Reaching The Unemployed Bucket

Do you know that the job you are familiar with today may not exist tomorrow and in the future?

Reaching The Unemployed Bucket

According to OECD, at least 14% of workers foresee that work will be automated while 32% will see a drastic change in their tasks for their current job (Naelkoska, Quintini, 2018).

This may sound insensitive to many people but let's face it, the world is changing as we are evolving into the digital era. It is a drastic shift from IT automation to smart technologies; and thereafter, humans and machines.

Some say that digital automation will eliminate jobs; on the other hand, it will also boost job creation. Why? It is because the job you are familiar with today may not exist tomorrow due to digital technologies and their transformation. The fundamental here is the roles will be eliminated but there may be opportunities for other work or tasks.

Then again, while there will be job creation, but are we ready for the new work or task?

What drives me to this topic is the rise of the unemployed in this job market. Will the unemployed be given opportunities for the future of work and will the conservative and discriminative hiring process will still exist, or the unemployed remain unemployed?

The Unemployed Bucket

I don't have visibility to the Malaysian latest unemployment report hence; I took DOSM last report as of June 2021. Unemployment was up by 0.3% i.e. from 728 thousand in May 2021 to 768 thousand in June 2021.

Can you imagine there are about 700 thousand unemployed on the street? I am not trying to add salt to the wound but let's face it, there are incremental about 40 thousand unemployed added to the street within one or two months. Perhaps the economy will improve gradually as the country is going through the national recovery phases.

However, isn't it alarming as some unemployed will continue to be unemployed due to these forthcoming transformations and the future of work? Continuous unemployment can lead to chronic stress especially to some who are the breadwinners of the family.

Will the unemployed workers have more advantages in job opportunities compared to those who are currently employed?

We read day in day out, many unemployed resorted to the platform like LinkedIn to share their journey for job opportunities. Some did it successfully but many are seeking help.

Could it be these people that are looking for opportunities being selective with the opportunities or hiring becoming more stringent as jobs availabilities are limited? Or perhaps, employers have more amenities and luxuries to explore more candidates with targeted skillsets. Some may even take the opportunity to look for that unicorn. But what are the probabilities are given to the unemployed bucket?

Does discrimination still exist?

I have a friend who has been jobless for about a year. He was getting restless as age was against him. He has to depend on his wife to hold the financial fort for his family. One day, I came across a Youtube video as to how to avoid discrimination from a candidate's CV. I immediately call him and got him to remove the years of experience from his CV. Thereafter, he was immediately flooded with job invitations, interviews and now landed a better job than his previous role.

A few years ago, I had a similar situation. Few people including recruiters called me for a senior role with the same MNC. I initially declined to apply as I wasn't looking into full-time employment then.

Nonetheless, one of the recruiters was pretty persistent and managed to convince me to submit my application. After a couple of days, she came back to verify my age, and true enough, I was disqualified as I have exceeded my 40s then.

I am not disappointed for not been able to pursue the application but I am practically taken aback as it merely shows silent discrimination in practice by this company even though they specified and advocate equal employment. 

 After that incident, I thought discrimination may have mellowed down but I came across a site that advises companies to specify digital natives to evade being seen as discriminative.

Can we evade this from happening? I believe it will continue to be silent practices as it will take time for change to happen. So, what will happen to the unemployed? How is the country going to overcome the unemployment bucket?

But I do know that with digitalization at the forefront; sooner or later more companies will resort to smart technologies. An example, AI will be used to perform the first filtering process. I read somewhere, not sure this is already in the market but you can imagine job application will be performed by a digital bot recruiter. They will use bot algorithms to filter the CVs and use facial recognition and predictive analytics to screen the applications during the initial interviews. 

Quantitative or Qualitative Interviews?

Very often we read articles that job seekers are going through many rounds of interviews and some were rejected after several rounds and probably to find out that the company decided to hire within.

Early this year, I received an invite from of the Fortune 500 companies for an opportunity. Of course, I was excited when they wrote to schedule an interview. Few days before the interview, their talent manager called me to share tips and information as to how to prepare myself for the interview. It's a good practice for them to speak to their potential candidates and to prepare them before the interviews. However, what came to my dismay was I will be placed to probably more than 6 interview sessions. It turns me off immediately as I don't think I want to drag to that lengthy process.

Weeks after, I received another invitation from another top-tier company. The first interview went well with the hiring manager as we both got on with good vibes. He then, got me to the next level to present a case study to him together with another leader. Thereafter the presentation, they got me to be interviewed by two other domain leaders on separate days. One was practically demeaning me and the other shown disrespect as he was yawning continuously as he started the morning interview. Thereafter, there were neither updates nor a note from the company on the status after four rounds or hours in preparation for the interviews. 

Perhaps, placing jobseekers into multiples rounds will help to eliminate companies' biased hiring. But will the lengthy process in job interviews produce better results?

According to Adecco, 87% of jobseekers having to attend more than two interviews may not be acceptable. The time-consuming process will not only draining the job seekers including the company's resources as well.

Are we overcoming the Unemployed Bucket?

Days go by; the unemployed are getting more nervous, some become despair as they kept receiving rejections.

With this digital era and the future of work, it is no longer the same and easy as companies will hire different skill talents for the new role, task or work. Furthermore, it is a new market, new technologies, and many companies resorted to internal development by reskilling and upskilling to fill the gap.

So, will the unemployed continue to be unemployed? How does one overcome the unemployed bucket? I know there are many initiatives from the government to reach the mass on upskilling and reskilling but are they reaching the targeted audiences? Do they map the right skills and programs for the unemployed?

Often I received unsolicited invites for training but those are not even relevant to me. So, do we need to go on reaching the mass, quantitatively or to produce qualitative recruitment and training for the unemployed? Hope we can do something to overcome the unemployed bucket?