Monday, October 28, 2013

A Skills Gap? Maybe Not

Around the country, there are complaints from many employers of a gap occurring between those seeking jobs and those seeking workers.  Despite still-high unemployment, many report job openings and difficulty finding workers.   It's been called the "skills gap." 

Though I believe there is a skills gap for certain manufacturing skills in certain places in the country, I'm also finding myself more often siding with the growing crowd who believes that the gap could be of a different sort.

A classic example of that different sort of gap came to my attention today.  I saw a job query come across my e-mail among a lengthy list of such queries. 

The posting was for picker/packer jobs.  These are jobs were one takes products from a big box, or picks, then puts them in a different box, or packs.

The wage was listed as $9 per hour on third shift which was 11 p.m. to 7 a.m.  Oh yeah, the job required one pass the background check and drug tests.  Also, given the location, it was more than likely, the job takers would have to drive more than a dozen miles one way to get to the job site too.

For background, know that Ohio's minimum wage is $7.85.  In two months, it increases to $7.95.  So, that's a job that pays barely $1 above minimum wage.

If these jobs get filled, it may prove there is no skills gap at all. 

However, if this one goes unfilled, I think it more proves that whatever HR department created this job posting is the one with the skills gap. Wow.

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