One of my favorite Shakespeare quotes is from Julius Caesar and is spoken by Cassius. He’s trying to get Brutus to stop Caesar and reminds him that “The fault, dear Brutus, is not in our stars, but in ourselves, that we are underlings”. In other words, we control our own destinies, not fate.
I thought of that this morning as I saw some research on recruiting from the folks at Bullhorn. It’s an annual survey of recruiting professionals and in it they asked about what those folks perceived to be the biggest challenge they would face this year. As MediaPost reported:
Recruiting professionals listed their biggest challenge for 2013 as a lack of skilled candidates (33%). Additionally, in a separate question, 76.1% of respondents claimed to have a shortage of skilled candidates in their respective recruiting sectors.
What does this have to do with the Shakespeare quote? We’re in the midst of a nasty employment cycle. You’ll notice I said “employment” cycle, not economic. The stock market is back to where it was in 2000 and corporate earnings have doubled since then. Even so, employment is soft. Part of that has to do with how technology has made many processes way more efficient. I think it’s had another effect which has to do with why qualified job candidates are so hard to find.
Many managers have come to think of employees as disposable. They’re lucky to have jobs and if they’re not happy there are lots of people available. Due to this, there’s less of an emphasis on training and development The tech factor is at work here as well – think about how many people can’t write properly because the machine checks spelling and grammar (but not meaning or homophones or homonyms). We don’t train so people are less skilled. Because they’re less skilled, the recruiters have a small pool from which to draw. The fault, dear hiring employer, is in ourselves. You agree?