Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Is Lack of Worker Skills Responsible for High Unemployment?

David Wessel had an interesting article about the effect of one area of corporate cutbacks -- human relations. HR departments adjust by relying on electronic services to evaluate applications. The process is so rigid that virtually no applications are suitable.

One company drew 25,000 applicants for a standard engineering position only to have the HR department say not one was qualified.

One interesting implication is that the corporate types who complain about having trouble finding workers may not all be lying. Some may have been shooting themselves in the foot. Maybe it is not so much a lack of skills as corporate short-sightedness.

The article is here:



FSK said...

I have this problem looking for computer programmer jobs. Any good programmer can pick up a new language quickly. However, every job ad requires "5 years Java" or "5 years .NET" or a laundry list of obscure things you're expected to have experience with.

Also, when hiring an H1-B, you need to prove "you couldn't hire a US citizen first". If they already decided they want an H1-B, they have to go through the motions of pretending to hire other people.

run75441 said...


I tend to agree that dealing with personnel workers and corporate rules negates imagination in who could do what. When the migration started from Kentucky to Michigan to work on the automotive assembly lines in Detroit, these fresh from the farm workers did not arrive with skills and needed "training." GM, Ford, Chrysler trained them. It appears today's business interests what a ready-trained employee to start and hit the ground running on the new job which is pretty much impossible. The intelligent people are there if business will invest 90 days in them.