Why Is It That Everyone’s Hiring, But No One Is Getting Hired?


Sarah Conroy, Contributing Writer

There seems to be a ‘Now Hiring’ sign in the window of every store, while at the same time young people are unable to get hired for entry-level positions. Why is this? To put it simply, dated expectations from employers.

It is commonly thought that businesses are unable to find help because no one is applying for jobs or wants to work. However, this is not true. Today the American worker looks for more out of their jobs, like fair pay, flexibility and reasonable requirements, and more young people refuse to compromise. It is getting significantly more expensive to live in America, statistically 7.1% in the last year, and the U.S. dollar being worth little more than half of what it was in the year 2000. But, the minimum wage has only increased by approximately 20%, leaving many current minimum wage workers barely scraping by. This forces many workers to take on second jobs and closes opportunities for higher education and training that would allow them to get higher paying jobs.

Many ‘entry-level’ positions typically, first, or part-time jobs require months or even years of experience, discouraging young adults from applying for their first job. These positions come from companies hiring for food service or retail marketing their position as entry level, but refusing to hire candidates without experience. Often the experience that the ‘entry level ’position requires would qualify a worker for a higher paying job elsewhere. 

Because of hiring practices like this the businesses that hire without experience get more applicants than they can hire, leaving many young people looking to work unemployed, and many businesses without employees to fill entry level positions. This makes it hard for young people to get started in the workplace and gain the experience that companies want from their employees to have a successful career and leaves many positions unfilled.

Additionally, employers begin to expect more and more from their employees, leaving the employees feeling threatened in their jobs if they do not perform duties outside their job description or work extra unpaid hours. An example of this being the recent popularity of the term ‘Quiet Quitting’. Quiet Quitting refers to a person who goes to work and does their job without going ‘above and beyond’. Or in other words, someone who does what they get paid to do and knows their position in the workplace. Discouraging Quiet Quitting stigmatizes a worker forming a balance between their work life and other responsibilities and discourages forming healthy workplace boundaries. 

Conditions like these have made many Millennial and Gen Z potential employees refuse to accept once sought after positions and left many more who want to pursue other employment stuck in their job to remain financially stable. 

This is often written off as young people not wanting to work, or being lazy when it really comes down to a changed economy without change in minimum wage positions to allow young people to live in the economy. Young people know today just making a living is harder than ever before and they need workplaces that accommodate that.

 The reality is not that people don’t want jobs, but that they are not willing to work for wages lower than the cost of living. There is an expectation in many businesses that employees will do work that is outside of their job description to be seen as valuable and is rejected by Generation Z and millennials. They prioritize a healthy work-life balance along with livable wages, and businesses who are hiring but not finding anyone don’t align with these values.