To Find Your Next Job, Ditch the Online Resume Portal
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    HOUSE MEDIAN ASKING PRICES AND WEEKLY CHANGE     Sydney $1,581,977 (+0.10%)       Melbourne $970,512 (+0.23%)       Brisbane $885,023 (+0.03%)       Adelaide $813,016 (+0.20%)       Perth $760,003 (-0.11%)       Hobart $733,438 (-1.28%)       Darwin $643,022 (-0.79%)       Canberra $970,902 (+1.87%)       National $1,000,350 (+0.23%)                UNIT MEDIAN ASKING PRICES AND WEEKLY CHANGE     Sydney $721,725 (+0.37%)       Melbourne $488,237 (-0.76%)       Brisbane $495,283 (+1.37%)       Adelaide $404,022 (-2.77%)       Perth $405,420 (-0.69%)       Hobart $498,278 (-1.60%)       Darwin $339,700 (-0.58%)       Canberra $480,910 (-0.04%)       National $502,695 (-0.26%)                HOUSES FOR SALE AND WEEKLY CHANGE     Sydney 10,626 (-230)       Melbourne 15,220 (+56)       Brisbane 8,417 (-24)       Adelaide 2,720 (-9)       Perth 6,897 (+56)       Hobart 1,234 (+5)       Darwin 281 (+5)       Canberra 1,079 (-30)       National 46,474 (-171)                UNITS FOR SALE AND WEEKLY CHANGE     Sydney 8,563 (-253)       Melbourne 8,007 (-12)       Brisbane 1,824 (-34)       Adelaide 493 (-16)       Perth 1,902 (-1)       Hobart 176 (+4)       Darwin 388 (-7)       Canberra 858 (+2)       National 22,211 (-317)                HOUSE MEDIAN ASKING RENTS AND WEEKLY CHANGE     Sydney $775 (-$5)       Melbourne $570 ($0)       Brisbane $600 ($0)       Adelaide $580 (+$10)       Perth $625 (-$5)       Hobart $550 ($0)       Darwin $690 (-$10)       Canberra $680 ($0)       National $642 (-$2)                UNIT MEDIAN ASKING RENTS AND WEEKLY CHANGE     Sydney $730 ($0)       Melbourne $550 ($0)       Brisbane $625 ($0)       Adelaide $460 (+$10)       Perth $580 (+$5)       Hobart $460 (+$10)       Darwin $550 ($0)       Canberra $560 (-$5)       National $576 (+$2)                HOUSES FOR RENT AND WEEKLY CHANGE     Sydney 5,654 (+231)       Melbourne 5,764 (+128)       Brisbane 4,271 (-9)       Adelaide 1,259 (+101)       Perth 1,944 (+50)       Hobart 337 (-36)       Darwin 168 (+19)       Canberra 647 (+18)       National 20,044 (+502)                UNITS FOR RENT AND WEEKLY CHANGE     Sydney 9,121 (+505)       Melbourne 6,022 (+34)       Brisbane 2,066 (+18)       Adelaide 366 (+1)       Perth 600 (-5)       Hobart 138 (-17)       Darwin 306 (+12)       Canberra 736 (+20)       National 19,355 (+568)                HOUSE ANNUAL GROSS YIELDS AND TREND         Sydney 2.55% (↓)       Melbourne 3.05% (↓)       Brisbane 3.53% (↓)     Adelaide 3.71% (↑)        Perth 4.28% (↓)     Hobart 3.90% (↑)        Darwin 5.58% (↓)       Canberra 3.64% (↓)       National 3.34% (↓)            UNIT ANNUAL GROSS YIELDS AND TREND         Sydney 5.26% (↓)     Melbourne 5.86% (↑)        Brisbane 6.56% (↓)     Adelaide 5.92% (↑)      Perth 7.44% (↑)      Hobart 4.80% (↑)      Darwin 8.42% (↑)        Canberra 6.06% (↓)     National 5.96% (↑)             HOUSE RENTAL VACANCY RATES AND TREND       Sydney 0.7% (↑)      Melbourne 0.8% (↑)      Brisbane 0.4% (↑)      Adelaide 0.4% (↑)      Perth 1.2% (↑)      Hobart 0.6% (↑)      Darwin 1.1% (↑)      Canberra 0.7% (↑)      National 0.7% (↑)             UNIT RENTAL VACANCY RATES AND TREND       Sydney 0.9% (↑)      Melbourne 1.4% (↑)      Brisbane 0.7% (↑)      Adelaide 0.3% (↑)      Perth 0.4% (↑)      Hobart 1.5% (↑)      Darwin 0.8% (↑)      Canberra 1.3% (↑)      National 0.9% (↑)             AVERAGE DAYS TO SELL HOUSES AND TREND       Sydney 28.0 (↑)      Melbourne 29.2 (↑)        Brisbane 30.6 (↓)       Adelaide 23.8 (↓)     Perth 34.2 (↑)      Hobart 29.4 (↑)      Darwin 39.9 (↑)      Canberra 28.2 (↑)      National 30.4 (↑)             AVERAGE DAYS TO SELL UNITS AND TREND       Sydney 29.4 (↑)      Melbourne 29.6 (↑)        Brisbane 30.3 (↓)       Adelaide 22.5 (↓)       Perth 39.2 (↓)     Hobart 26.1 (↑)        Darwin 36.1 (↓)     Canberra 34.4 (↑)        National 31.0 (↓)           
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To Find Your Next Job, Ditch the Online Resume Portal

Companies and candidates frustrated by online applications are reverting to in-person meetings.

Fri, Jul 22, 2022 11:54amGrey Clock 4 min

The job market is confounding. Managers say they’re still struggling to find good people to hire, while job seekers say that applying online can feel like shooting their résumés into outer space. Why bother?

I hear from a lot of bosses who say the software they use to screen job candidates is failing them. A lot of good-on-paper job candidates fall short during the interview process because they are lacking in the soft-skills department.

At the same time, people who want new jobs are telling me they’d make great employees if only they could talk with the person who’d be their boss.

There’s an idea: Human connection. A foot in the door, a shake of the hand and a face-to-face conversation could be a way to fix this disconnect, according to companies and candidates who are refocusing on in-person recruiting and pitching.

The walk-in strategy that landed your first job bagging groceries or scooping ice cream just might help secure your next one. Taped-up invitations to “apply within”—rendered obsolete by digital HR portals and impractical during the pandemic—are reappearing on office doors and storefronts for white-collar and skilled trade jobs from Reno, Nev., to Cincinnati to Hyannis, Mass., business groups say.

“Are you awesome? Because we’re NOW HIRING,” read a sign this month on the door of the Classic Arcade Pinball Museum in Chattanooga, Tenn., which was in need of an assistant manager. “Apply inside!”

Owner Dave Alverson told me the role isn’t complicated and pays a modest wage but requires strong interpersonal skills—and he’d grown frustrated with online application systems that couldn’t vet people’s ability to make conversation and create a welcoming atmosphere. So, he went old school in search of someone who’s passionate about games from the ’70s and ’80s. He hung a sign to solicit walk-ins, interviewed several promising candidates, and last week filled the position with someone he thinks will connect with customers.

An in-person introduction helps judge qualities that don’t show up on a résumé, bosses say—like whether an applicant seems reliable, or someone apt to “ghost” the company after a few days. Tom Sullivan, vice president of small business policy at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, says members’ top concern is finding people who will show up for the second week of work, instead of quitting soon after starting.

Worker flakiness is rampant and reflects a sense that another job is easy to come by, although fears of a recession are beginning to shake some employees’ confidence. Some others are discovering job searches are tougher than they expected.

Nicolle Allred says she has struck out on about 100 online applications for remote project-management positions. The trouble, she suspects, is that her experience as an Air Force reservist and stay-at-home mother for the past six years doesn’t translate well to the software that is scanning forms and winnowing pools of candidates.

The 36-year-old from Utah says her next move might be walking into local companies, résumé in hand.

“You really just need to be given that chance to reflect your passion and your ability to learn,” she says. “I think that’s all it takes: just put me in front of somebody instead of online.”

As some companies cut back on hiring, job seekers who take the initiative to apply in person could have an advantage over those who hit an online “submit” button. Several managers seeking workers in fields such as education, carpentry, retail and hospitality told me they consider walk-in applicants who impress them, even if those candidates don’t satisfy every requirement and would be screened out by software.

At a new Wyndham Destinations resort in Atlanta, recruiter David Cohn has been trying for four months to fill 120 full-time positions in sales, marketing and operations. Typical compensation is about $75,000, and good sales professionals could earn six figures with commissions, he says. Though the company uses digital applications, “I would be more than happy to talk with anyone coming in off the street,” he adds.

Ohio Living Llanfair, an eldercare facility in Cincinnati, started “walk-in Wednesdays” earlier this year because digital job boards weren’t producing enough qualified candidates and some new hires were leaving almost as soon as they started, says executive director Ann Roller. The move has attracted new staff, she says—some of whom were offered jobs on the spot, pending background checks.

Some companies are experimenting with versions of drop-in hiring for more advanced positions, like software developers.

Intel plans to simulate this kind of old-fashioned hiring by hosting a job fair in the metaverse early next year. Tech workers—or people who want to be tech workers but have unconventional backgrounds—will strap on virtual-reality headsets, select avatars and pitch themselves to Intel.

“We’re still working through the details, but I’m assuming people will look like aliens or something,” says Intel spokeswoman Chelsea Hughes, adding that the goal is to prevent imperfect algorithms and unconscious biases from filtering out good candidates.

The company will use a voice changer in interviews, too—one that hopefully won’t make every applicant sound like a kidnapper in an action movie.

“I wonder if I could be Deadpool,” aspiring software developer Kenny Hazlett said when I told him about Intel’s idea to represent candidates as avatars. The South Carolina man figures he might have better luck as a Marvel Comics character.

Mr. Hazlett, 29, estimates he has applied unsuccessfully to 400 tech jobs, all online, since graduating from a coding boot camp in May. A former car salesman, he’s trying to make a career change and wants a chance to meet and win over a manager—whether in the metaverse or in the flesh.

It has worked before. He says he broke into car sales several years ago by donning a suit and going door to door at dealerships, asking for a job until he got one.

“I didn’t even have a car at the time,” he says. “I just walked from place to place, shaking hands.”

Some people are trying that method now, and in unconventional settings. Grace Olivia Croson was in her backyard in Virginia a couple of weeks ago, checking the progress of a patio and gazebo project, when a man wearing a polo shirt and khakis strolled onto her property.

“He just walked up to my contractor and said, ‘Hey, I saw your truck outside, and I was wondering if you’re looking for workers,’” Ms. Croson recalls. She says the contractor seemed surprised but asked about the man’s experience and took his number.

Ms. Croson, a 40-year-old education recruiter, was so struck by the man’s chutzpah that she wrote about the episode on LinkedIn and included an invitation: “If you’re a #speechlanguagepathologist #schoolpsychologist or #specialeducation #teacher please feel free to walk in my backyard and apply.”


Consumers are going to gravitate toward applications powered by the buzzy new technology, analyst Michael Wolf predicts

Chris Dixon, a partner who led the charge, says he has a ‘very long-term horizon’

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Wedding planner Sterling Boulet has some advice for brides-to-be regarding lab-grown diamonds, which cost a fraction of the natural ones.

“If you’re trying to get your man to propose, they’ll propose faster if you offer this as an option,” says Boulet, of Raleigh, N.C. Recently, she adds, a friend’s fiancé “thanked me the next three times I saw him” for telling him about the cheaper lab-made option.

Man-made diamonds are catching on, despite some lingering stigma. This year was the first time that sales of lab-made and natural mined loose diamonds, primarily used as center stones in engagement rings, were split evenly, according to data from Tenoris, a jewellery and diamond trend-analytics company.

The rise of lab-made stones, however, is bringing up quirks alongside the perks. Now that blingier engagement rings—above two or three carats—are more affordable, more people are dealing with the peculiarities of wearing rather large rocks.

An engagement ring made with a lab-grown diamond at Ada Diamonds in New York City. PHOTO: CAM POLLACK/THE WALL STREET JOURNAL

Esther Hare, a 5-foot-11-inch former triathlete, sought out a 4.5-carat lab-made oval-shaped diamond to fit her larger hands as a part of her vow renewal in Hawaii last year. It was a far cry from the half-carat ring her husband proposed with more than 25 years ago and the 1.5-carat upgrade they purchased 10 years ago. Hare, 50, who lives in San Jose, Calif., and works in high tech, chose a $40,000 lab-made diamond because “it’s nuts” to have to spend $100,000 on a natural stone. “It had to be big—that was my vision,” she says.

But the size of the ring has made it less practical at times. She doesn’t wear it for athletic training and swaps in her wedding band instead. And she is careful to leave it at home when traveling. “A lot of times I won’t take it on vacation because it’s just a monster,” she says.

The average retail price for a one-carat lab-made loose diamond decreased to $1,426 this year from $3,039 in 2020, according to the Tenoris data. Similar-sized loose natural diamonds cost $5,426 this year, compared with $4,943 in 2020.

Lab-made diamonds have essentially the same chemical makeup as natural ones, and look the same, unless viewed through sophisticated equipment that gauges the characteristics of emitted light.

At Ritani, an online jewellery retailer, lab-made diamond sales make up about 70% of the diamonds sold, up from roughly 30% two years ago, says Juliet Gomes, head of customer service at the company, based in White Plains, N.Y.

Ritani sometimes records videos of the lab-diamonds pinging when exposed to a “diamond tester,” a tool that judges authenticity, to show customers that the man-made rocks behave the same as natural ones. We definitely have some deep conversations with them,” Gomes says.

Not all gem dealers are rolling with these stones.

Philadelphia jeweller Steven Singer only stocks the natural stuff in his store and is planning a February campaign to give about 1,000 one-carat lab-made diamonds away free to prove they are “worthless.” Anyone can sign up online and get one in the mail; even shipping is free. “I’m not selling Frankensteins that were built in a lab,” Singer says.

Some brides are turned off by the larger bling now allowed by the lower prices.When her now-husband proposed with a two-carat lab-grown engagement ring, Tiffany Buchert, 40, was excited about the prospect of marriage—but not about the size of the diamond, which she says struck her as “costume jewellery-ish.”

“I said yes in the moment, of course, I didn’t want it to be weird,” says the physician assistant from West Chester, Pa.

But within weeks, she says, she fessed up, telling her fiancé: “I think I hate this ring.”

The couple returned it and then bought a one-carat natural diamond for more than double the price.

Couples find that lab-grown diamonds have made it more affordable to get engaged. PHOTO: CAM POLLACK/THE WALL STREET JOURNAL

When Boulet, the wedding planner in Raleigh, got engaged herself, she was over the moon when her fiancé proposed with a 2.3 carat lab-made diamond ring. “It’s very shiny, we were almost worried it was too shiny and was going to look fake,” she says.

It doesn’t, which presents another issue—looking like someone who really shelled out for jewellery. Boulet will occasionally volunteer that her diamond ring came from a lab.

“I don’t want people to think I’m putting on airs, or trying to be flashier than I am,” she says.

For Daniel Teoh, a 36-year-old software engineer outside of Detroit, buying a cheaper lab-made diamond for his fiancée meant extra room in his $30,000 ring budget.

Instead of a bigger ring, he got her something they could both enjoy. During a walk while on an annual ski trip to South Lake Tahoe, Calif., Teoh popped the question and handed his now-wife a handmade wooden box that included a 2.5-carat lab-made diamond ring—and a car key.

She put on the ring, celebrated with both of their sisters and a friend, who was the unofficial photographer of the happy event, and then they drove back to the house. There, she saw a 1965 Mustang GT coupe in Wimbledon white with red stripes and a bow on top.

Looking back, Teoh says, it was still the diamond that made the big first impression.

“It wasn’t until like 15 minutes later she was like ‘so, what’s with this key?’” he adds.


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Chris Dixon, a partner who led the charge, says he has a ‘very long-term horizon’

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