In Uncategorized on May 4, 2020 at 12:26 am

Employers often whine that they can’t find the talent they need. Today’s applicants, they claim, lack skills, education and even a willingness to work.

The truth is altogether different.

Every year, millions of capable, willing-to-work Americans now unemployed because of the arrogance, greed and/or laziness of  employers.

So says Peter Cappelli, the George W. Taylor professor of management at the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania.

Peter Cappelli

Peter Cappelli,

He is also the author of Why Good People Can’t Get Jobs: The Skills Gap and What Companies Can Do About It.

According to Cappelli: 

  • Hiring managers create wildly inflated descriptions of the talents and skills needed for openings: “They ask for the moon.”
  • Computer technology eliminates many qualified people for consideration when their resumes don’t match the inflated qualifications demanded by employers.
  • Employers aren’t willing to pay for the education and skills they demand: “What they really want is someone young, cheap, and experienced.”
  • Online applicants are often told to name a salary expectation. Anyone who names a salary higher salary than what the company is willing to offer is automatically excluded. There’s no chance to negotiate the matter.
  • About 10% of employers admit that the problem is that their desired candidates refuse to accept the positions at the wage level being offered.
  • Employers are not looking to hire entry-level applicants right out of school. They want experienced candidates who can contribute immediately with no training or start-up time.
  • Employers demand that a single employee perform the work of several highly skilled employees. One company wanted an employee to be an expert in (1) human resources, (2) marketing, (3) publishing, (4) project management, (5) accounting and (6) finance.
  • When employers can’t find the “perfect candidate” they leave positions unfilled for months. Meanwhile, if they were willing to offer some training, they might easily find somebody who could come in tomorrow and do the job.
  • Companies have stopped hiring new college graduates and grooming them for management ranks. They no longer have their own training and development departments. Without systems for developing people, companies must recruit outsiders.
  • Employers’ unrealistic expectations are fueled partly by their own arrogance.  There are now more than three jobless people for every job opening. 
  • Imperfect employers believe they should be able to find these “perfect people.”

Here are some other reasons why so many willing-to-work job-seekers cannot find willing-to-hire employers:

  • Height: Dr. Timothy A. Judge,  of the University of Florida and researcher Dr. Daniel M. Cable, of the University of North Carolina, found tha taller a man is, the more he’s likely to earn.  A 6’0″ tall man will make over $160,000 more over the course of a 30-year career than a shorter man in that same position.
  • Hair Color: Women with blond hair earn 7% more than those with darker hair, according to a study by the University of Queensland.
  • Facial Type: A Duke University study found that mature-looking Caucasian men were seen as more powerful in the workplace than their younger men.
  • Amount of Hair: Hair implants and plastic surgery can actually improve your workplace standings–and bring in a bigger paycheck.
  • Smile: Rick Wilson of Rice University found that people who smiled were considered more trustworthy than people who didn’t.

So you’re a job-seeker who’s highly educated, skilled and experienced–and are eager to apply those qualifications for an employer. 

But:  The employer doesn’t like it that: 

  • You’re a man who’s shorter than 6 feet.
  • You’re a woman whose hair color is brown or red.
  • Your facial type isn’t that of a “mature-looking Caucasian man.”
  • You’re a man who’s bald or balding.
  • You’re by nature serious, and not inclined to smile a lot.

So, for reasons that have nothing to do with your ability to work,  you don’t get hired. Or, if you do, you don’t get promoted.

Yet you’re the one who gets blamed for being out-of-work, or for not being promoted.

Because employers are legally allowed to behave as irresponsibly as they wish.

One such corporate employer, J. Willard Marriott, was infamous for the way he promoted executives. Marriott—the owner of A&W Root Beer and Marriott Hotels—would treat a promotion-ready executive to dinner. Then Marriott waited to see if the executive put salt and/or pepper on his food before tasting it. 

If he did, he could forget his promotion as far as Marriott was concerned.

Supposedly, Marriott believed that such a candidate was unwilling to explore situations before making a decision.

Other CEOs have refused to hire or promote on whether the applicant chose steak or fish for his lunch/dinner. Steak was thought to be a “man’s meal,” while fish was considered in some way unmanly.

Millions of willing-to-work Americans can find the employment merited by their education, skills and dedication.

But this will happen only when employers are held legally and financially accountable for their laziness, greed, arrogance and/or just plain insanity. 

A first and major step in that direction: Stop electing those who take what amount to corporate bribes (i.e., “campaign contributions”) to the House of Representatives, the Senate and the Presidency.

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