I just finished Why Good People Can’t Get Jobs, by Peter Capelli. It’s a terrific read, all about the reasons hiring managers and companies have trouble finding people, and why job seekers have trouble getting in the door. It’s related to John Sumser’s series, the Hiring Paradox.
Capelli has data to prove there is no war for talent. That’s the bad news. There’s good news too. There’s not much you have to do to change this, if you are having trouble hiring people.
Capelli refutes these myths with data:
- Workers don’t have the skills
- Workers aren’t willing to take jobs at going wages
- Skill shortages are only part of the problem; workers have a lack of knowledge and experience
- Workers are reluctant to move to where the jobs are
- Students lack basic competency
- Public schools are failing society
- University grads don’t major in fields where the jobs are
- Things will only get worse
Note that these are the myths and he has data to prove it. What are the root causes of the problems?
- Employers want people who have already done the jobs, exactly as they have described them, title and all
- The employer’s resume intake system, your software is an artificial barrier
- The employer’s job descriptions don’t differentiate between the essential and the desirable, so you eliminate too many applicants before you and they even have a chance
- The employer is not willing to train anyone
So, what do you do?
- Hire people close enough and train them on the job, because it’s the job-specific skills that employers really need. Capelli has five alternatives for this.
- Stop using the Applicant Tracking System, with its emphasis on highly targeted keywords and learn to write real job descriptions.
- Learn to differentiate between the essential and the desirable for a job description.
It’s a quick read and good book.
(Want to learn how to do what Capelli says to do? Read Hiring Geeks That Fit.)