Local Unemployed Man Super Excited About Candidate’s Market


help wanted signI don’t write satire often, but there’s a disconnect between what some candidates are hearing in the news, and what they’re experiencing on the street.

James Sheppard has been hearing for the past year about the so-called candidate’s market for employment. It’s exciting news to the man, who has been jobless for just over two years.

“Every day I hear about the low unemployment rate on the news, and I, for one, am thrilled,” says Sheppard. “I just can’t wait to see what it means for my job search.”

News reports show that companies in the area, and most other places across the country, are desperate for new employees. Growth has rebounded steadily through the last waves of the pandemic, and Human Resources professionals are pulling out all the stops to recruit and hire. “Candidates can basically write their own ticket right now,” says Darrel Snedley, HR Manager with TechnicAll. “We’ve had some of our open jobs posted for several weeks now. I just don’t know where the people are going to come from.”

Sheppard remains buoyantly optimistic. “If I keep applying to jobs, I just know it’ll pay off. It’s a long game. A marathon, not a sprint. I mean, it’s just not realistic to expect that you’re going to get an offer from one of the first seven or eight hundred applications, right?”

Economists across the nation are shocked at just how quickly the job market has bounced back from pandemic slowdowns. Unemployment rates in most parts of the country have reached record lows in most recent quarterly updates. The buzz of activity in the employment market is what keeps Sheppard looking to the horizon.

“It’s just so exhilarating when I get called for an interview,” he says, breathless and with his eyes twinkling. “The first interviews were a bit rough, but they were good practice. After I had done about two hundred of them, maybe two-fifty, I started to feel like I was really hitting my stride.”

The hot market for talent has led some companies to resort to hiring freelancers and offshore contractors, rather than see work go undone. Some companies have even raised the spectre of shutting down, if they’re not able to find the people they need to hire.

For Sheppard, this is just more happy news. “I’m a patient man, I always have been,” he says, stirring a package of ramen noodles in broth – his last until his unemployment insurance cheque arrives tomorrow. “My friends keep telling me that every ‘no’ gets me closer to a ‘yes’. They’re right. I just know they are.”

Sheppard becomes quiet for a moment as he eyes his two university degrees hung on the wall. Then, shaking his head, he refocuses on the topic at hand. “Good things come to those who wait. And fit is important, too. You just can’t jump at the first thing that comes along, you know.”

Sheppard pulls the business section of today’s newspaper from the top of a stack of papers, mostly envelopes marked ‘Overdue’, and ‘Final Notice’ in red text, and one letter with ‘Eviction Notice’ written at the top. “See?!”, Sheppard exclaims, smiling and tapping the story. In large font the headline screams, ‘HELP WANTED!’, above the subheading, ‘Frantic employers calling on government to help close labour gap’.

“Those poor companies,” he says sadly, shaking his head. “I just don’t know where they’re going to find employees in this crazy market.” 

Sheppard takes a moment to put the finishing touches on what appears to be a very polished resume, completing his latest job application before hitting ‘send’. He closes his laptop and smiles. “That’s number nine hundred and eighty-seven. I’ve got a good feeling about this one.”


Photo by Tim Mossholder on Unsplash