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Subject:  Re: The Coming Twilight Of The Four-Year College Date:  12/15/2012  11:44 PM
Author:  PolymerMom Number:  46824 of 117399

The skills gap mention in the article is real.

I'm not entirely convinced that a skills gap exists, at least to the extent that everyone bemoans. It's a multi-dimensional problem, including employer expectations vs. the labor pool requirements.

I can't find the article, but the NY Times published a piece a few months ago about small businesses not being able to find qualified applicants. One owner said he'd love to hire 5 or 10 experienced machinists. When asked what he was paying, he responded that he was willing to pay $10/hour. Sure, a guy trying to support a family is going to take that job, when they could get a job at McDonald's as a manager that pays $14/hour.

For recent college graduates, another issue surfaces.

Surveys of actual hiring managers have shown for decades that they are not complaining about academic skills among applicants. Few are interested in hiring recent graduates because they do not want to train them. The candidates they want are already employed, doing the job in question someplace else. What is in short supply is work experience specific to the immediate job, and no one wants to give anyone that experience, a Catch-22.

For others, there's a computerized application screening problem.

In practice, though, employers have tried to get those systems to take over the entire hiring decision, getting rid of the human recruiters altogether. The hope is that a long list of requirements, often generated by hiring managers with high expectations, will mean that the perfect candidate will come out the other side. What happens instead is often that no candidates get through the screening process. The few that do usually are already employed somewhere else doing a job with exactly the same job title as the one being filled.


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