All About Employment in Victoria, BC

Lonely at the top and in tech – crowded in the middle

Just a short post this week as I am knee-deep in cleaning, organizing and hustling my way out of my apartment and preparing for my departure to the UK next Thursday (July 5) with my eventual destination being Uppsala University in (not surprisingly!) Uppsala, Sweden on July 14.

As you can imagine, when you look at the job boards every single weekday to put together the ‘fresh sheet’ you begin to notice trends. And here’s what I have observed. By far the biggest ‘document’ on my blog is what I call the OUF sheet – open until filled. The OUF sheet contains some jobs with closing dates – those that are closing after the end of the current month – but by far the largest proportion of the jobs are those with no closing date given or ‘open until suitable candidate is found’.

The majority of these ‘no best before date’ postings are from the job board at VIATeC. “The Victoria Advanced Technology Council (VIATeC) is the conduit that connects people, knowledge and resources to grow a successful technology sector in Greater Victoria”.

But there’s another category of job that doesn’t always appear on the OUF sheet but is notable for another reason. These are ones that keep cropping up month after month. As I mention above I scan each of the 25+ job boards each weekday and a couple of times a week I’ll scratch my head over a job and think to myself – I’m sure I’ve posted that job already but it wasn’t on the job board site yesterday so maybe I’m just imagining it.

For example there is the position of Manager of Operations at the CRD – when I saw it yesterday (June 28) I was sure I’d seen it before. Sure enough when I went to my site it was in the ‘closing in the current month’ sheet with a closing date of June 27 and had been first listed on the CRD site on June 12, 2012. Now it has reappeared with a new closing date of July 6.

Something similar happens with positions at various organizations under the umbrella of the PHSA. For example, it seems like every couple of months they will re-advertise for jobs in the Purchasing Department of Health Shared Services BC.

I must admit that I am not quite sure what is going on with these positions that have no closing date or keep reappearing on the job boards. Some of the VIATec jobs do disappear from the job board after a week or two while others remain unfilled for months. I understand that it might be difficult to find just the right person for a highly technical position especially if you are a small startup with a tight, cohesive group of founders that demands a really good fit from each new employee.

But I really wonder what is going on with jobs not in the tech sector that keep showing up. Does nobody apply or do those that apply simply not have the qualifications? Are the jobs or the working environment so awful (people? place? pay?) that people don’t stay and so the organization is constantly having to re-advertise for the same position?

I’ll close with just a short note about the situation in the middle and entry-level of job openings. A friend mentioned to me that she had recently applied for an administrative position at Camosun (for which she is vastly overqualified) and was told that they had around 100 applicants for this position (probably the majority of whom were just as overskilled as she was). A colleague at the University of Victoria told me he applied for around 35 positions at the university before he was hired and I know from personal experience that I applied to 8 or 9 and never even made a short list.

So, is there a lesson here? I guess it is that you might be well-advised to monitor the job boards and see what jobs seem to keep reappearing that you could possibly be qualified to do (or polish up your skills and learn some new ones that would make you a better candidate). Of course this presumes that there isn’t something awful about these positions that is the underlying reason that they keep cropping up on the job boards!

No promises as to where and when my next post will occur or whether next Thursday’s and Friday’s fresh sheets will get done since this time next week, if all goes according to plan, I should be relaxing at the home of my friend Delia in Bristol and yyjworks will be far from my mind.

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