Since the market dip and round after round of layoffs, executive recruiters have served on the front lines of the jobless recovery. We’ve born witness to the devastation that downsizing brings. Due to Occupy Wall Street, we have become preoccupied. Recruiters have sensed the desperation in our dealings with candidates who have been unemployed far too long. While recruiters do not make jobs, we fill them. And so I wonder, with this Great Unfilling, is there a “there there”? Where is the collective response from the very professionals who specialize in jobs, jobs, jobs?
A group of Americans have gathered to occupy Wall Street, in large part due too massively high unemployment — particularly for young people. An article by Noreen Malone in New York Magazine entitled The Kids Are Actually Sort of Alright details the stark statistics.
14 percent of college graduates from the classes of 2006 through 2010 can’t find full time work. Half of people ages 16 to 29 don’t have jobs — 55.3 percent. That’s the lowest level since World War II (1945). College students are graduating with bone-crushing debt, which for the class of 2009 averages $24,000. USA Today reports that at some point this year, student loan debt will exceed $1 trillion, surpassing even credit card debt. Total student loan debt is rising as other debts are tapering off. Delinquency has increased, too, since the height of the financial crisis.
The Occupy Wall Street movement has turned us into preoccupied recruiters. Many recruiters do what we can ad hoc to introduce people to the career-saving opportunities they need. But the work is solitary. It lacks scale. It helps but a handful. I would like to think that we, the recruiters who stand at the epicenter of the jobs crisis, would have something constructive to say and do, together, to fix what appears to be so very broken. I look forward to your comments and suggestions.