The Labor Shortage, Not Just on Labor Day

Why are we having a labor shortage? Let us begin with a description of what an employer looks for in a prospective employee.

  1. Application. Complete, legible, and submitted on or before the deadline, with attached resume.
  2. Interview.
    1. Punctual.
    2. Appearance – neat; dressed appropriately, hair well-groomed, if applicable; clean clothing; footwear.
    3. Communication – warm smile; direct eye contact; good posture; firm handshake. Clear, continuous and audible speech. Answers only the questions asked. Sincere. Relaxed.
    4. Knowledge – demonstrates a command of the subject matter required to accomplish the duties and tasks of the position.
    5. Experience – expands on details of materials listed in resume.
    6. Questions asked by applicant indicate interest in clarification, explanation of specific details pertinent and unique to the position being sought.
    7. Employer contacts references for confirmation and/or clarification of information provided in application, interview. and letters of recommendation.
  3. Employer informs applicant of decision to hire, designates training period, and start date for employment.

Following are selected primary issues related to the labor shortage.

  1. Low unemployment rate confirms there are more jobs available than applicants for those positions.
  2. Inadequate number of applicants in specific fields: teachers, high tech vacancies, healthcare, food service.
  3. Increased changing enforcement of immigration laws.
  4. Identified needed training not available in the locale.

How are we as a community working together to face the challenge of our labor shortage? How are our leaders providing resources where most warranted? Are we willing to take care of the shortages of workers within our own community, instead of seeking help from non-residents? What can we do to match the education of our current workers and graduating youth to ensure jobs for them upon their meeting minimum qualification?

We can do better, if we do it together.