Thursday, October 27, 2011

3.1 million Open Jobs/25 Million Workers Unemployed: What’s Wrong?

You know, this is a lot more complicated problem than simply analyzing the numbers. There are between 20 and 25 million people who are unemployed right now. Many of those have dropped off of the statistics because they are no longer on unemployment.

Wouldn't you agree that part of the problem may be the jobs are not located where the properly skilled workers are? Let's face it, many people are so underwater on their mortgages right now, if they had to move and sell their house (if they could even do so), they would also have to write a check at closing. With savings gone or almost gone, that is not a possibility.

Then you have the problem that there may be qualified help nearby but they are not perceived as a cultural fit. And some of that is as a result of their frustration of being out of work for a long period of time.

Since there are 3.1 million unfilled jobs, I do not feel that the problem is a trade problem. The problem is how to find the appropriate workers for the appropriate jobs. Once those positions are filled, the income generated and thus the consumer spending, will create more jobs.

Companies condition candidates. If it is difficult to find the open positions, people give up trying to work for that company. If the ATS requires candidates to complete a 7 to 13 page application (I saw one of those) prior to a conversation that generates mutual interest, people give up because too many companies have conditioned candidates that for all that work, there is no reply. How many times have you heard the phrase "black hole" when referring to a company hiring process? That conditioning is compounded by friends telling friends or groups of people that there is no point in applying to that company "because you never hear back."

I am a recruiting consultant/recruiter/author and therefore have the opportunity to see and understand the business side.

On the volunteer side, I am one of the volunteer organizers of the Park City Career Network. Park City is a resort town of approximately 12,000 fulltime residents. Since Aug. 2009, we have coached 64 people into new positions, mostly professional. I hear the words spoken that I referred to above.

We've discovered that most people who are unemployed really do not understand how to look for a job. They do not understand that the job search is a sales process. On the business side, many companies do not understand that recruiting/hiring is a sales process. Want proof? Look at their ATS hiring process.

As I mentioned in the beginning, this is a very complicated problem that will not be solved easily. It's not something that you can throw money at - tried and didn't produce advertised results.

Quite possibly it's an education problem. Both sides of the equation need to better understand they are in a sales process.