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Room 4 Improvement 11

(April 10, 2006)  The Labor and Skills Shortages

Some facts

  • In 1978 our workforce growth rate was 3.5 percent. By 2008, the Bureau of Labor Statistics projects the rate to be 1 percent.
  • By 2008 the number of young adult workers, from 25 to 40 year olds, will DECLINE by 1.7 million. That's 1.7 million less workers to replace the nearly 77 million baby boomers who will be eligible for retirement.
  • We now add fewer 25 and older workers to the labor force each year than we did through the 1980's.
  • The population of the 60 year and older group in the developed world will expand from 99 million in 1950 to 248 million at the turn of the century to 298 million in the year 2050.
  • The 50 and older population from 2000-2050 will grow at a rate 68 times faster than the rate of growth for the total population
    (From The Perfect Labor Storm)

Local hero, Dub Dubs weighs in strongly with the proto-capitalist admonishment that we can easily find talent elsewhere. Taking a similar stance, pooh poohing the shortage is Fast Company.  SHRM offers an unusually thoughtful perspective arguing that changes are on the horizon, driven by demographics but currently hard to quantify (surprisingly like an HR outlet, no?).

Job boards can only reflect the bodies and skills that are available in the market place. The question that will be hardest to figure out is whether the audiences they serve are representative of the overall market. It is remarkably easy to assert that the recruiter's experience of "declining quality" is somehow caused by the job board when it is a simple case of market availability.

Since there is little interesting data on the subject, it's an area in which hand-waving and smoke blowing can gain some traction.

There is some room for improvement here, however. There is no good reason that job boards don't build relationships with their customers based on future needs. A collaborative arrangement that estimates candidate requirements and demographics and then sets about developing that audience is a reasonable business model. That's what smart companies are already doing with their own websites.

Revisiting The Job Board:

 John Sumser . - .  Permalink . - . Today's Bugler

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