“Careers used to move themselves. Now we are solely responsible for moving our careers in the direction we want them to go”
This process is not what we have known and not something most of us have had much experience having to do, but it is the theme of our moment. If you want a career today you have to be willing and ready to work really hard, smart and fast to find or create the opportunities, many of which are hidden.
There is an employment trend that has emerged this year that is very disturbing, telling and also has a lot of upside for job seekers willing to educate themselves to fill this gap. There actually are jobs, but not enough qualified job applicants to fill them.
According to Manpower Group’s 2011 Talent Shortage Report, “organizations around the world still report that they cannot find the talent they need when they need it. Organizations are operating in the “new normal,” where the economic pressures of the last few years have forced them to do more with less, and they’ve discovered that they can accomplish amazing things despite reduced resources—as long as they have the right people in place.”
According to this report, the gap for employers is a combination of lack of hard skills, soft interpersonal skills and lack of actual applications. In today’s “New World of Work”, it’s not enough to be qualified to do just the skill that the job requires. Companies are looking for the intangibles that impact people working with people.
Data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics shows 2.7 million jobs remained unfilled in the U.S. in August, and employers are reporting having a hard time finding skilled workers to fill those jobs. How can that be? What is going on?
From the 2011 Talent Shortage Survey, employers in many countries reported a slight increase in difficulty, but in the US it has jumped from 14% in 2010, to 52% in 2011, with technicians, sales representatives, trade skill workers and engineers in the top four. Companies are seeing how the cut back in training and education from the 2000 recession is now impacting the talent pool. The companies that have and developing a strategy for attracting and retaining the right talent now will win the talent pool dilemma. Job seekers are also going to have to step up their game and make sure they are relevant and up to date with their hard and soft skills, mindset and attitude, as well as flexible with working hours and geography.
These are some of the strategies companies are using to overcome the talent shortage according the report.
21% Providing additional training and development to existing staff
13% Broadening search outside of local region
11% Changing how recruit/advertising strategies
10% Appointing people without job skills currently, but with potential to learn/grow
8% Broadening search outside of country
The full 2011 Talent Shortage Report is here. Take some time and read it. It will give you ideas, clues, calls to action and direction on what it takes to be skilled, qualified, sought after and appreciated if you want to be hired by a quality company today and secure your career future.
A few thoughts that jumped out at me after reading through this report. I have been writing a lot this year about radical reality, radical action and radical results with regard to careers and jobs. Relevance is the most coveted brand quality a job seeker and a company can have. It’s not only companies finding qualified applicants. It’s also about companies providing the environment, culture and benefits for a qualified job applicant to want to work for them.
I can’t imagine what it would be like to be coming out of college now. Finding a job in any general field today is almost impossible. Even doctors who are not specializing are having great difficulty finding jobs.
The human world and the work world have shifted and changed. They are going to eventually find an alignment and become whatever the norm is for our time. As the generations continue to age out and up, consumerism will also change.
Here are several things anyone can and should do today to become more qualified, employable and magnetic for finding jobs and careers. Conduct an evaluation of where you are and where you need to be to be viewed as top talent in the pool.
- Develop a clear, personal branding statement about who you are and what you do.
- Get a simple, clean business card to hand to people with your job expertise and contact information on it.
- Network in person and develop your soft, interpersonal skills.
- Network on-line and build a following and community, especially on LinkedIn and Twitter.
- Start a blog as your website and write about what you know, are fascinated with and believe in.
- Volunteer at an organization that you are passionate about, that needs skills that you have to help them.
- Find an internship and work in a company culture in proximity to people who you can learn from.
- Seek out mentors, people who you want to emulate and offer to help them with a project, event, and research.
- Go to work and use the workplace as your new classroom.
- Update or get the required certifications or education to be relevant and qualified for the career you want.
Do whatever you can to set yourself up and apart for opportunity and most importantly move your career in the direction you want it to go!
Deborah Shane is an author, speaker, media host and business and career branding consultant. She is in her third year of hosting a weekly business radio show on http://blogtalkradio.com/