Right as I am writing this tonight something terrible is happening. Well, it has been happening for some months now. And it is happening right in front of all our eyes, too, however I doubt those who aren’t involved have already found out about it. Actually I doubt those in the midst of it have gotten the clue that they’re not alone but only one of a mass of people.
Do you know anybody who has graduated from university lately? And if so do you know anybody who has been able to find a job in any branch? I know a lot of promising young people who don’t. Many of them have brilliant C Vs featuring internship, stays abroad and the kind and it still doesn’t help. All they get are rejections and that’s not because something was wrong with them, but because something is wrong with our economy. Whilst in most western countries major lay-offs haven’t taken place so far (though I’m only going to believe in it once the German election next weekend is over) companies all over the place have however reduced their number of employees. So how do you reduce your human resources’ costs without actually firing people, which would look bad in the media (and some suggest there might a secret pact with Governments forbids the companies to lay off too many employees in order to keep the order of state)? Right: You just stop recruiting. Retirements will do the rest for you. And that’s exactly what is happening right now.
Major multinational companies might still feature those glossy recruitment programs, yet if you try to apply for those jobs you might find it curious that, no matter for how many of them you apply and no matter how well you fit the requirements you will never get as much as an appointment for an interview. Is this due to a too big number of graduates as opposed to the (normal) number of jobs available? With a little knowledge about the number of graduates each year in certain disciplines I doubt it. Plus was it the pure number, it would mean the job hunt to take longer. Not forever. Though I have gone with believing those job openings were for internal recruiting only others have suggested they might be no more then a hoax posted for the media so everything looked fine.
Contacting some of the recruiting offices HR personnel was fast to add certainty to those theories: a majority of medium-sized companies has canceled graduate intake programs at all whilst the huge multinationals have reduced them to national intakes with a limited number of positions available, where in any normal year there would be a huge international campaign for talents. Normal recruiting has been halted nearly everywhere with many HR offices sending back automatic emails featuring there were no available positions “matching your skills” even if I didn’t even indicate my profession. Whatever the reason the outcome still is there are thousands of brilliant minds out there not able to find a job.
As far as Austria goes there have been studies about graduate unemployment, too. However those mystical disappeared from major online news platforms just hours after publication. I’m not a friend of conspiracy theories – I think most leaders are just to stupid to support a major conspiracy – still I have been wondering whether there might be information held back by the government in order to avoid a panic among students and graduates.
So if you happen to be one of those 2008 and 2009 graduates who have been desperately looking for any kind of a job for months now without success I’d want you to know that you are not alone. All around the place highly qualified young people are sharing your faith. It’s not because of your degree. It’s not because of a lack of networking (even that doesn’t help these days anymore as I have learned). And it’s most certainly not because of your qualification. It’s because of the fucked up minds of HR managers. Nothing else.
I wish I had a recipe to overcome this. A recipe where to find a job these days. But in the end we all know just too well that sustainability and company-society responsibility are unknown words to most economic and political leaders these days. Doing so they destroy our future and their company’s and nation’s just along. What it all comes down to is that it will be exactly those graduates of these days who will be paying the bill- again.