Workforce Availability and Quality
In many parts of the United States today, significant workforce shortages exist due to an inadequate supply of workers with the skills needed to perform the jobs being added. It is,not that there are too few people-s-only too few with the skills being demanded. In the last several years news reports have regularly described tight labor markets with unemployment rates in some locales below 3%. Also, industries and companies repeatedly report shortages of qualified, experienced workers. Consequently, HR professionals have faced greater press So retain, recruit, and train workers.
Even though more Americans are graduating from high school (84% over age 25 have high school diplomas) and from college (almost 26% over age 25 now have college degrees), employers are often concerned about the preparation and specific skills of new graduates.’ Comparisons of international test results show that U.S. children perform slightly above average in math and science, but well behind some other directly competitive nations.’ Also, graduates with . degrees in computers, engineering and health sciences remain in short supply relative to the demand for them. Unless major efforts are made to improve educational systems. especially those serving minorities, employers will be unable to find enough qualified workers for the growing number of “knowledge jobs.” A number of employers readdressing the deficiencies that many employees have in basic literacy and mathematical skills by administering basic skills assessments to employees. Then they conduct basic mathematics and English skills training classes at workplace sites for employees with deficiencies. Some employers also sponsor programs to assist employees and their family members in obtaining general equivalency .diplomas (GED). To address the skills deficiencies, HR management must do the following:
- Assess accurately the knowledge and skills of existing employees, as well as the knowledge and skills needed for specific jobs.
- Make training for future jobs and skills available for employees at all levels, not just managers and professionals.
- Increase the usage of new training methods, such as interactive videos, individualized computer training, and e-leaning via the Internet.
- Become active partners with public school systems in upgrading the knowledge and skills of high school graduates.