Jobs Are Available; Workers Aren't Trained
When it comes to the economy, there's a tale of two worlds right now. You have employers who are ready to hire but can't find people with the right skills, and then you have a lot of people wanting to get hired who don't have those "right" skills. It’s an economic "Catch-22."
More and more, I'm hearing from small business owners who can't find the people they need for key positions, particularly in technological areas. This can include customer service and sales people, as well, who don't have the basic computer aptitude skills now necessary to work those jobs. We've seen it in our own business at SurePayroll, too. We're hiring, but we can't fill the positions.
This Catch-22 is a problem for the economy that looms beyond just revenue growth and job opportunities. The job opportunities won't really do us any good if those who are unemployed aren't ready to take advantage.
How do we fix this? Or maybe this is the first question: Is anyone even trying to fix this? Are the two main Presidential candidates talking about this elephant in the room? They say they want to fix the economy, but neither seems to understand that even if small business wants to start hiring, if we don't have the people with important skills, it's not going to matter.
In business, we're trained to look three to four steps ahead, but in politics right now it seems like the candidates are only looking one step ahead.
I recommend spending money on training programs for the unemployed. Create incentives for businesses to train workers. Do whatever it takes to create a better pool of qualified candidates.
Curing what ails this economy is more complicated than simply inspiring growth to lead to hiring. We have to go deeper than that. Having a more skilled workforce won't just make it easier to fill open positions. It will make our companies stronger, smarter, and more versatile, so they can build on their successes.
This is how when the economy recovers--and we all know the wait has been painful--we can move forward more than just one step at a time.
MICHAEL ALTER | Columnist | President of SurePayroll
Michael Alter is president of SurePayroll, America?s leading online payroll service. He received an MBA from the Harvard Business School and holds a bachelor's degree in economics from Northwestern University.