Tag Archives: Sharpen Your Saw

Why is recruiting so hard if 9% of the workforce is unemployed?

We are in the most unique labor market I have ever seen. While there is clearly an abundance of people on the market either unemployed or under-employed, jobs are taking longer to fill and hiring managers are frustrated they can’t find the “right person.” Investment dollars are scarce so these employers are holding out for the candidate who is a safe bet to make an immediate impact.

The issue is rooted deeply in the changing patterns of how work gets done globally. Skills and specific experiences have the upper hand. Work in the US has undergone a steady shift over the last 20 years. Work requiring sweat but little experience has, for the most part, shifted to other parts of the globe or been replaced with technology.

The new environment requires new (and old) approaches to recruiting and finding jobs. It is all about matching the skills to the job. My view is that employers are not focused enough on attracting and retaining these hard to find skills. There is a perception, I believe, that talent is abundant and therefore the candidate should be grateful that I called. The truth is far from it.

If you look at unemployment rates by education (which I am using as a proxy for skills) you will see my point. The unemployment rate for unskilled, relatively untrained or uneducated workers is well over 15% while the rate for degreed (skilled) professionals is an un-recession like 5%.

So what do you do?

If you are looking for a job…Get training, leverage the skills you have or go back to school to pursue skills you are interested in. This issue isn’t going anywhere, in fact it’s will become more acute.

If you are looking for skilled talent, you must start thinking of the skilled worker as scarce not abundant. You need to pay more, make sure the environment is right and show them both a career path and learning opportunities. Remember, skills rule the day.

Tom Bodeep

Senior Vice President, Company-Owned Operations

TRC Staffing Services


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Filed under Initiative, Self-Improvement, Skill

Sharpen Your Saw!

Don’t forget to sharpen your saw! In the book “The 7 Habits of highly Effective People”, the author Steven Covey devotes a whole chapter, titled “Sharpening the Saw”, to preserving and enhancing yourself. This means having a reasonable plan for self-renewal in the four areas of your life: physical, social/emotional, mental, and spiritual. The fable in the book focuses on a lumber jack in the forest cutting down trees, (yes, I know that is not a “GREEN” job, but that was his job).  Anyway as he was cutting down the trees the work got harder and harder because his saw was getting dull. When a passerby suggested that he sharpen his saw, he replied that he was too busy cutting down the trees to stop and sharpen the saw. The idea is that self renewal is the key to staying “sharp” mentally physically and spiritually. Unemployment and job searching can be wholly consuming at times but it can also be a good time to “Sharpen your saw” through some type of continuing education. Check out some of these courses on our website! http://www.goodwillclasses.org

Tanika Hawkins

Career Connections Coordinator

Prosperity Center

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Filed under Initiative, Self-Improvement, Tool Box