From watching the news on TV, you would think there isn’t a single job opening in the country. Headlines claim unemployment continues to rise, small businesses aren’t hiring and more and more workers have been out of work for so long they’re not even counted in the unemployment statistics. You’d think small business has been crushed out of existence under the weight of taxation, regulation and uncertainty. Yet I’ve been hearing something different.
The story from both Clients and vendors isn’t a lack of jobs –most are hiring – but, rather, a lack of talent. For more than a year, these companies have been actively trying to fill positions for Web site designers, marketing managers, sales people, equipment installers and other positions but of hundreds of resumes, barely a handful warrant even an interview. Few applicants bring the knowledge, skills and mindset needed to contribute to a company. But more alarming and disheartening, many applicants demonstrate a lack of desire, determination and urgency to get to work, the traits that exemplified the American labor force for centuries. Not anymore?
A Cintas laundry route driver said it best this morning as he loaded heavy mats onto his van, “You have to have the will to work.” Small business is still creating jobs, despite federal interference. What’s missing seems to be skilled people willing to get to work.