This post was written by Kevin O’Brien, Regional VP
I never thought I would ever get to the point of actually missing the conditions of the Economic Crash, circa 2009 – 10. OK, I don’t miss all of those conditions. I certainly didn’t enjoy seeing the people who suffered the most, but from the selfish aspect of a person who helps lead a company that makes it’s living on worker placement and recruiting, we were never more flush with people who needed the work. To prove that all situations are never perfect, while we had a great deal of potential workers finding companies that needed our service was a constant challenge. Any organization that could hang out a “Help Wanted” sign could find themselves flush with able bodies.
But, my-oh-my, how things have changed. We in the staffing industry are the “canary in the coal mine”. We always start to experience things before they hit the reality factor of most in the hiring realm. (We started to see and feel “The Great Recession” about mid-2008.) Today we are starting to see the pool of qualified, available, potential employees getting very thin. This is especially true with anyone involved in manufacturing, distribution, or logistics.
For years, we as a country have been pushing our children to obtain their 4 year undergraduate degrees. High School became a total factory of college prep, in the meantime, eliminating vocational education for the segment of the students who did not have the desire, ability, or the finances to obtain a college degree. The entire groups of these students were left with very few skills and even less options to earn a good living. Meanwhile, we have a glut of 4 year degreed workers. Wonder why 50% of new college grads have yet to find employment that meets their lofty expectations? It’s all about the math of supply and demand.
Fast forward to today…
The “Baby Boomers” are hitting retirement age and beginning to exit the workforce. In manufacturing, companies who did not put in place a good succession planning strategy (And this is mostly the current case.) are now scrambling to fill these spots and are surprised that in the available workforce the skills are few or non-existent. To further the heartbreak of the firms hiring, because of the low supply they are now being hit with, the reality that they have to raise compensation just to get folks in the door to consider, is slow to be realized.
Welcome to the new hiring realities, folks. This will not be ending any time soon and new strategies to compete for a slim workforce will need more than meeting room talk.
Crown Services has been in the staffing arena since 1968. Specialists in Industrial, Logistics, Professional and Medical placements and searches. Visit Crown at : www.crownservices.com.