Have you read The STEM Crisis Is a Myth? It’s a fascinating article. Bob actually has data, as opposed to my anecdotal evidence, now and dating back to my article from 2001, Crisis? What Crisis? A Contrarian Perspective.
(For those of you who don’t know the four letter acronym, STEM is Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math. It refers to anyone in a technical field. Anyone. Back to your originally scheduled blog post.)
Here’s the best quote from the article:
The real STEM crisis is one of literacy: the fact that today’s students are not receiving a solid grounding in science, math, and engineering.
Which students? Any of them.
People need to know about STEM. I can’t think of a job these days that doesn’t require substantial knowledge of how to use science or math or engineering. Don’t believe me? If you didn’t watch 60 Minutes this past weekend, read the story, Are robots hurting job growth? The jobs that they are automating are not just blue collar, they are white collar jobs also.
I have been in the software field since 1977. Since then, management has tried to determine a way to reduce programmer salaries. They tried structured programming and CASE tools. They tried outsourcing and offshoring starting in the ’90s. I don’t remember when the War for Talent was declared.
It’s simple. If you don’t want a war for talent, you:
- Hire based on cultural fit.
- Hire people who are close enough for the job and train them.
- Don’t discriminate based on age.
- Pay people what they are worth.
- Don’t ask people to multitask, because that wastes people’s time.
- Use non-traditional workers, such as women or part-time people effectively. That means we have to train management.
Part of the so-called STEM crisis is that we have an insufficient knowledge of how to manage STEM workers. At least, in the software industry we do. That’s why I’m writing my management myths. That’s why I wrote Hiring Geeks That Fit and Behind Closed Doors: Secrets of Great Management (and all the other books).
Find candidates your people have worked with before, or use a loose connection to find a friend of a friend. Be willing to train them. Pay them a fair wage. Hiring does not have to take you forever.
All of those actions will reduce the cost of your hiring. Read Hiring Geeks That Fit to learn how.
There is no war for talent. Only if you make one.