Magazine article Personnel Journal

How Businesses Search for Qualified Applicants

Magazine article Personnel Journal

How Businesses Search for Qualified Applicants

Article excerpt

Few question the recession's impact on employment. Huge layoffs, gloomy unemployment figures--the list goes on. What comes as a surprise, however, is that many employers report they are still searching for qualified job applicants.

What is separating those looking for jobs from employers looking for qualified workers? Skills, according to a recent National Association of Manufacturers (NAM) survey that was presented in a Towers Perrin report entitled: Today's Dilemma: Tomorrow's Competitive Edge.


As the 1992 economic upturn becomes a reality, the shortage of skilled talent is re-emerging as a major issue. Those that are hiring reject five out of every six applicants, usually due to gaps between applicant skills and job requirements. An overwhelming 64% of respondents said they reject an applicant because they question the applicant's ability to adapt to the work environment. One-third regularly reject candidates because of poor reading and writing skills, while 25% feel that their applicants have inadequate communication and/or calculation skills.

Although 23% of respondents reported offering remedial training, just as many are simply lowering their hiring standards and/or recruiting outside their local area. Seventeen percent have lowered job requirements by restructuring job descriptions.

"This appears to be a Catch-22 situation," says Julie Nielsen, spokesperson at Towers Perrin. "Just as workers' skills are declining, demands from industry have increased due to upgraded technology."


The survey, based on the responses of 360 NAM member companies, found that "serious labor shortages exist in many hourly classifications in most areas of the country. Skilled craft workers are in short supply everywhere and most areas cannot find enough semi-skilled operators. …

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