With unemployment rates rising, it seems preposterous that job openings are widespread and plentiful. The United States government is constantly bombarded with the demand that more jobs be created, yet positions are readily available and just waiting to be filled. Why is this paradox occurring?
Lack of Skill
For one thing, many jobs require a specific skill set that applicants seem to lack. Unskilled jobs can be done by interns and arbitrary individuals from Craigslist, but skilled work takes more training and personal proficiency. According to a ManpowerGroup survey, some of the toughest positions to fill these days include software developer, information technology specialist, sales representative, accounting/finance staff, truck driver, mechanic, nurse, and machine operator/teacher.
Being Well Rounded
This lack of STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) skills in the US would seem to lend itself well to social skills, but according to the New York Times it does not. Today’s humanities graduates seem to lack the basic grammatical skills needed for even simple tasks such as composing a professional email. Customer interaction is a large and important part of running a successful company, so it is imperative that employees be skilled in associating with others.
Making Sure Your Personality Fits
Personality screenings and interviews are becoming more and more thorough as businesses struggle to find compatible workers. In the long run it is more profitable to hire a well-adapted individual and keep them on staff than to hire an incompatible one and struggle with their mismatched persona. One must be a master of both their skill set and their personality in order to be eligible for a long-standing career. If you wish to learn more about what career best suits personality read this article by CNN: Does your Career fit your personality.
Not All Jobs Require a College Education
Contrary to popular belief, requiring a specific skill set does not necessarily translate into needing a college education. Truck drivers, for example, need training and stamina, but no degree for their jobs. The stigma against the blue-collar career keeps many qualified individuals away from pursuing truck driving though, and it is difficult for companies to find willing workers. This leads one to the conclusion that some part of the high unemployment rate is due to unwillingness to move past prejudices.
In addition, the disinclination to move locations for jobs is affecting the market. There are many available openings in rural areas of the United States, but many starry-eyed job seekers only pursue jobs in their careers in “the big cities.” This is not only stunting economic productivity, but also preventing numerous people from living comfortable lives with reasonable paychecks.
My Best Advice to Job Seekers and Employers
Specialized training is currently a staple of economic success in the United States, but nothing less can be expected. It is imperative for employees to be well suited to their company and to have the skills necessary to produce the expected work. My advice for job seekers would be to hone in on your interest and pursue intensive training in that area. Be persistent, but also be flexible to the idea that your “dream job” might have to be put on hold until you reach economic stability and a certain level of training. My advice for small businesses would be to pick employees carefully. When considering a candidate, be sure to check their resume carefully for compatibility and skill. Passion can go a long way, and experience even farther. Don’t waste precious resources training and compensating an employee who is incompetent; it will be worth your while to do prior, personal research on the applicant. In addition, encourage potential employees and current ones to pursue specialized training or career-enhancing experiences. The more qualified your employees are, the more successful your company has the potential to be.