Long term unemployed hindered by databased hiring practices

The first line of any business is their employees. They produce the product and make contact with the customer. Procuring and properly providing personnel with compensation consistent with their contribution cannot be overlooked.

Marilyn Geewax of PBS, in her January 2016 blog, “Why Some Still Can't Find Jobs As The Economy Nears 'Full Employment'” reports that economists use the term “full employment” to indicate that the number of people seeking jobs is roughly in balance with the number of openings. This does not take into account the under-employed, those wanting and qualified for better positions.

A healthy job market has a current unemployment rate of 4.6 percent to 5 percent of those currently seeking employment. However, there are 22 million unemployed or under employed and 4 million jobs vacant. Companies with openings place the blame on a “talent shortage.”

More revealing is that companies are outsourcing recruitment and the hiring as a general practice. Nick Corcodilos of Ask the Headhunter, insists that online tools are better defined as match making. Employers using this data based approach are searching for the perfect candidate. This approach is far from perfect. CareerXroads reported that two large data-based hiring companies’ efforts only resulted in 2.5 percent of the total hires of their clients in 2012.

Business needs talent to execute their business plans. Most companies develop business plans to take advantage of opportunities in the marketplace. This requires labor and capital to attain maximum efficiency. Many companies are searching for the perfect match in drawing from the labor pool at the same time that more than 20 million workers are available from which to choose.

For example, in the reports on the Nursing Profession from Stateline, “Why Does It Take So Long to Hire a Nurse” and “Why the Skills Gap Doesn’t Explain Slow Hiring,” employers have a specific resume in mind and are unwilling to pay for experience and education. “Why invest in training?” asks Corcodilos, when you can find a “perfect match” in the existing labor pool.

The answer is that the “perfect match” has no incentive to change employer, unless they are moving away. Stateline suggests, “A long-term solution for the nursing workforce also would have to resolve critical pay issues... and the 20 percent burnout rate within one year that nurses experience.”

Do employers expect too much in terms of training, education and experience in today’s employment market that gives them the idea that the “skill gap” still exists? Labor is one of a business’ most valuable assets. Proper utilization, compensation and evaluation are essential for every business long term success.

Michigan State University Extension educators working with the MSU Product Center work with business owners to develop business plans that include this vital workforce component.

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