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War V: Tools

(September 14, 2006) Imagine a matrix.

Across the top are the nine hundred and fifty occupations covered by a variety of job schema. It could be ONet:

The O*NET database is a comprehensive source of descriptors, with ratings of importance, level, frequency or extent, for more than 950 occupations that are key to our economy. The current O*NET 6.0 database is the second of planned twice-annual updates of the O*NET database, and brings the number of comprehensively updated occupations to 180. O*NET descriptors include: skills, abilities, knowledge, tasks, work activities, work context, experience levels required, job interests, and work values/needs. Each O*NET occupational title and code is based on the most current version (2000) of the Standard Occupational Classification System. (Department of Labor)

Most of our audience are familiar with the flaws in ONet. It falls behind quickly; it's overly bureaucratic and so on. It has the single advantage of being repeatable.

Down the side would be the 1,000 or so Metropolitan and Micropolitan Statistical Areas (MMSAs)in the Country. This covers roughly 96 % of the population of the United States. The smallest city is about 15,000. The largest is a continent of its own.

With this spreadsheet (matrix), there are enough spaces to articulate the entirety of the domestic labor supply and demand.

Each cell would contain a small library of information. Numbers of, say, web designers in the MMSA (you could probably get all of their names), number of job ads for those web designers, wage and salary data, information about adjacent markets, employment and unemployment data for the specific occupation, turnover rates in the MMSA and so on.

A matrix that shows this sort of detail about the labor market niches would allow you some levels of clarity about the impact of local labor shortages and surpluses on your organization.

That's where dislocations in supply really matter. They exist as a function of market opportunity and timing. They are quantifiable. They have obvious impacts.

The trick is to clearly uinderstand the problem from the precise perspective of your organization.

From our perspective, the vast majority of the waste in the hiring process comes from a failure to understand and engage the local labor markets.

John Sumser © TwoColorHat. All Rights Reserved.
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