(We've changed the URL now from https://archive.ph/WR2LA to the original source.)
The author rushes to conclusion that the labor shortage is in the worker cohort that has the financial freedom to take a pay cut. It would have been nice to back that up with some data, especially since he did back up other parts of his essay - it's just that the conclusion comes out of the blue and with no supporting evidence.
I think we all know why the 55+ year olds are seeing a dip - they have an exponentially higher chance of dying of Covid. A bit weird for such an obvious fact to not have been verbalized in the article. If anything, the graph above actually contradicts the title of the article - from what I can tell, all other age groups seem way more employed than I would have expected given the logistical and health concerns that the pandemic threw at us.
Your estimate of the mortality in that cohort is likely off by an order of magnitude or more. I can't find an exact figure, so here is a back of the envelope estimate. https://euromomo.eu/graphs-and-maps/ tells me that about 30,000 more people of age 45-64 died in 2020 in excess of a typical year. For the purpose of estimation, I assume as a worst case that they all were 55+ and that the number of 65+ people working is not too large. How many 55-64 people exist in Europe? The euromomo graph refers to a region of about 400M people. For the purpose of this estimation, assume that people live 100 years and that age distribution is uniform, so maybe 40M are in that age range. Thus, the extra mortality in 2020 would be less than 0.1%. You can criticize this analysis in many ways, but it's hard to believe that I am off by more than a factor of 5 in either direction. Thus, I don't see how "dead by covid" can possibly justify a 5% decrease in participation rate.
I am just saying that, looking at the data, maybe 0.1% of the 55+ workers died of Covid, and so Covid by itself does not explain the 5% drop in the FRED graph. Maybe part of the disconnect is that Covid disproportionately affects people too old to be in the workforce?
Google and other big employers will even brag publicly about how they reject the majority of great candidates because they are more afraid of false positives than false negatives. But then they'll turn right around and tell the government and universities that there is a tech talent shortage.
Get past that, and then you might hear back from the company finally, and have 2-5 Zoom/Teams/Webex interviews, which also might have a live coding exercise included, which you mostly have to schedule individually and during the work day, and then hopefully hear back one way or another from a recruiter.
So for the most part you're doing 1.5-2 hours worth of effort before the company makes any effort on their part.
ETA: Like a take-home test or whatever, that happens--I personally elect not to do them, but they do--but a psych test or whatnot creeps me out a lot.
There are plenty of companies out there who recognize that a developer's time is valuable, and while if you're very early in your career maybe you have to bite the bullet and put up with some garbage, there's value in dumping those sorts of orgs out of your inbox once you're safe to do so.
The two best and quickest processes I had still had a phone screen, a coding assessment, and 2-3 30 minute zoom interviews. They were the only two companies to extend an offer actually, all the others had enough interviews they eventually found an interviewer that I answered a question slightly to their disliking and disqualify me (all but one of the coding tests I took this time around I did really well on).
I know for one of them it was me saying to one of the architects I interviewed with that I got pulled off a project I was helping another department with, because my main department's business picked back up early 2021 and they desperately needed me back, and they somehow interpreted that as I was unable to complete any project given to me (according to feedback from the recruiter afterwards). I had already met with the cofounder of the company at that point even and figured they only bother to do that once given the go ahead from all the other interviews. That one was particularly annoying.
I have over 10 years of software engineering experience including some unofficial (all but the title) architect and project manager work at this point, btw.
The psych test was actually for a startup, believe it or not. I hadn't taken one of those since I applied for a job at Walmart twenty years ago.
Also I don't think I mentioned it, but I elected not to do the 1-sided video interviews. That legit creeped me out too much. I also never really found the motivation to dedicate a solid 2.5 hour block for the Amazon coding assessment (didn't help I read multiple negative articles about them on Hacker News around the same time).
On the plus side, I had a successful job hunt without any Leetcode practice (yet somehow did well on the coding tests anyway), so there's that. I delayed pulling the trigger on the job search for at least six months because I assumed I'd have to spend a solid month doing Leetcode to have any success, eventually just said "Screw it" and flipped the LinkedIn switch, and got recruiters flooding my inbox immediately.
I mean, I hate these practices and the fact that my company also does not practice them is one of the reasons I work where I do. But there are a lot of companies with absolutely horrible interview processes.
This is good to hear. I hope that starts catching on in a big way.
Interestingly, we recognize there is a massive shortage of senior talent and are adjusting our recruiting strategy accordingly.
Seniors still need to do it. But they didn't reduce a coding round for seniors. So continue to struggle with hiring
After 18 months of remote work, my team decided to do an in-person meetup. Morning in the office, afternoon doing a team event.
It was a great day, but I was blown away by how much I hated the commute. For the entire pandemic, I've been cooking great, healthy dinners starting at 5:30 every night. I got home after 6 that day and was too exhausted to do anything more than order in.
I'm not going back to that every day. My employer can make their decisions, but I've made mine.
Maybe for a period of heavy design work... but wth.
I am leaving a job abroad where I have been for 25 years, and returning home, to do some remote work. It may not work out, but I need to try.
I think that there has been a fundemental shift in how many people view / think about work and how it relates to society. I doubt we'll have a good grasp of what that shift consists of until years from now.