Is there a talent shortage? If you’re looking for work, you may not believe it, but according to ManpowerGroup’s latest research, there is. Nearly half of the employers we surveyed early this year say they’re struggling to fill key positions.
With unemployment still hovering around 8%, why is this happening? The ManpowerGroup research tells us:
- There simply aren’t enough people applying for the jobs.
- Those who are applying don’t have the technical competencies necessary.
- Many lack the soft skills and the work ethic.
- And, most lack experience.
I will add a reason that employers are not listing — those who are hiring are getting too picky. Because of the lengthy economic downturn, hiring managers got used to having (or at least thinking they had) many candidates from which to choose. We keep waiting for that perfect person to come through the door. But no one is perfect!
So think about hiring someone with a teachable fit:
- What capabilities are essential to performing the job?
- Which of these are teachable in an efficient way?
- Is there adequate time and money to develop those capabilities in the candidate?
- And do candidates have the capacity (both motivation and capability) to develop them?
I understand that training is expensive and training budgets have been cut. I understand that we’ve been tightening belts for quite some time and we need workers to be productive immediately. And you may be taking a risk by hiring the teachable fit. But I firmly believe we need to make investments in our workforce to give them the skills they need to succeed — and so our companies can succeed as well.
By the way, individuals have to take responsibility, too. We have to constantly keep our skills up-to-date to stay current with the rapidly changing technology and work practices. This is what is called “life-long learning” or continuing education, opportunities to enhance your workplace IQ. We have to foster a capacity and willingness to learn new things. And we have to make the time-and-energy investment in order to get the return — that all-important job!