Cappelli: It's how markets work, whether it's the price of a Ford Taurus or an employee with skills.
Employer/caller: I side a bit more with Mr. Cappelli. There are a lot of talented people out there. I get a lot of good resumes in my semi-high-tech field. I think our MN educational system is putting out good folks.
Caller: My daughter is trying to enter the work force after graduating from college in May. As an employer, I realized we're shooting ourselves in the foot. Many companies ask for resumes to be submitted online, and questions answered online. The system asks for a desired salary, not minimum or acceptable salary. So those who give desired salary are being screened out.
(Same caller): Applicants don't know what the salary range is for those positions. So they're guessing. The employer hasn't put the minimum out there and so has inadvertently screened out some people.
(Same caller): Student debt has also forced some grads to pass up lower-paying jobs because they have these huge payments to make.
Cappelli: Yes, this software for HR is flawed. Unless you answer some questions exactly right, you may get kicked out -- even though the "mismatch" is trivial. So thousands apply, but are kicked out due to "requirements" that even HR personnel might not agree with.
Cappelli: One study says the average worker has a third more education than is required by his/her current position.
Caller: Not all of us employees are drawn just to salary. A lot of the young people I know would take a pay cut in exchange for more flexible work hours and flashier technology.
Cappelli: The supply of skilled workers isn't necessarily low, but training will help. Employers want work-based skills, not theoretical skills. One great idea is to pay workers less when they enter the job, but train. It's a matter of co-investing in training. Employers and vocational schools should work together more.
Caller/Employer: One limitation in my hiring habits is that there's a risk in my industry (construction) is that you can't always keep them busy. So if we hire and later fire when the season is slack, we'll get penalized through higher unemployment insurance payments, etc. So we're hesitant to hire when we're not sure about the economy.
Kerri says we'll have to continue the discussion in a future session.
Thanks for joining! I'll stick around, so feel free to stay and chat. I'll moderate comments.
An interesting part of this debate is the general-vs-specific skills issue. What do employers want? The U.S. educational system is designed for general skills, whereas the European system is designed more heavily for job-specific/vocational skills.
The poaching problem is much more acute here, from what I've read. That's the disadvantage of having workers with portable, general skills.
European manufacturers invest in specific job skills, giving workers less of an incentive to job-hop.