This phenomenon isn’t really new, though some of the reasons are. Long ago I interviewed for a ghost job. I could tell right away that the interview was bogus because the interviewer didn’t ask any good questions and seemed bored. In fact, the job was already filled via nepotism, as I subsequently learned, but the company had to advertise and conduct interviews for legal reasons (Federal labor requirements). This happens a lot, and it is a fine example of how laws gum-up the system.
Some companies really are begging for employees, but mainly for low-level jobs in retail. Teens and young adults don’t want those jobs because of the low pay and lack of prospects. They can be picky because they have better parental support (living at home, as discussed earlier in this thread), more government welfare, and more entrepreneurial opportunities (as discussed in this video) than previous generations had.
As you know, I have contempt for modern personnel methods. (Even the name would be fodder for George Carlin: “personnel” [one word, three syllables] has morphed into the pretentious, dehumanized “human resources” [two words, five syllables], as if people are pieces of lumber.) Now computers are used for the first screening, but it is still the incompetent HR people and bosses who create the pigeonholes for the computers to survey. In the end, it is bad for the business and bad for the job seekers, and it probably contributes to the churning of employees (a factor that was discussed in the video).
Which at least is an excuse and you cannot really blame a computer or an algorithm. But when you have a whole system that is practically toying with the life prospects of millions of applicants, that is starting to have even ethical implications.
This and other videos from the channel are based on the “What If” blog produced by xkcd created Randall Munroe. The above video is actually based on the very first “What If” blog post that was published about 12 years ago.
Very interesting and well done. Although the specific incident was new to me, I already know most of the information about mine safety and conditions. Because of my interest in minerals and rock hunting, I have read a few books on mining. I am also a Certified Mineral Miner in Virginia, a basic requirement for working in an aggregate (hardrock) quarry in the state. One needs a separate certification to work in a coal mine, because the conditions and dangers are different. The comparatively low death count surprised me. The worst U.S, mine disaster was in West Virginia’s Monongah coal mine in 1907, where 362 of the 367 miners at work were killed in a coal-dust explosion.
George Orwell’s nonfiction book, The Road to Wigan Pier, has a gripping description of mine conditions in one chapter. Orwell himself made the miner’s journey to the work site, an ungodly distance, which was traversed in a crouch and even crawling on hands and knees at times. It took 3 hours round-trip IIRC, and Orwell ached in his joints afterward. What shocked me, when I read it some 20 years ago, was that detail mentioned in the video, about the miners not getting paid for the time going in or out.
I’ll also take this opportunity to recommend a sentimental favorite, Richard Llewellyn’s beautiful novel about Welsh coal miners, How Green Was My Valley, which was made into a fine movie by John Ford.