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With hiring so hard, where are the opportunities to do things differently?

After looking at the larger market, let’s dive down into staffing.

CompTIA’s analysis of the US Labor Statistics data says tech companies are on a hiring spree – adding 26,800 workers in August, which is the largest monthly gain since November 2018.    Unemployment in tech occupations is at 1.5% compared with the national rate of 5.2%

Finding those workers might be made worse by software, says a report from the Harvard Business School.   Automated resume scanning software is mistakenly rejecting millions of viable candidates.   Used by 75% of US employers, examples are rejecting candidates with gaps of six months in their employment history, or specific mismatches of skills with a single one missing.    Companies seem aware of the problems – nearly nine out of 10 executives knew they were losing candidates but fixing the problems would require overhauling the hiring system.

Workers don’t have the time to get new skills, with gaps in cybersecurity and cloud computing knowledge, per a Pluralsight survey.     While 62% of organizations offer online technology skills development, only half of employees used the resource in the last 12 months. Nearly half (47%) of employers invested in virtual instructor-led training, but only one in three employees used it.

Workers also seem to waste a lot of time on monotonous tasks – in a Kyron report, 79% of workers surveyed said they waste 30% of the day or more those, and 78% of employees are willing to push repeated tasks off to a digital assistant.

New data from MBO partners, which is a company that provides business solutions to the independent work force… aka, gig workers.    The number of people employed in non-traditional ways in the US jumped 34% this year compared to 2020, at 51 million.    That’s one-third of US employment.    This includes contract workers, the self-employed, temp and on-call, and those getting short term jobs through online apps or marketplaces.  

And… some data on Amazon staffing via Bloomberg.   When screening for marijuana, the company’s driver applicant pool drops by 30%.   When explicitly advertising they do not screen for weed… Amazon says the pool jumps by 400%.  

Why do we care?

So…. Tech workers are hard to find.    Hiring algorithms are rejecting candidates… yet businesses won’t fix the problem.     Employees aren’t given enough time to expand their skills, and in some cases could automate portions of the job.    Workers are becoming gig workers, and over screening on things like marijuana, now increasingly legal, are also reducing the pool.

I don’t believe there’s a labor shortage and instead a lot of employers not investing in building a workforce.    The takeaway here is that those who invest deliberately with something else can clearly outperform.    Ask the what ifs?  What if… an employer didn’t screen for drugs? What if.. an employer invested in people rather than hiring systems…  What if… an investment in automation freed up workers rather than replaced them?  What if?