You've probably heard the statistics: The percentage of U.S. companies having difficulty filling open job reqs is north of 60% now, up from around 15% just last year. Yet, the third-hardest jobs to fill this year are engineering positions, behind skilled trades and sales representatives.
How is that possible where official unemployment is 9% and unofficial unemployment or underemployment is double that?
Turns out the problem is with the companies themselves, and, more precisely, their expectations.
So writes Peter Cappelli, a Wharton Professor and director of Wharton's Center for Human resources, in the Wall Street Journal this week.
Companies, he argues, expect plug-and-play recruits and that's just not realistic and contributes to what he calls an "inflexibility problem."
"Finding candidates to fit jobs is not like finding pistons to fit engines, where the requirements are precise and can't be varied. Jobs can be organized in many different ways to that candidates who have very different credentials can do them successfully."
Companies don't train (what he doesn't dwell on and I think is a much bigger problem is companies don't mentor either
As with everything, a reality check is in order.
What's your take?
We know this is probably a problem in our industry because many EE Lifers have been unemployed for more than a year or two and they're incredibly experienced.
If you're hiring, are your finding it difficult to find qualified candidates? Is your company doing less training than it used to? Has it abandoned co-op programs for college engineering students or is that still a valued recruiting tool?