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Continued: Despite job vacancies, employers shy away from hiring

  • Article by: CATHERINE RAMPELL , New York Times
  • Last update: March 6, 2013 - 8:47 PM

An HR professional himself, Ahlfeld has been looking for work since August 2011 and has been frustrated to find himself the “silver medalist” for a couple of jobs after six rounds of interviews totaling 10 to 20 hours for each position, not including prep work and transportation time.

For both of those jobs, though, there still has been no gold medalist. After eight months, they remain unfilled.

‘Seinfeld’ screenings

In addition to demanding credentials beyond what a given position traditionally requires, employers have thrown up more hurdles as screening devices.

In his job hunt during the past year, Sullivan has taken several video-editing tests, which he says he aced. But he has also been subjected to a battery of personality and psychological exams, a spelling quiz and even a math test.

He passed the math test with a 90 percent score, he said.

“Sister Callahan would be very proud that I was able to remember math problems I learned in prep school,” he said. “But what on Earth does that have to do with the job I was applying for? It was like something out of ‘Seinfeld.’ ”

And for applicants, the expenses add up fast.

Sullivan calculates that the three positions he applied for cost him $520.36 in parking fees, two parking tickets, gas and trips to Starbucks while waiting for his interviews. (He recently switched to bringing his own coffee thermos, he says.) That tally excludes the costs of producing and mailing out his video work.

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  • Video editor Paul Sullivan: “After they call you back after the sixth interview, there’s a part of you that wants to say, ‘That’s it, I’m not going back.’ ”

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