Icelanders Too Picky About Work - The Reykjavik Grapevine

Icelanders Too Picky About Work

Published April 20, 2012

A report released by the Confederacy of Icelandic Employers contends that despite high unemployment, Icelanders have little interest in entry-level jobs, while employers are often more impressed by degrees than actual experience or talent in the field.
The report, called Update Iceland, is the result of an ongoing discussion between about 100 leaders in the Icelandic employment market, the purpose being to arrive at a consensus about the state of the Icelandic job market today and what measures both employers and the government should take in the future.
In one chapter of the report, entitled Little Iceland, small business owners say that the economic environment has made people skittish about starting their own companies or investing in small businesses. However, the major complaint seems to be regarding hiring practices.
Among these complaints is that in recent years, the impression has been given that people are often hired based on their university degrees and not necessarily their talent in a given field. The effect has been that people will often have degrees which they cannot use in the job market.
The report states furthermore that many companies have chosen to hire people from outside the capital area, as people in the countryside are more willing to work in places such as slaughterhouses and fish factories.
“If a small business advertises for a job in an interesting field,” the report states, “they will usually receive very few if any applications. But if the title ‘manager’ is in the job title, then everything goes crazy and there will be hundreds of applications to deal with.”

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