Job seekers are outraged at a “frustrating” interview tactic as a major battle ensues between employers and their staff.
A user on Reddit’s popular “Anti-Work” forum claims they stormed out of a job interview after a position was advertised as working from home – only to be told they actually had to come to the office.
“I jump up to interview, and they say the role is actually hybrid (in the office three days a week) and they just advertised it as remote to get a bigger pool of applicants,” the user wrote.
“I showed no shadow and said I would write reviews on Glassdoor, Google and Indeed to explain that this organization does not operate with honesty and integrity, and that my experience should serve as a warning to others who might be attracted to so-called ‘external’ positions. I then walked out.”
They added: “Because how the fuck do they dare to waste my time.”
Antiwork, a movement that causes employees to leave the “modern workplace” and prioritize their “individual needs and desires”, has grown fast in the forefront for the past two years as the coronavirus pandemic has forced many to rethink their careers.
The viral post on the two million strong Reddit group has over 1500 commentswith a number of people reporting similar experiences.
“This happened to me too,” wrote one. “Except they advertised ‘hybrid schedule available’ and in the interview they said they would get everyone back in the office asap. BYE”.
Experts say there’s definitely a growing trend of employers trying to entice candidates by advertising outside positions that aren’t really remote.
To write for Slate this week, Alison Green of the Ask a manager blog said an increasing number of job seekers were dealing with the “frustrating phenomenon”.
“It has become very common for candidates to see a vacancy for a position that claims to be remote, apply, confirm in first contact that they are looking for 100 percent remote work, and go through several application rounds, only to get in late the process behind that the employer actually wants them to come one or two days a week or even more”, she wrote†
“Why aren’t employers more transparent in their vacancies? Part of the reason may be that they think they will attract more applicants if they view jobs as remote, even if they have a hybrid work schedule (at best).
She added: “Other times employers are fine with the job being temporarily remote due to Covid, but they expect the person they hire will eventually work in the office when it’s safer to do so – which can be an unpleasant surprise. for a candidate who finds himself many states away that have no plans to move.”
Women want WFH roles
Melbourne-based recruiter Graham Wynn of Superior People Recruitment said he had observed a similar trend in Australia.
Mr Wynn said he saw “many more people looking to work from home”, particularly women, with employers trying to strike a delicate balance between attracting talent in a tight job market and attracting staff back to the office.
“We have a few of these hybrid roles,” he said.
“I get the impression that it’s a way to entice people, because they have trouble finding candidates. The underlying trend seems to be let’s bring the person in, then get the job full-time.’
According to jobs website Seek, during the pandemic, there was a large increase in the proportion of jobs advertised that included work-from-home keywords in their descriptions — from about 0.5 percent pre-Covid to 3-3.5 percent in late 2021.
“This stock has stabilized in recent months, but has remained at elevated Covid levels,” a spokeswoman said.
Mr Wynn said there is “a real battle going on between employers and employees right now” over returning to the office after many got used to to work from home.
“Employers try to work around this as best they can, but eventually they’ll make a decision. If the person doesn’t return to the office, they’ll have to let them go and replace them, it’s as simple as that,” he said. †
Earlier this month, Elon Musk set foot on the issue, ordering all Tesla employees to come back to the office “at least” 40 hours a week or “pretend to work elsewhere.”
His warrant sparked a war of words with Australian billionaire Scott Farquhar, co-founder of software company Atlassian, who described it as “50s something” and encouraged Tesla employees to join his company.
Mr. Wynn said the bottom line was: many employers found that workers at home were not as productive.
“I actually have a few employers who have gotten more people in the office with short-term contracts to catch up because the people who work from home aren’t as efficient,” he said.
However, it depends on the job.
“In the IT sector, they have timelines in which a project has to be completed by X, so the employer doesn’t care when you do it,” said Mr. Wynn.
“I think roles where there is daily work to be done are a bit disappointing. Unfortunately, employers in those kinds of roles are finding that they need more access, people don’t respond as efficiently to phone calls and emails.”
‘Never seen this bad’
Mr Wynn said employers in all sectors faced massive skills shortages following the international border closure during Covid.
“I’ve been doing this business for 13 years, I’ve never seen it this bad,” he said. “This is the worst and hardest it’s been to find people.”
He said it was “across the board”.
“Salespeople, technicians, a little bit of IT that we also struggle with, but even the more basic roles that don’t require experience, like receptionists, we’re even struggling to find right now,” he said.
The skills shortages caused by the loss of backpackers and students overseas were a shift in attitude during Covid.
“Since Covid, many people have been reluctant to jump into a job unless it meets their criteria,” he said. “Job seekers are more specific about what they want, but on the other side of the fence, employers who need to recover from Covid are more specific about what they want.
“The two parties are growing further and further away.”
The rapid shift was previously marked this year in a survey that found that more than half of young people under the age of 35 would quit if their job kept them from ‘enjoying life’.
But the findings of Randstad’s Workmonitor survey, which surveyed 35,000 workers in 34 countries, suggested that the so-called “Great Layoff” was less of a phenomenon Down Under, with just 26 percent of Australian workers saying they’d quit their job because of it. do not fit into their personal lives, compared with 34 percent worldwide.
“The Great Resignation is not taking place in Australia,” said Mr Wynn.
“If it were, we wouldn’t have any trouble finding people. Australia is a very different market, it is much more spread out and not so easy for people to change jobs. The distance between employers is much greater than in the UK or America.”
He added: “Many people who are still in their jobs are showing loyalty to the employers who have kept them through Covid. They’re not really moving, but when they do, they want wages much higher than what the labor market pays.”
Australia’s unemployment rate fell to a 48-year low of 3.9 percent in April, its lowest monthly number on record.
Despite falling unemployment, wage growth has remained sluggish, rising just 2.4 percent in the year to the March quarter — far outpaced by rising inflation, which pushed consumer prices up 5.1 percent over the same period.
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