quitters to consider: Fifty percent of new businesses close within five years, and lack of management experience is the number one reason that small businesses fail.

COVID unemployment

I would like to think that the people who are quitting aren’t just doing so because the government sent them a healthy check, but there are a number of citizens are just going to kick back and relax while they spend their government windfall, stay home and laugh at the people who are profiled in the popular television show “Dirty Jobs.” While it is true that many citizens actually needed the money, it is also true that many citizens used their government money as well as their quarantine situation to become day traders on the stock market.

COVID unemployment

One of the reasons the impoverished in America will not put their money in banks is because they fear someone will take the money away from them. People can’t take money that they don’t know about, but being irrational about money is a very real problem in America.

Many potential employers in America claim that there aren’t enough workers. Whenever I hear an organization say that they can’t find workers, what I am really hearing them saying is that they aren’t offering enough money to potential workers. Many companies are offering greater compensation to their new workers, which many of their older, seasoned workers find insulting because they started out at lower wages.

Loyalty is, and always has been, a two-way street. Offering loyalty is the best way to get loyalty. Offering new employees compensation that the seasoned employees took years to obtain is disrespectful and often resented by the talent already in play. Speaking of organizations not having enough applicants, there is some quite disturbing recent information regarding applying for work in this Age of Pandemic.

Many potential employers in America claim that there aren’t enough workers.

In the past few decades, online applications have soared to new heights, and submitting an old paper resume is as bad as asking if you can smoke in the office. To deal with the crushing online load of potential workers, many organizations went to automated systems. While all of the online applications of the current economy may be a lot to handle, a recent article in The Wall Street Journal, “The Millions of Resumes Employers May Never See” (WSJ, September 4, 2021) illustrated some troubling flaws in the automated sourcing software. Quoting the article: “Prospects get tripped up by everything from brief resume gaps to ballooning job descriptions that lessen the chance they will measure up…This reliance on automation filters big sections of the population out of the workforce and companies lose access to candidates they want to hire.”

COVID unemployment

A resume gap is one of the biggest reasons potential employees are rejected. Any sensible person understands that there are dozens, if not hundreds, of legitimate reasons for gaps of employment on a resume. Finishing a college degree, having a child, caring for a sick family member, or an unexpected illness are among the many reasons for an employment gap, but the present application software can’t fathom those explanations, so it simply puts those reasons aside and the resume goes into the reject pile.

This failed application of technology is Corporate America at its finest. From JIT (failing miserably under Covid-19) to Six Sigma applied in ways for which it was never meant, Corporate America embraces new ideas and technology, pays dearly for it and yet, the problems remain.

Meanwhile, the U.S. government adds trillions of debt, some of the money going to citizens who aren’t in need, as well as ruling that landlords cannot collect rent, forcing the smaller landlords (of which there are many) to sell out to the financial giants, whom the Democrats claim to abhor.

I support any citizen who wants to venture out on their own, and wish them well. Better that they understand that luck is when preparation meets opportunity.

Jeffrey Neil Jackson

Jeffrey Neil Jackson is an
Educator & Literary Mercenary

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