"This great Nation will endure as it has endured, will revive and will prosper. So, first of all, let me assert my firm belief that the only thing we have to fear is fear itself—nameless, unreasoning, unjustified terror which paralyzes needed efforts to convert retreat into advance."
FDR understood the importance of not only confronting a crisis but also the emotional undercurrents of that crisis as well. Oddly enough, some 80 plus years later, we are still dealing with similar emotional undercurrents. The Great Recession has resulted into The Great Anxiety. According to a Gallop poll in May, one in five U.S. citizens consider unemployment or jobs as the biggest problem facing our country. When you have 20 percent of respondents worrying about jobs, it’s a certainty that the survey includes not only the 12.2 percent unemployed/unemployed/marginally attached (also known as the U-6 rate) but the employed as well.
Among those employed who are anxious about keeping their jobs are hiring managers, who have the key responsibility of finding the best candidate for an open position. If the a hiring manager makes a bad choice, then he/she runs the risk of not getting a promotion or even worse, lose their job in a company re-organization. Naturally, hiring managers tend to choose candidates with the least perceived risk. Usually that means a qualified candidate (with the minimum requisite of skills and experience) who already has a job. Anyone with a substantial gap in employment becomes less desirable and their resume is placed lower on the pile. With still more than 2 unemployed people per job opening, competition remains tight. This emphasizes the biggest challenge the unemployed face today: It’s not so much about finding a job, but rather it’s about getting hired.
I have never been a hiring manager and as someone who’s looked for work, I’ve often thought of hiring managers as corrupt corporate-types, but I’ll give them a little the benefit of the doubt. Until there’s more economic confidence where hiring managers can take a “risk” on a qualified candidate who’s been out of work for a while, the unemployment fear will dictate their hiring decisions.