It’s illegal for any company or recruitment agency to charge applicants any money to advance through their hiring process. But some recent research by online website Totaljobs.com (where you can check out our jobs by the way!) has suggested that every job interview costs on average £146 in other expenses.
The research has suggested that £1.44 billion gets spent in the UK each year on job hunting. That means buying new clothes, transport costs, courses and training to boost prospects, ducking out of the job you already have, and personal grooming like haircuts.
The average new outfit costs £33, new shoes are £20 and transport costs are £24 (this last one no doubt being skewed by those who will be relocating for a new role!). But it’s younger people who are being forced to spend more – the average for 16-24 year olds is £167 per interview. That’s no surprise though as they’re less likely to own the smart clothes they’ll need to impress at this stage.
Add on second stage interviews, and all the ones you don’t get offered, plus any new clothes you’ll want for when you start the job, the cost of a new job really can add up. And if you’ve been out of work for even a short while, those costs could even end up keeping you out of job interviews entirely.
Of course, these are all averages and estimates, and you may find things have been a bit cheaper in your own job-hunting. It’s perfectly possible to do interview clothes on a budget. You can always make a trip to the dry cleaners and polish up an older pair of shoes to cut some costs for example.
But looking for a new job, and then starting one, is an expensive process so it’s no wonder people can sometimes get trapped in unemployment. But if employers want to hire the best people, do they need to be at least somewhat accommodating to the applicant’s needs too?