Have you noticed the trend of reporting that good paying jobs are remaining unfilled because of a lack of qualified candidate?. Yes, in an economy being heralded as one with high and chronic unemployment, many businesses are having a hard time filling some skilled and semi-skilled positions.
Often, the skills needed are those of tradesmen like carpenters, plumbers, technicians and skilled inside salespeople. As baby boomers were drilled to get a college education, they carried the orders on to their kids. As a result, many young people either have not been able to qualify for many positions or they don’t think they can or should do many of the jobs available. Some firms have resorted to offering pay at twice the normal rate for positions and they still can’t find enough workers.
Many high schools have introduced “schools within a school” that focus on practical trades or semi-skilled professions. For example, video production, graphics arts and trades like plumbing and auto mechanics are being offered. Many students who have no plans to attend college can get practical training to take with them at graduation and are also being hired part-time while they are still in school.
Jack Rodrigues, of Rio Imports Auto Center in Clearwater, Florida has had a position for a qualified auto body mechanic open for over two years. A position became open when a staff mechanic of 20 years contracted cancer. Since then, either no applicants have had the broad experience level needed, or they want exorbitant wage amounts because there are many offers for their services. So, Jack has relied on his son and brother to handle the engine jobs, leaving the body work to him. He just hopes the right guy to fill the position walks in the door.
A recent survey done by the Wall Street Journal and Vistage International has some eye opening results. Of the 154 manufacturing firms they surveyed, 41% reported they couldn’t find candidates with the relevant experience or skills. Also surveyed were service businesses of which 30% of the 283 companies surveyed had similar trouble filling positions as did 29% of the 56 retail businesses surveyed. The lack of qualified workers is stifling the growth of small to medium sized businesses which are typically the first to recover from a recession.
The initial reaction to these results might be to suggest the business recruit unskilled workers and train willing individuals to fill the positions. Unfortunately, most small businesses do not have the training resources available to do that and often just reduce the amount of their sales commitments to the level they can fulfill without jeopardizing their quality of service.
Often times, a business relies on traditional recruiting and hiring methods, which they not only dread but is also a distraction to their business. Simple posts to Craigslist or newspaper ads usually result in a stack of responses, many so far off the mark that all are ignored and the job is unfilled unless someone literally to walks in the door. This is inefficient and misses the mark on where the current generation of workers hang out. Social networks are the means of communication for a large number of job seekers. Traditional attempts at job posts can literally go unseen. Add to that the fact that job posts have to be appealing and professional regardless of the means of conveying them.
Fact is, finding qualified candidates for a job opening has many challenges and this has led to the development of hiring platforms, like Ovation, that assist the business owner in developing appealing job descriptions that automatically post to social networks and job boards. Some even help sort out the results so that the suitable candidates rise to the top and make the selection process easier and results in better hires. These type of tools cast a wide net in the search for qualified workers.
Web and mobile enabled hiring tools are available at several price points and with an array of features. Some offer employment and background screening and pre-filled new hire paperwork in addition to the hiring, ranking and scheduling functions.
Nothing frustrates a business owner more than to leave sales on the table because they can’t fulfill them. To think that no one wants or is qualified to do the work, almost makes the problem unsolvable. But, most small business owners got to where they are because, they believed in themselves and because they didn’t give up when the going got rough. So, jobs may be going unfilled, for now, but as small business catch up to the hiring and training methods technology curve that large companies enjoy, they will be filled.