Many nights in recent months, the nightly news is awash in stories about job availability. Teachers, law enforcement, and a host of blue collar and other jobs continue to go unfilled. I can provide some perspective on these stories as I am currently in the job market. I have bizarre anecdotes about several jobs, but I’ll save those for a different day. What I can say is many of these jobs seek people with specialized skills. For example, “x” amount of time in retail is required for many of these jobs. Others require call center experience. Still others require time in the trades.

It appears irrelevant that a person may already have these skills without spending any time in a specific industry. Customer service is a great example, many companies have entire staffs to manage this very important task and yet still manage to fail. I had an encounter with an internet provider that proves this point. Time in a customer service position is not required to be a good customer service representative. This is the case for many jobs.

I feel badly for the companies. If the company ideology is Woke, the last person hired would be a MAGA person. The opposite is also true. A screening process is put in place, but chemistry is tough to identify, especially during an interview when everyone is on best behavior. Where this whole conundrum crosses into policy is the inability to get rid of someone after they are hired and sorting who is desired. If I want a person fresh out of college that understands Microsoft suite, great, say it. But these job descriptions that require skills that a normal person can learn in a month of Sundays (literally) is goofy.

Anyone that has been around for awhile has seen a job description that is clearly written for an internal candidate. Where else would an applicant gain knowledge about the company’s chart of accounts or some other clearly internal mechanism. Why is it necessary to post these jobs, simply hire the internal candidate (if suitable). Some people want young people, some more experienced folks but many hiring managers, and talent acquisition (TA) units have no idea what the job entails. They have a job description that is probably old and if it has been revised, it was an additional task assigned to an already overtaxed hiring manager without providing any time to do it. Any rewrites were probably superficial, at best.

Hiring good people matters and it will become more important as the next round of layoffs occurs as the economy tanks. As to bang for the buck, employers need to be able to fire people that don’t work out and talk candidly about what is desired. The next layoffs will follow seniority or some other structure and will, in most cases, have little to do with merit or potential. Those companies will be forced to work with people who are not their best. Just like the last time, the people that stay will put their head down and hope nobody notices them.

Innovation will again take a hit.

There are jobs available, but they either will not support a single person living on their own or are so narrowly defined as to limit the applicant pool. For others, the hoops and hurdles the applicant must navigate are silly. In some cases, if not illegal these barriers are unnecessary and exist simply because they can. For other jobs, too much or not enough education is an immediate disqualification. TA, or Human Resources, loves to blame the applicant, but have done nothing to expedite review or eliminate bureaucracy.

It is easier to claim no one wants to work.

Categorized as Policy

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