Beverly Riddick

March Unemployment Figures Reinforce the Need for Skills-Based Hiring

April 12, 2017
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By Beverly Riddick, Executive Director

So, good news and bad news. The good news is that the March unemployment rate declined to 4.5 percent. The bad news is that almost one-quarter of the unemployed have been out of work for more than 27 weeks. Those re-trained Long Term Unemployed get only half the callbacks that others do. Employers aren’t taking the time to get to know what they have to offer.

As employment rates continue to be low, skilled labor may seem to become scarce, which may increase costs for employers. But skilled labor isn’t scarce. About 1.8 million job candidates are among the Long Term Unemployed. They are overlooked not because they are unskilled, not because they don’t want a job, not because they aren’t creative, inventive or hard working. They may be overlooked because hiring managers and algorithms eliminate those who have been out of work for awhile. So fewer call backs lead to a longer unemployment period making it appear that there are no eligible workers who are qualified for the open and available jobs.

That situation is made even worse by the fact that research by Evolv Workforce Insights has shown no difference — none — between skilled sales and service workers hired after an absence from the workforce and those who have worked continually.

Is your business missing out on qualified, eager, dedicated employees because you are looking at something other than the skills needed? If so, reconsider your hiring practices. The people you are overlooking may be credentialed or community college grads, downsized older workers or veterans looking for entry into the civilian workforce: people who have life experiences that give them insights you may need.

Whether you are part of a Fortune 500 company or a mom-and-pop store, check out the Ready To Work Business Collaborative resources that illustrate replicable hiring practices to give you access to an expanded pool of qualified candidates who are ready to add value to your business.

The next Ready To Work Business Collaborative Roundtable, hosted by US Bank, is June 21. We’re working on an amazing lineup of experts – employers to educators – who will speak about the challenges of the growing #skillsgap, best practices in recruiting that don’t shut out the long term unemployed, and consider the goals of Millennials to Boomers in the #workforce today. Please save the date and join us for another compelling #RTWRoundtable! Find details: http://buff.ly/2okFpde

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