The total number of job openings does remain historically low: 3.2 million, down from 4.4 million before the recession. But the number of openings has surged 37 percent in the past year. And yet the unemployment rate has actually risen during that time. […]
Human resource specialists say employers who increasingly need multi-skilled employees aren’t willing to settle for less. They’d rather wait and hold jobs vacant.
HR specialists even have a nickname for the highly sought but elusive job candidate whose skills and experiences precisely match an employer’s needs: the “purple squirrel.”
This is a trend I’ve seen a lot in information technology. Even with supposed shortages of “qualified” IT workers, workers report great difficulty finding jobs because their requirements are so incredibly niche.
Sometimes it’s just flat-out cluelessness – I’ve heard about job listings that request more years experience with certain software packages than those packages have even existed. But most of the time it’s the employer not being willing to invest in training employees.
Companies have long been relying on temps and “permatemps” instead of actual employees for years now.
There’s some need, of course, for better training programs in schools (as I’ve argued here), but there’s also a certain amount of responsibility employers are going to have to take in training workers. (PG&E is partnering with community colleges to train workers, for instance.)