Associated challenges in the recovering workforce


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A brief point paper outlining skill gaps in the employment workforce. Solutions provided to enhance job search strategy and career development options.

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Associated challenges in the recovering workforce

  1. 1. Associated Challenges in the Recovering WorkforceThis point paper will provide an overview of the workforce skill gaps and employmentchallenges affecting our job market today. A number of key elements diminish opportunitiesconsistently across the board and affect our job seekers, graduates, and employees. Employersare hiring harder and smarter, with more upper-level requirements, which has pushed individualsto return to school to obtain degrees and certifications to enhance their credentials. Someemployment challenges include:  Seasoned employees and graduates, debate over experience vs. educational requirements, and which is more powerful.  Candidates are fighting the race for hire and existing employees are underemployed to secure income and meet daily expenses.  Qualified employees are not in roles that fulfill their career ambitions.The job market and hiring outlook show signs of optimism and suggest that each individualmust effectively participate in the full job search strategy, from application to hire, withpersistence. One hundred job seekers or more may be applying for the same opportunity. Thisdata can encourage, or discourage, anyone employed, unemployed, or underemployed.However, in our evolving workforce, everyone will need to be prepared for these challenges. Itis up to each individual to persist in the workforce and continually produce measureable results.2011(Society of Human Resources Management) SHRM Poll: The Ongoing Impact of theRecession – Recruiting & Skill GapsTop Four Areas of Applied Skill Gaps 1. Critical thinking/problem solving 2. Professionalism/work ethic 3. Written communication 4. LeadershipWORKFORCE INITIATIVES │ PO BOX 313 │MURFREESBORO, TN 37133 │ (615) 848-4799 │INFO@WORKFORCESUCCESS.BIZ
  2. 2. The applied skill gaps that face hiring managers and decision makers are introduced during theinterview process and then on-the-job performance. As our generation booms with moretechnical applications and the use of software to generate data, employers need individuals whocan evaluate and interpret data. The ability to transform data into solutions allows the previouslynoted skills that are lacking to be displayed and make notable contributions.These applied skills are major competencies that are fundamental to solution building. Thisrequirement is comparable to ammunition that should be presented during the interview process.It is in the interview stage that candidates are expected to specifically describe problems theyhave faced and specifically how they solved them. Hiring managers can then make viabledecisions based on experiences, accomplishments, and behaviors.New Graduate ChallengesSHRM Workplace Trends and Forecast reported May 2012: “Half of recent college graduates are jobless or underemployed in positions that don’t use their skills and knowledge fully.”As graduates face student loans and anticipate successful careers based on their educationalachievements, it is only a matter of time before their entry-level careers become stagnant. Factorsthat contribute to this outcome circle back to the recruiting skill gaps previously mentioned thathalt their drive, ambition, and goals. They are well equipped with relevant knowledge but unableto apply necessary behaviors, which contributes to these skill gaps. Graduates can sometimes beunaware of their own contributions and individual perceptions of their own abilities that positionthem in an underemployed or unemployed position.Six Tips for the New Graduate 1. Never burn your bridges. 2. Be proactive in your education, throughout your career, and in career transition. 3. Learn to speak up with discretion. 4. Use your high school or college extracurricular activities as real-life examples of your experience and credibility. (Present evidence of problem solving; being a team player; being dependable, creative, analytical, and organized; and other strengths). 5. Understand your environment, your goals, and your strengths. 6. Measure, evaluate, and adjust your skills, behaviors, and achievements quarterly.WORKFORCE INITIATIVES │ PO BOX 313 │MURFREESBORO, TN 37133 │ (615) 848-4799 │INFO@WORKFORCESUCCESS.BIZ
  3. 3. Job Market, 2nd Quarter 2012According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, jobs are being created; jobs are open eventhough we have an unemployment rate of 8.2% as of June 1, 2012. These facts clearly indicatewe still have work to do as job seekers and career professionals. The table below displaysminimal employment progression from 2011 to 2012 that contributes to the stagnant workforcegrowth. Unemployment Rate 2011 vs. 2012 Year Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun 2011 9.1 9.0 8.9 9.0 9.0 9.1 2012 8.3 8.3 8.2 8.1 8.2Employers seek candidates to invest in their job search strategy (professional, organized, andfocused resume and interview; networking; referrals, etc.) and sell their skills through innovativejob search strategies (LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook). Hiring processes are more automated andthe volume of applicants can be extreme, so applicant frustration is understandable. But jobseekers must ride out the turbulence and not allow delayed responses, or no responses at all, tohinder their job search. Unemployment is not the final solution. Individuals should invest andnurture their job search strategy on a consistent basis. This includes developing a sufficientresume and job search accessories (cover letters, follow-up strategies, thank you notes). Aresume and resume accessories do not get you the job; only you can get you the job. Theresume opens the door, so market your resume and yourself.12 Job-Search Strategies 1. Follow companies on LinkedIn, Facebook, and Twitter (use #jobsearch, #hiring, and other hashtags on Twitter). 2. Apply directly on employer websites. 3. Compare and accurately align your resume with the job postings (keywords, requirements, etc.). 4. Participate in local professional/charity organizations and their events, and inquire about job vacancies in alignment with your expertise (speed networking, career centers, alumni associations, church).WORKFORCE INITIATIVES │ PO BOX 313 │MURFREESBORO, TN 37133 │ (615) 848-4799 │INFO@WORKFORCESUCCESS.BIZ
  4. 4. 5. In your cover letter or during your interview, offer to volunteer services for a minumum number of hours to determine whether there is a job fit and to showcase your efforts. 6. Visit employers directly and leave a professional resume or business card with a link (see website for resume spotlight) to your online resume or your complete LinkedIn profile. 7. Partner with recruitment professionals and staffing agencies for direct introductions and temp-to-hire opportunities. 8. Search the local newspapers and want ads weekly. 9. Create a spreadsheet of your job search and evaluate the results. 10. Follow up with a call, e-mail, or LinkedIn message to check the status of vacancies. 11. Enroll in multilevel marketing opportunities to expand your network, develop a revenue stream, and perfect your presentation and business skills (, Mary Kay, Avon, Pamper Chef, Ardyss International). 12. Ask your dentist, doctor, church members, Little League teams, and day care providers for employment leads.Top 4 Industries Hiring (Bureau of Labor Statistics, June 1, 2012)Health Services  Physician offices  Ambulatory healthcare services  Home health servicesTransportation  Transit and ground passenger transportation  Courier servicesWholesale Trade (retail establishments typically purchase from wholesale trade establishments)  Business and sales inventory occupations  General and business operations  Administrative support/sales representative positionsWORKFORCE INITIATIVES │ PO BOX 313 │MURFREESBORO, TN 37133 │ (615) 848-4799 │INFO@WORKFORCESUCCESS.BIZ
  5. 5. Associated Challenges in the Recovering Workforce Today  Applied skill gaps  The inability of new graduates to use their skills fully  Job search burdens  Challenging hiring strategiesIn order to meet the challenges in this era, the underemployed or unemployed must offer passionand innovative abilities in presenting their credentials as well as during the hiring process andconsistently on the job once hired.Some Solutions  Implement more people skills to identify the opportunities and create unexplored avenues to generate job search leads.  Develop a job search and interview strategy with professional marketing materials such as your resume in an organized and focused format that speaks to prospective employers.  Enhance existing performance and measurable results from job search efforts and overall performance contributions.  Invest in self-development training and create an action plan to improve.  Take advantage of performance evaluations and development plans.  Track your accomplishments and contributions for volunteer, charity and actual work experience.  Stay abreast of what industries are hiring and find companies in these industries.We all have values and personal preferences, but you must understand the job market andpress forward confidently in your online and personal presence both during and after your jobsearch. The competition is fierce, and the requirements are tough.By joining our mailing list or Facebook page, you will receive ongoing informative news, jobpostings and updates on workforce strategies and services to enhance your opportunities. Takeadvantage of the FREE Job Search Audit and a 30-minute FREE consultation offered byWorkforce Initiatives to discover and clarify your workforce challenges, and identify areas toenhance your position in the workforce today.Access these two FREE services via our website at additional information on the services and professional development events WorkforceInitiatives has to offer, please visit us at INITIATIVES │ PO BOX 313 │MURFREESBORO, TN 37133 │ (615) 848-4799 │INFO@WORKFORCESUCCESS.BIZ