I heard an interesting segment on NPR last night featuring Peter Capelli, author of Why Good People Don’t Get Jobs and professor at Wharton. The premise of the segment was that job hunters are frustrated that they can’t seem to find jobs, yet employers keep saying there aren’t enough qualified employees out there.
So, what gives? Many employers would tell you that there is a training gap. That is, schools are not preparing employees with the skills they need to fit into open positions. However, Capelli argues that it’s the employers fault – they expect too much, aren’t willing to train new employees, don’t pay market value for jobs and use software to wade through the piles of resumes they are receiving, oftentimes automatically disqualifying individuals who are qualified based on the fact that they don’t have certain keywords on their resume.
A few examples:
- A job description looking for an operator for a cotton candy machine requiring that individuals demonstrate experience and success running cotton candy machines in the past. This is not a high level skill, but the employer is unwilling to train.
- A standard engineering job garners 25,000 applications but the software used to sort through the resumes cannot find a single qualified person for the position in the stack.
I see this all the time in higher education, when employers want experience in everything under the sun and a masters degree. You ask the salary and it’s $40,000. No wonder they can’t find anyone!
Have you experienced this? What do you think?
I couldn’t find the audio from the exact segment I heard last night, but here’s a similar segment he did a few months back »