Contrary to public opinion, "companies" are not sitting on cash, nor are "companies" making decisions not to hire you. From now on, whenever you hear someone talk about "companies" doing this or that—or not doing this or that, or acting one way when we all would rather them act another—substitute the word "we" or "us" for "companies."
[See 22 ways to be a better boss.]
Companies do not do anything. People do. And people are making some educated and very rational guesses about the future. In my own little company—fewer than 100 people—our health insurance costs went up nearly 25 percent, and that was the cheapest alternative of many more expensive choices. Our current provider gave us a bid that was up more than 125 percent. "We" would like to hire. But now? Nope.
Another thing: "Companies" do not fire people. "We" fire people and it is incredibly hard and sad to do. So, it is human nature to make sure there is enough business ahead of us so we do not have to fire people again.
Luckily, however, there is some good news on the horizon. I see that the Department of Labor has decided to create their very own job board. (See Huffington Post article.) After all, there are only about 75,000 existing job boards out there right now, serving employers and job seekers in every state, city, and industry niche. (Disclosure: my company is LinkUp.com, a job search engine for jobs found on company websites.)
Just be glad that the government did not decide to get into the clothing store business. After all, I sometimes have problems finding the right size.
G. L. Hoffman is a serial entrepreneur and venture investor/operator/incubator/mentor. Two of his companies have traveled the entire success path from the garage to IPO. Currently, he is chairman of JobDig, which operates LinkUp, one of the fastest-growing job-search engines. His blog can be found at WhatWouldDadSay.com.