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There should be a law...

(14 Posts)
Beccatheboo Fri 05-Oct-12 12:55:20

...that means employers are obliged to interview candidates who meet all the requirements of the job description.

It is so unfair. I recently applied for 2 basic office jobs, both of which I could have done standing on my head, yet I still didn't even get an interview. I think I am hampered by my time off raising children (nearly 7 years), yet during those 7 years I have done a small part-time job, some freelance work and been a very active member of my children's nursery committee. And we all know that raising children isn't a walk in the park! The latest job was assisting in a school office. My application, I believe, demonstrated exactly how I fitted their requirements.

I realise there are loads of people chasing jobs and that a law would probably hamper employers, but not to even have personalised feedback is so soul-destroying. I truly can't understand why I didn't get an interview. I really did spend ages poring over the application form.

Frankly, I'm cross! Who knows what discrimination goes on when selecting who to interview. The school is not one my children go to and I can't help thinking that someone connected to it will probably secure the role.

My personal feeling was that I wanted to raise my own children, luckily being supported by my hard-working husband, and now I am paying the price.

What kind of rubs salt into the wound is that I am one of the first people who others put up for voluntary work. For example, I have been asked recently to become a school governor and a chair of another committee. Which is all very nice, but why can't I get a paying position. Grr! :'-( (Our one-person-working household will also shortly lose our child benefit.)

I am lucky that we are not in a critical position where I absolutely have to work and totally sympathise with people who have been unemployed for ages. I just feel deflated and condemned to a life chained to the house and doing the school run.

I suspect there are many also in my position. I read on here that someone with a First Class degree was told that she didn't meet the requirements for a shelf stacker.

Ellypoo Fri 05-Oct-12 13:11:54

I really sympathise, but we advertised for a receptionist/office administrator and got over 200 applications - it took long enough to go through them all without being giving personal feedback to everyone (we did try for the people who asked). The problem was, that the quality of some of the applicants was so high, that it really upped the bar, and there was no way we could have interviewed everyone that met the basic requirements unfortunately.

The job market is really tough at the moment, and I'm sorry you are struggling to find a position at the moment. Your voluntary positions will def look good to prospective employers on your CV though. Please don't stop trying, and have you thought about something like Avon?

AMumInScotland Fri 05-Oct-12 13:16:50

Get back to them to ask for feedback - they may be able to tell you why you didn't get selected. But most likely they just had a lot of good applicants, and didn't want to spend a whole week interviewing every person who met their requirements, as it does take time for each interview, plus reading through their application before it and thinking/talking it over after the iterview, so they usually narrow it down to a handful.

whistlestopcafe Fri 05-Oct-12 13:21:47

It is not always possible to interview all suitable candidates as the country would grind to a halt as businesses would be interviewing all day. I agree with Amuminscotland's suggestion of requesting feedback.

It is frustrating when you know you would be good at the job, unfortunately for you there are lots of good candidates about at the moment.

Beccatheboo Fri 05-Oct-12 13:23:46

Thanks. I actually believe I exceeded the requirements but don't really want to go into too much detail here. I did actually ask for feedback but received just a bog-standard reply to my very enthusiastic and courteous e-mail.

I am torn whether to take on the volunteering opportunities, as reading on another thread it seems they count for little (which is what I've suspected). As a committee chair for the nursery I would be ultimately culpable for everything (and put in numerous hours), yet not receive a penny. Governors also have so much responsibility.

Sorry, just so down today. I have no motivation for my current role as general house skivvy. (But I would still give up work all over again to spend time with my children.)

Avon doesn't appeal - I'm just a soap and water gal. And I don't fancy the whole selling via parties thing (particularly the cooking range, if you get my gist, which is an absolute rip-off). I might look further into working for myself but I'm so not a risk-taker.

AMumInScotland Fri 05-Oct-12 15:02:18

It's a grind, but I think just keeping on applying for anything and everything is as good as it gets. It's always easier to get a job if you already have one, typically.

I don't know how much difference volunteering makes, but (as someone who has occasionally had to sift through applications) I think I'd be more impressed by a single thing which was closer to a "real job", with someone able to give a reference, than by lots of "being involved in committees" which can be more or less meaningless to an employer who can't tell if that means a major committment to something, or turning up, gazing into space, and having a pint with the rest of the committee after. Whereas something like working in a charity shop, where you have regular shifts and are doing something which they can at least imagine, might convince them more that you are reliable, hardworking, prepared to slog at something unglamorous, etc.

DameKewcumber Fri 05-Oct-12 15:06:10

I'm in exactly the same position but have also been on the opposite side of the fence. People get sifted out because of how they present their cv, if they are under-qualified or over-qualified etc until you get to a number which is feasible to interview. You can't insist that employers interview everyone - its impractical. And whats the point turning up for an interview when teh employer has already decided that you don't tick the right boxes?

Not replying with some personal feedback is perfectly acceptable to a standard CV I'm afraid, but not is you get as far as an interview.

I understand how frustrated you are but there is just no way you can interview everyone who meets the minimum requirement. I'm a retail manager and .sn receive hundreds of applicants for a part time job. As the basic requirememts are GCSE maths and English, the vast majority of applicants meet that.

I would argue that it is unfair to ask people to interview when the chances of getting a job are so dim. Many people would incur travel costs, buy new clothes, take days off existing jobs etc. If I made an effort to atend an interview and found that 100 other people were bring interviewed for the same job I would be really unimpressed.

DameKewcumber Fri 05-Oct-12 15:22:01

IME volunteering is only considered if it is directly relevant to the job you want eg treasurer of PTA if you are looking for a bookkeeping job.

janey68 Fri 05-Oct-12 17:05:07

From the other side of the fence, having responsibility for interviewing and appointing people, what you propose is not at all practical. I regularly get up to 100 applications for posts, most of which meet the requirements. Recruitment is an expensive business- I cant afford to spend half my working hours interviewing everyone who meets the job spec. Realistically anyone who has time out of the workplace, particularly a lengthy time, is probably going to find it hard to compete with others who have the same skills and qualifications plus the up to date experience. And while I agree that bringing up young children demonstrates a certain skills set, working parents are also doing those things so all other things being equal a mum who has had 7 years out of the workplace will not compare as favourably as a mum who has also been bringing up young children but continuing to work too

It's a tough world out there... The only thing to do is keep plugging away.

FireOverBabylon Fri 05-Oct-12 17:12:27

With the number of people looking for work, many of whom already of jobs they don't like anymore, it's probable that they'll use the "desirable" criteria to whittle down candidates to a manageable number. They only have to interview people who meet the essential criteria if they have a disability.

We had a post with 6 disabled applicants and a further 9 who met all the desirable criteria - we were interviewing for 3 days for 2 PT posts.

The key thing is to ensure that your personal statement shows how the skills you have match the job, so I use microsoft office when typing minutes for the PTS committee's monthly meetings and these have to be distributed via e-mail within 3 working days etc..... I get so many applications which tell me about their current or last job when I want to know what skills they can demonstrate which are relevant to my post.

FireOverBabylon Fri 05-Oct-12 17:13:19

PTS? PTA committee

FireOverBabylon Fri 05-Oct-12 17:19:08

And the number of applicants there are for a post depends on how many people are applying for work locally. This sounds obvious but when a major company made huge swathes of staff redundant near to us, we had an entry level admin post and 250 applicants. Are you really saying we should have interviewed all 220 odd who met the essential criteria?

What you're actually saying is "I didn't sell my skills well enough to this company to get me an interview" which is a different issue. Personally, I don't have an issue of someone applying for a post with voluntary experience but it does depend what it is. It also wouldn't trump someone coming along who already works in an office, which is who is likely to have got your post. Also, school leavers who couldn't get into university this year are in the market with you, with more recent qualifications. There are a lot of groups of people after the same posts togehter right now.

cheerup Sat 06-Oct-12 13:05:58

As others have said it is a tough job market at the moment and there are a lot of people who meet the criteria for admin roles. As a recruiting manager in the public sector I would say that you need to review your application to ensure that you gave concrete examples of work that you have done that demonstrates the required competencies/experience. If you have definitely done that, then it's just one of those things; there were other people who did it better and so you didn't make it through to interview. I would continue to volunteer and maybe try to find out which agency your local authority uses for temporary workers. From my experience, it is harder to find good temps than permanent staff and permanent vacancies are few and far between so temping is a good way of building your experience/CV and finding an in.

When you do get an interview or a temp role, I would avoid saying or inferring that "wanted to raise my own children, luckily being supported by my hard-working husband, and now I am paying the price". It really doesn't come across very well to working mums who do also raise their own children!

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