Sometimes it seems as though there’s a real disconnect between job seekers and hiring managers. Meaning that people claim to want to work, and people claim to need employees, and yet somehow millions of people remain out of work and millions of job positions remain unfilled.

A new infographic released by Smart Recruiters (via Undercover Recruiter) illustrates this problem quite thoroughly. I’ve outlined most of the key points below and added some insights. The survey is based on American data.

*Nearly 13 million Americans are unemployed, but 3.8 million jobs in the U.S. remain unfilled.

So, there are nearly 4 million people in there who should be able to find work. And while many of these jobs might not be highly skilled, a large number of positions are going unfilled for a supposed lack of qualified candidates. It’s been called the “skill crisis.”

*52% of hirers have decided not to hire anyone at all because they couldn’t find the right fit. Almost half of employers have settled for a candidate who is “just good enough” because finding the perfect candidate took too long.

These claims seem disingenuous, if not downright suspect. The reality in today’s job marketplace is that a large number of posted positions ask for a ridiculous number of qualifications that no one person could possibly be expected to fill. This is called “credential creep” and looks something like this:

Must have bachelor’s degree in English Literature, Graduate degree in mathematics, and an MBA and PhD, or equivalent.

At least ten years working in a related environment.

Proficiency in Photoshop, Dreamweaver, Omniture, Final Cut Pro, Autodesk, Excel, Access, Powerpoint, Netsuite, HTML5, ASP, XML, Java, C++, CSS, Python, Tai Kwon Do, Hostage Negotiations ARE REQUIRED.

Ability to create interactive prototypes, manage client relations, liaise with shareholders, sing a Bach cantata for countertenor.

Fluent in English, French, Chinese, Russian.

Five+ years experience with a software that came out three years ago.

Must be a team player!

*43% report that vacant job positions at their company haven’t been filled in the anticipated timeframe.

This is not shocking. These candidates they’re looking for don’t exist. And the added kicker is that they often want it all for a salary no one person should be expected to work for, let along the three people it would actually take to meet all their needs.

*Almost half of job seekers (47%) have chosen not to apply for a job because the process was “too lengthy or complicated.”

Here’s where it becomes clear that it’s not only hiring managers who are to blame. Yes, the process of applying for a job is lengthy and complicated. But why should anyone take a chance on hiring someone who isn’t willing to go through it? If you want an easy-to-get job, work at Tim Horton’s. If you want a job that requires more specific skills, you need to prove yourself. Nobody wants to hire a lazybones.

*Nearly half (47%) of respondents said they would be more likely to apply for a job if they could just send a link to a social profile rather than updating their resume and cover letter.

Oh yeah. These are the people I want working for me. Can you imagine how frustrating this level of laziness is to hiring managers?

It’s standard practice to cater your resume and cover letter to individual jobs. Otherwise, how will they know if you meet their criteria? And, anyway, what else have you got to do? When you’re looking for work, job hunting is your full-time job.

*Almost half of hirers (47%) prefer job seekers who are currently employed.

And we’re back to the trouble with hiring managers. The bias against the unemployed hurts everyone here, and doesn’t make any sense.

The take away: If hiring managers want to fill positions, and are having trouble finding candidates who meet their requirements, they might do well to take a good hard look at those requirements and see if they can make them more realistic.

And jobseekers need to realize that looking for a job is a job, and conduct themselves accordingly.

See how simple it is? Now let’s go out there and fill some positions.

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