The intersection between HR strategy and HR technology

Workforce Planning – how not to do it

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I was reading an LA Times article about teenagers not being able to get jobs. Seems that employers are attempting to hire more experienced people. Looking at the current demographic situation in the U.S. and probably other places in the world, a huge portion of the employable workforce is about to retire, taking knowledge, management, and process expertise with them. So it makes sense that as these employees retire or get ready to retire, employers are trying to beef up their staff with mid-career professionals to fill the gap that will be left.

Here’s the problem with this dysfunctional approach. As mid-career professionals fill in the gap left by late career employees, what are we doing to prepare early entrants to the job market? Certainly college recruiting is on the rise everywhere, so if you have a 4 year degree, your chances of employment are very good. In fact, I recently spoke with a (very impressive) graduate who had no less than 6 offers from various consulting and finance firms. The reality is however, that many job market entrants are not going to be college educated. The U.S. is offshoring these (unskilled labor) jobs at a good rate but not doing much to re/train people.

So basically, we have a “perfect storm.” The loss of immense knowledge and a displacement of low-skill jobs. I’d say that people in the middle of their careers now have an amazing opportunity to step up and reshape the future of work in the U.S. Any ideas?


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