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WSJ Report: Why Companies Aren’t Getting the Employees They Need

By JLP | October 24, 2011

From the main article in today’s WSJ “The Journal Report:”

To get America’s job engine revving again, companies need to stop pinning so much of the blame on our nation’s education system. They need to drop the idea of finding perfect candidates and look for people who could do the job with a bit of training and practice.

There are plenty of ways to get workers up to speed without investing too much time and money, such as putting new employees on extended probationary periods and relying more on internal hires, who know the ropes better than outsiders would.

It’s the author’s opinion that companies could fill positions if they brought back job training. In other words, they’re being too picky. Perhaps. However, I’m thinking that with unemployment as high as it is, wouldn’t there be a glut of qualified employees? I have heard other reasons why companies aren’t hiring (like uncertainty in taxes, healthcare law, and the economy in general).

The article then goes on to suggest that companies should work with education providers, bring back the apprenticeship, and promote from within. Pretty standard stuff.

I will say one thing more that’s related to this topic. My wife works for a chemical company. She went to a recruiting event at a local university. She was talking with one of the students and she (my wife) as the student why she was getting a chemical engineering degree. The student told her it was because she was going for another degree but found out that those who were employed in that field had to work a lot of hours and she she figured chemical engineers wouldn’t have to work as much. Wrong answer. I have a feeling this student will be in for a rude awakening IF she gets a job. Maybe she should read Larry Winget’s It’s Called Work for a Reason!: Your Success Is Your Own Damn Fault*.

*Affiliate Link

Topics: Careers | 2 Comments »

2 Responses to “WSJ Report: Why Companies Aren’t Getting the Employees They Need”

  1. Jaynee Says:
    October 25th, 2011 at 3:28 pm

    Just a few weeks ago my husband and I were talking about the fact that companies need to bring unpaid apprenticeships back! We both completely agree that it’s a long lost practice that needs to be brought back to companies. Have college seniors spend a semester doing work-study for a company with an eye on being hired after they graduate. An unpaid position, but let them earn 9-12 credits toward their degree for the apprenticeship since it’s probably more of an education about the job (and their major if they stick to the industry that are studying at school) than sitting in any classroom for 5-6 months.

  2. Miguel Says:
    October 26th, 2011 at 7:15 am

    What I am noticing with a lot of recent college grads is that they were primarily raised in the pre-2008 era of excess, and are having a lot of trouble adapting to the new reality. During that time, they were taught (by parents and society) to focus on their own leisure and self-filfillment needs, and for a brief period, employers started to embrace that because help was scarce. Different reality today – entry-level jobs are rare, and if you have one, keeping it has become harder. These kids are simply not used to the competitive environment they find themselves in today. Not only are they competing with the kid next door, but also the one half way across the world with a technical degree and a much hungrier work ethic.