The P.A.

A weekly address from Patrick Adams,
President of St. Louis Community Credit Union

We Have a Hiring Puddle

On February 10th, 2014, posted in: Uncategorized by 2 Comments

I’m sure I’ve written about this before now. I’ve been ranting about it for years, so it stands to reason that it would have made its way to these pages.

The quality of personnel emerging as new entrants to the workforce is one of my greatest concerns to the overall success of any business – not just the credit union. My first acknowledgment of this concern was voiced in late 2007 when I confidently announced to our board of directors that one of my greatest concerns was the degradation of our long-term success as a result of our inability to hire qualified, skilled individuals. I said it then, and I’m still barking about it now – almost seven years later.

Sadly, here is the reality of what happens with the new hire. He or she enters the workforce and is told they are not perfect. Further, they must be on time, be alert, not be distracted by their phone, dressed nice, be rested and lucid on the subject matter. When they are not any or all of the above, they are told about their shortcomings with direct statements of displeasure. This, I believe, may be the first time many have heard of their respective faults. They are surprised and taken back by such an attack on their character. After all, to date, they have been given trophies for participating and losing, given As for less than excellent work and continually received a tremendous amount of slack from doting parents. Shame on you Mr. Boss – attacking my precious bundle of joy.

Lest you want to attack me for my opinion, know that businesses across the country share in the concern for finding qualified people. By the way, college degrees are less impressive than ever before – expensive but not always impressive. There are divergent paths between the needs of the workforce and what is being taught in the halls of higher learning. The results are that today’s graduates’ skills fall considerably short of what is needed on the job. The inflated GPA of 3.5 means nothing in a world where everybody gets a 3.5.

There are countless job openings. Growing companies like SLCCU have openings just about year-round. But, companies everywhere in every sector of the economy continue to complain that applicants, including the college grads, don’t have skills or adequate training for the positions available.

Even the Federal Reserve noted in their December 2013 version of the Beige Book that all districts (think nationwide) have difficulty finding qualified workers for craft labor, engineering, IT, and accounting. How is this the case? Young men and women emerge every December and May waving an onion skin that tells of their prowess in the world of academia. Moms, dads and students can prove it – just look at the student debt they’ve accumulated.

Look, we have a problem. We need to have great people in the workforce. Unfortunately, our pool is shallow. Actually, we don’t have a hiring pool anymore – we have a hiring puddle. Calling all talent – see us about a job.

2 Responses to “We Have a Hiring Puddle”

  • Joy says:

    I agree 100%. How do you as the person hiring discern whether a job applicant will be a qualified employee?

  • We take many steps including, testing, role playing and multiple interviewees. We are diligent in making sound decisions to eliminate as many costs as possible associated with turnover.

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