The World According to Dirk: “Breathers”

250 - 300 job seekers meet weekly at Southlake Focus

Dirk is normally a very sobering speaker. He does not tell you that everything is going to be OK. He tells you that you are in the fight of a lifetime and that you need to get it all together if you are going to get a job. He frequently tells stories of typical goof ups that average job seekers make, then states, “Stop doing that!”

So, when Dirk talks about “friction unemployment” and how jobs are going unfilled because hiring managers were being too picky, you sit up and pay attention.  Supposedly, we are moving into a period of supply and demand where demand for “100% perfect fit” candidates is greater than the supply. Now we are reaching the end of the year and jobs are going unfilled.

That has not been unusual during the “Great Recession.”

Job boards have made it super easy for candidates to fire off dozens of resumes for jobs they have no hope of ever getting. They lack virtually all the requirements. But since it is so easy to send in a resume, job seekers submit resumes almost like buying a lottery ticket. Maybe they will just get lucky.

With 15 million people out of work, there are lots of people applying for every job (as many as 1000 for a single job).

HR departments are not immune to layoffs. There are fewer people doing more work.

You can see why it takes a long time to fill a position and how easy it might be for recruiters to over look good candidates.

With so many resumes, hiring managers can be very picky. Someone who has all the right experience at the wrong company does not get invited in for an interview. Someone who has 15 years experience does not get invited in for a job requiring 10 years of experience. Etcetera.

What is happening now, according to Dirk, is that these perfect candidates are getting hired. At the end of the lengthy search process, this super high standard being used to evaluate candidates is yielding too few candidates. Jobs are going unfilled and the end of the year is looming. For many jobs, this means the req goes away and the approval process has to be started again in January.

Faced with “use it or lose it,” hiring managers are getting much less particular. This is going to get even more significant the closer we get to Christmas. Many job seekers are less active in December. Most candidates who already have a job, are not inclined to look at all. This means better odds for job seekers who remain active.

According to Dirk, the situation is rapidly becoming urgent where hiring managers are requesting a “breather” i.e. anyone breathing simply to avoid losing the job req.

We will see what we see. I know a lot of breathing job seekers with good resumes. I will get back to you in January on if I see a spike in hiring.


According to Southlake Focus Group, December was the biggest hiring month of 2010. They saw 50% more people get jobs in December 2010 than in December 2009.  Maybe Dirk is (once again) onto something.


James Snider
Global Business Development and Social Media Marketing
Anyone can give you social media.  I make sure it’s marketing.

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About jamessnider

James Snider is the Vice President of Business Development for Engstrom Trading, LLC. Engstrom imports products from Scandinavian countries and builds a market for them in the USA and Canada. View all posts by jamessnider

3 responses to “The World According to Dirk: “Breathers”

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