ECONOMY

Experiment shows Greeks are reluctant jobseekers

It appears that Greek employers are not seeking employees anymore, nor are the Greek unemployed ? mainly young people ? looking for work. This is the sad conclusion reached by studying data compiled by the Manpower Organization (OAED) and major international job-seeking websites for the self-employed.

Such sites are platforms aimed at helping those seeking staff and those seeking work to get into contact. Employers describe the job or jobs that a freelance professional would perform for them and registered professionals bid to land the job. Among the best-known platforms of this kind on a global level are Freelancer. com, Peopleperhour. com, Hireagreek. org (created exclusively for employers abroad to commission Greek employees), RealWritingJobs. com etc.

Kathimerini?s survey showed that many Greek freelancers have registered with these agencies and uploaded profiles but their accounts remain idle. They do not chase up jobs, they do not systematically check for any new offers and tend to respond to job invitations tardily or not at all.

Worse, Greek freelancers appear to have little interest in jobs with a small payment. Therefore they snub jobs that fetch 50 or 100 euros ? e. g. for the translation of a text, the fixing of a problem on a website etc ? which then go to other nationalities ? i. e. British, Americans, Germans or Indians.

For Kathimerini to record the patterns of behavior among employers and freelancers registering with these agencies, it conducted an experiment: It registered as an employer, uploaded various job posts with offers and then waited for bids from freelancers. To make the experiment more representative, Kathimerini appeared at times as different employees from different sectors and different countries. Therefore it appeared as a self-employed professional who did not have time for certain jobs and outsourced them to third parties, as a British entrepreneur who wanted someone to design him a number of websites, and as a small Greek businessman who wanted translators for some texts.

The experiment lasted for about three months and the result was astonishing: Not a single Greek freelancer responded to any of the job offers in a timely manner. The only one who did respond was too late, as the job had already been given to a foreigner.

The employer in this experiment proceeded to another step, since he preferred to give his jobs to Greeks: When he uploaded a job offer, he would alert Greeks who worked in that particular field, i. e. for a website he would alert web developers and IT experts, for contracts he would contact lawyers and so on. The result was not a single response. Not even a negative one. In contrast, the response from freelancers in other countries was impressive, as they had ensured they got e-mail alerts for any job offers uploaded.