What Prevents Highly Qualified Candidates From Becoming Gainfully Employed?

Many candidates have complained to me over the years about “bait and switch” tactics to screen them out of an active candidacy because of a disability, minority or seasoned candidate status.
My advice to you is the same as it is to all of my potential candidates.  In order for me to present you as the “most place-able candidate” or better said……in order for YOU to prepare yourself to become the most place-able candidate it all comes down to the following; SKILLS, STABILITY, EXPERIENCE AND ATTITUDE

A.            All companies ask me for the “skill set” first.  If you don’t match the qualifications, why would I try to force a square peg into a round hole?  All it does is offer frustration and a set up for a failure.
B.            Job hopping is a no-no.  A couple of years ago I read an article that says the Generation X & Y employees will change jobs 26 times in their career path.  This is an atrocious goal in life. I hear from hiring managers, “….why doesn’t he/she stay any longer than 2 years at any given job?”  And I rhetorically respond, “Good question, why don’t they?”

C.            You must learn your trade and then relearn your trade every day.  Our world moves fast and change is a common word in most growing business environments.  If you don’t have the skill sets required by an employer it probably won’t be a match, no matter how hard you try. What did you do in the last 12 months to improve yourself?  Remember that YOUR resume is only a job description of who you were.  You must be prepared to demonstrate to a prospective hiring manager what you plan to be and how your presence can impact their company in a positive way!
D.            There are no longer any “GIVE-ME’s” in this world.  Having an attitude that the new employer or current employer “owes you” is a destination to nowhere.  It all begins with you the employee.  Why fall into an impossible stereotype?  Why not demonstrate your qualifications by example?  My grandmother used to tell me, “deeds not words!”

When I speak with employers about employees they have terminated I hear, “they just acted like they didn’t want to be here; or he/she stood around with his/her hands in their pockets waiting for ME to do it; or He/she never contributed to the conversation, never offer good solutions to problems; or when the five o’clock buzzer rang, they were out the door like a shot.” 
All these actions demonstrate why an employer wouldn’t want to keep an employee.  And if you fit into these categories, change or the results will be the same in the future for you.

Now from the management or hiring side of these issues I suggest the following;

1.            Start looking at candidates from what assets and value that they bring to the organization.
2.            Look at candidates with this thought, “if he/she has only five years left to work, how can we empower them to allow us to tap into their knowledge to grow the people in this department or company?”

3.            Become known as a company that is a champion of PEOPLE. This will probably include soul searching and making decisions that you have probably not made in your “job hiring” past.
4.            The results will be that you will have a work place that people will WANT to work and the word will spread and it will positively affect your sales and bottom line.
5.            If one of your friends or parent was noticeably older than you or walked with a disability or had a different color of skin, would you tell him/her not to come to your house because you didn’t want the neighbors to know that you associate with “those types” of HUMAN BEINGS?  I think not, so why does it in happen in business?

6.            QUALIFIED candidates will reward you, the company and their co-workers once given the opportunity to shine.
Go forth and make this a tremendous week for you and everyone around you!


George F. Mancuso, CPC, CEOClient Growth Consultants, Inc.


  1. To your point that Job-Hopping is a No-No, how does a person show on a resume that changing jobs 6 times in 7 years was due to the economic conditions of the companies; avoiding layoff, company relocating, being laid off, etc. not looking for for something better? Yes, this can be explained in the interview, but with this on a resume the person that will never happen.

  2. Yes I agree with anon and also this job hopping...can be and should be looked at as an ASSET by employers. It means more exposure, more insight, better knowledge and negotation skills. And YES many of these job changes were the result of economic conditions in this uncertain times. This can be seen as yet another positive reinforcement.

  3. For anon#2, job hopping should be explained - it shouldn't automatically disqualify anyone, but equally it shouldn't just automatically be "looked at as an asset" - that's ridiculous. Job hopping can allow you to scratch the surface of a lot of different experiences but to me, I'd want to hear whether you were there long enough to understand the strategic view and I'd need to hear you explain why I should invest in you if your track record demonstrates that you'll leave for greener pastures just when you were becoming established on MY team.

    For anon#1, I'd make the conditions of my departures clear in my cover letter if I was worried about getting screened out.

  4. Job hopping is delicate. In my opinion it boils down to trust. IMO employees don't trust that there are such things as merit increases and promotions. If you're doing a good job in a certain task/role the only motivation to promote you would be to keep you, or out of the "goodness of their heart." You have taken away one more "problem" that an organization has to manage. Coaching and mentoring (even real training) are rare these days. It's just much easier to hire from outside (especially in this employers market)someone who has the specific experience you're looking for, than wasting time on training someone to risk them leaving and taking that knowledge with them.

    From personal experience, I have a freind who is a sucessful business owner. In a casual conversation he confided in me about a certification class specific to his industry. He mentioned that he didn't want to promote the course to his "right hand" person, for fear that it would make him more marketable/and or have to be in a bidding war for his services.

    While anyone can understand the strategy behind that line of reasoning, it's just a damn shame to live that way. I would rather strive for a mind set of abundance over a mind set of scarcity. The employee in this senario is being robbed of an opportunity for advancement, personal growth, and increased compensation to support his family.

    Unfortunatley, I can't blame job hoppers. The best opportunity to negotiate is on the way in. Once an employee is onboard, sometimes leverage is their only freind.

  5. A lot of bull is talked about employee/employer relationship. the job market is now the same as any other market. You pay for what you get.
    Sometimes you get a bargain, sometimes you pay over the odds.

    A good buyer knows what he should be paying for something and where to get the best.
    No-one owes anyone anything today. Loyalty is an old fashioned measure of anyone's skill set because employers don't value it nor do employees.

    Any one who is working today needs to constantly develop themselves or they will be obsolete.
    I look for people who are doing this, if they aren't they aren't the type of employee you need to hire.
    Job hoping is not a measure that means anything, constant skill development and a driven entrepreneurial approach is.

    I also look for someone who is not desperate for a job. Confidence with flexibility and business acumen are also characteristics that any employee needs to demonstrate.
    If you can demonstrate all of these and have the right technical skills, you will get the job more than likely and if not this one, definitely one soon.

    I'm 67, very employable and have to turn down offers for jobs quite often. I love what I do. It's not a job but an opportunity to enjoy using my skills and getting paid for it.
    And that inner sense of enjoyment in working is like a magnet. So check your reason for working, it may be why you don't get hired.
    As Kahlil Gibran says in the Prophet: " We work so that we may keep pace with life."

  6. You go Glenn! Old guys rule!

  7. HR people will look you in the face and ask why so many jobs- forgetting how many layoffs their company has had in the same time period, or how many times people lost positions there just for politics.


Your comments are always appreciated. Thank you. - Client Growth Consultants