Difficult to fill?

There is more talk at this year’s SHRM Annual Conference about recruiting difficulties than there has been during my previous visits to this conference.

We 1st heard about this from the perspective of Mike Rowe. He pointed out that we have 2.8 million unfilled jobs yet have record amounts of student debt piling up. Was his conclusion that we are training people for jobs that they don’t want or don’t exist anymore correct?

The Tuesday morning keynote featuring political pundits Paul Begala and Tucker Carlson touched on this as well. Both speakers talked about the rising inequality and the stagnant wages that many in our country are suffering from.  The startling statistic from that chat was that 47 percent of people who consider themselves middle class could not come up with $400 within 24 hours.

Do you want to drive a school bus?

My own organization has challenges with certain jobs. Number one on the list, school bus drivers! Even when offering sign-on bonuses, paid training to obtain the necessary CDL and certifications, and as much or as little work as one wants, these positions are incredibly hard to fill.

As our companies have gotten better at improving productivity, there has been a human capital cost to that. While we in HR talk about finding better ways to do things and doing more with less, there are jobs being left behind and these tend to be some of the ones that are hardest to fill.

So, what and where are the solutions? Is there one?  Based on the conversations taking place here in DC, no one has yet discovered one.


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