Beyond the unemployment numbers, survey shows what’s happening in the jobs market
By Leanne Hoagland-Smith September 8, 2012 9:10PM
Leanne Hoagland-Smith. | Provided photo~Sun-Times Media
Updated: September 8, 2012 11:30PM
Labor Day is over and some have been back to the trenches for the last week.
Of course, there are many still unemployed in the state of Indiana. For the month of July 2012, Indiana’s unemployment stood at 8.2 percent. This number as unemployment numbers in other states suggests there are not enough jobs, but is that the only problem?
In speaking with a client this week, she shared with me her frustration to finding a good employee who would consistently pass a drug test. Drug testing is necessary given her business is in the food processing industry. There are both safety and quality standards that must be applied.
Another client told me of a recent attempt to hire a clerical support person. Beyond having more than 70 job applicants, only three of the completed job applications had all the skills and limited work experience necessary for this entry level position. On the day of the interview, only one of the three job finalists showed up. The person who did show was hired and then fired on the first day of work because she was spending 40 minutes of every 60 minutes in the washroom talking on her cell phone.
Then I listened to a 3-year-young entrepreneur share his frustration about finding quality employees for his security firm. His strategy has turned to hiring only veterans because of the military discipline and work ethic.
Finally, another small business client revealed his frustration with hiring an IT person. The salary was competitive, but the potential employee said he could make more money staying on unemployment and doing cash jobs on the side.
In May of this year, Manpower released its 2012 annual survey. This research revealed U.S. talent shortages specifically in skilled trades, engineers and IT staff. Manpower surveyed 1,300 U.S. employers with these results:
• 49 percent experiencing difficulty in filling mission-critical positions
• Sales representatives are the fourth-hardest jobs to fill in 2012
• Talent mismatch is a global phenomenon
Last month, the Indiana Business Council looked at the Indiana Workforce in 2012 and discovered:
• Significant decrease in loyalty among supervisors and managers
• Limited career opportunities No. 1 reason for employees leaving
• Only 4 out of 10 viewed human resources as strategic
Adding the Silver Tsunami (the retiring of the Baby Boomers) into the labor and workforce pie, good people are going to become even harder to find and probably even more difficult to keep. The high demand high-priced IT people of the late 1990s will probably pale in comparison to what is on the horizon for Northwest Indiana small businesses to much larger national and global corporations.
In August, this column looked at leadership and trust in the workplace as well as bullying bosses. For the rest of September, the talent and job shortage discussion will continue specific to small businesses and some solutions to overcome these serious challenges.
Please feel free to leave your comments and share your insight as a small business owner or as an employee.
P.S. Shout Out – Manpower in Lake County and Express Personnel in Porter County assist businesses seeking skilled workers.