The US unemployment figures hover around 9%, yet employers cannot find the talent they require. And this talent shortage is not limited to the US. Reports are that we are in the midst of a global talent shortage. The global recruiters I talk with never fail to mention how selective employers are about the hires they are making. Employers seem willing to have jobs sit open for months as they seek the “perfect fit candidate” rather than a close fit option…and never hire the unemployed.
The skills and talent shortage did not develop overnight. This has been in the making for years. With the economic collapse that occurred post 9/11 and the more recent Global Financial Crisis, many employers have entered survival mode and some of the first things to be cut were internship, apprentice, and training programs. These employer-based programs to groom talent have yet to return to 1990s levels. Management training programs have all but disappeared and employers are unwilling to hire recent college grads. As a result, many employers are now seeking the services of professional recruiting firms to find employees with 3-5 years of experience at a minimum. What about the unemployed? There are many global recruiters that tell me their clients do not want to consider unemployed candidates. It almost doesn’t make sense…employers need talent, they are not willing to train to the skill levels required, talent is available but unemployed, and the employer is unwilling to consider the unemployed candidate.
Seems that the real issue is not a “talent shortage” but rather a “training shortage.” Solutions are not easy to come by, but as long as employer inflexibility, risk avoidance, and lack of creativity prevail, the “shortage” will continue.
- Small business…the best chance for a recent grad to get some experience. Small businesses are still hiring and although lacking in formal training programs, small businesses provide excellent on-the-job skill development opportunities.
- Investments in training programs…the only way to build talent is to invest in talent. Employers can pay fees to professional recruiting firms or they can develop talent internally; in the meantime, global recruiters benefit.
- Partnerships with educational institutions…employers need to work with universities and colleges to teach what they value and require. Seems like a simple concept, but far too many grads exit universities with few employer-desired experiences.
- Hire from within…employers developing and training in-house talent will always have a pool of candidates for open positions.
It is time to get this figured out. If employers wonder why employees are not loyal, they need only take a look at what they have been doing to develop the people they already employ. I’m sure the employer’s investment is not what it used to be and neither is the employee loyalty. The lack of training and investment makes many employers a ripe recruiting ground for professional recruiting agencies. There is a positive for every negative…