Each day, I receive a vast amount of superior resumes. People who have gone to fantastic schools, achieved great honors, and have worked to develop back stories through internships and volunteer work. Yet, they are without jobs in this economy.
The noted economist Gary Shilling was on Bloomberg radio this morning speaking about many things and he swung to education at one point. He noted that in the past, students could go to school and focus on education. Once they graduated, there was a job waiting for them in just about any field they wished. He said that today’s education system focuses on training instead. And in my added opinion, lower education is worse than that. Instead of teaching students and inducing them on a love of learning, they are “Cored to death” by teachers who are showing them new methods of learning the “Three Rs” and simply how to get high grades on the exams by which they will be judged.
Yet, if training is what we are getting, what happened to the idea of a company training program? Oh I know, there are companies that “do it their way” and realize that hiring young men and women with the right values and skills is enough and training is a part of the process in developing talent. Yet, as I begin to send my own children off to college, I am more concerned with the state of hiring, developing and producing motivated and happy workers. The job market isn’t robust now and it certainly looks from here that a decade from now it will not be better. Remember that old joke “what do you call the young man who graduated last in medical school?” Sadly, that is all it is now. A joke. Hiring managers only have room for a handful of people and they only want to hire the best of the best. So, we march our kids off to the best schools, pay the highest tuition, and drive them to compete at the highest level so that they will graduate at the top and get offered the 1%-5% of the jobs available in most fields right after graduation.
After telling nearly 95% of those who apply for our searches that they are not the fit my client seeks, I go home and watch this year’s crop of presidential hopefuls tell me that they have the solution, they will produce jobs, grow the economy, make America great again. At the same time, I hear and read warning signs from the current crop of politicians, leaders and pundits that things couldn’t be worse, the other guy is dragging us down and we all need to fight, resist and or change. Clear as mud, right?
At the same time, I heard a statistic that there are too many jobs that are going un-filled. Manufacturing, IT, small business, skilled labor. It’s time for massive revolution. Companies are going to have to start developing talent again rather than placing an ad and waiting for the right person to appear on their door step, in-box, or other. I ask each time a new search comes in and will ask even more frequently: will you train for this position? We should all do the same. Maybe they will get the hint!
Look at the Airlines and commercial banking industry. When they start floating new fees in front of us, our choice is to either bite on it, or pass. They have figured out a way to make flying or banking more expensive while our take home pay has shrunk these last 6.5 years. Recruiters, candidates and students need to start asking this question every time they apply for a job. “Will you train for this position?”