Humans@Work

The Dark Side of Low Unemployment – Part I

While there are a lot of jobs open – 6.9 million reported by the Bureau of Labor Statistics today – we are seeing an increasingly wide gap between the jobs being created, and the skills and experiences in the workforce needed to fill them.

Simply put, there are more jobs than there are “qualified people” to fill them. What makes someone qualified for a job?

Whether we like it or not, we are living in an era where reskilling and upskilling ourselves is crucial to our employability and marketability as members of the workforce. We constantly need to learn the latest technologies and newest apps in order to meet the needs of our employers.

Unfortunately, what’s happening right now is employers don’t have a firm grasp of how to navigate this evolution of the talent marketplace. How could they? It’s never happened before in the history of humankind – at least in the way it’s happening now.

Even so, for employers, today’s hiring approach begs rethinking how talent is viewed. But how?

For starters, being “qualified” for a job no longer directly correlates to years of experience or type of degree held. These things may be relevant, but are not a determinate of success in a job.

Today, being “qualified” correlates to:

  1. Willingness to learn
  2. Adaptability to the needs of the business
  3. Ability to think critically and problem solve

Most of the high-demand positions today are in software, service, sales, engineering, design, and other digitally-enabled roles. Data also shows that healthcare jobs and elder care are also in great demand.

The big question for employers is:

How do we catch up to the demand of the job market when the current supply of talent isn’t cutting it?

The short answer for employers is to re-evaluate what makes someone “qualified” for your open jobs, given this new reality of work, and adjust your hiring process accordingly.

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