Fresh - Winter 2015 - (Page 17)

fresh FEATURE WINNING the Talent Wars BY JOHN F. DINI IF YOU HAVEN'T HEARD THE term "Talent Wars" yet, you have now. They are heating up, and most small businesses aren't very well equipped to compete in them. "Talent Wars" refers to a growing shortage in the U.S. labor market for properly trained and educated employees. Starting prior to the Great Recession, there has been a mismatch between people seeking jobs and those who hire them. Statistics show that employers are currently advertising to fill 51 million open positions, an all-time record. Many business owners complain bitterly about the lack of talent in the hiring pool- especially in sales, technical jobs and trades. There are several factors causing this disconnect between employers and prospective employees. You should be aware of them if you intend to compete in the Talent Wars. The first factor is the shrinking number of people in the prime age group for experienced employees. Those reaching their 65th birthday outnumber the folks hitting their 45th birthday by 4,000 people a day. This overlap of the post-WWII Baby Boom with the baby bust of the late 60's and 70's can't be changed; and it will continue for the next ten years. One strategy to counter the middle-experience gap is to look further up and down the age bracket. Over the next few years you will find yourself reconsidering fixed ideas about what is an ideal age for these positions. Boomers are generally healthier than preceding generations, and many plan to work much longer. A "new" hire in her late 50s can be up to speed in far less time, and still be a productive member of the team for ten or fifteen years. The second major issue with finding qualified people is training. Our higher education system today is driven more by low-interest government guaranteed loans and far less by the value of a degree. Employers can no longer look at a college education as de facto evidence of qualifications, but it can still provide some guidance. How long did it take the applicant to graduate? (Less than 50% make it in 4 years.) What courses did he or she take? Hopefully they were something more substantial than "Bruce Springsteen's Theology," (an actual for-credit course at a major university.) A well-rounded liberal arts education still has value, and timely completion still indicates a goal oriented person. Both, however, require more investigation that merely checking the sheepskin. Finally, business owners have to face increasing competition from Corporate America for talent. After years of downsizing, outsourcing and technology upgrades to replace WINTER 2016 fresh 17

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Fresh - Winter 2015

Fresh Ideas
Calendar of Events
All in the Family: The Lineage of Laundry Professionals
Efficiencies & Innovations in Textile Processing
Winning the Talent Wars
ALM Buyer’s Guide
Index to Advertisers

Fresh - Winter 2015