It’s sad to report that many of the unemployed in this country should be unemployed.
Before the recession, the problem was just finding anyone to fill open slots. Clients told me that anyone who could “fog a mirror” could get hired because they needed people so badly. There were articles about hiring the retired and keeping the boomers in the workforce just to ensure enough workers.
As the recovery begins in earnest, employers are now faced with a decision. Do they return to the directions of old or do they find more effective ways to staff and run their businesses. Many are doing all they can to prevent the return to the old way of operating. To reduce their staffing needs, many are looking for more high performers and people who are highly trained in very specific areas. No longer will they just hire numbers hoping to find a few talented people. Education and highly relevant experience are now the basic requirements for an interview.
We are hearing too often that some are unemployed “for no fault of their own”. For those who have not pursued a degree in something or volunteered and temped to get experience, that phrase is just not true. The unemployment rate for those with a high school degree is 8.8%, 30
% less than the overall population. And the rate for those with a four year degree is half of that at 4.4%. The numbers show that there is something that people can do to improve their odds.
Every client of mine is hiring. Every one, including us! We offer our clients a service that helps them identify those candidates who will be happy and productive in the specific job. They use us because they don’t want to make hiring mistakes like they did last time. The good new is that it works. Hiring smart cuts turnover in half and improves productivity. Clients love to hire right and are excited when they find the right people.
For businesses, the goal is profit. For workers, the goal is income. The link between the two is value. When workers prepare themselves for the opportunities through education and experience, employers will see value in paying them income.
It’s not a perfect world and there are certainly fewer jobs than there are people who want them, but there is hope for the future in those who are willing to meet the challenge.