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Lack of talent may reflect a discrepancy between the skills an employer needs and their...

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Lack of talent may reflect a discrepancy between the skills an employer needs and their availability in the labor market, rather than an overall shortage of job applicants or promotable employees. What are some ways to manage this problem?

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There are a number of things that can be done to solve this sort of a mismatch between employers’ needs and the sorts of skills that are available in the labor market.  Let us look at three possibilities here.  All of them have their negative aspects, but they all at least have the potential to be helpful. 

One thing that an employer can do is to broaden the labor market.  If an employer cannot find enough people with a given skill set, they might want to look farther afield.  In other words, an employer might want to advertise their jobs online or in the newspapers of nearby big cities.  This would mean that they would have a larger pool of potential employees who might have the necessary skills.

A second thing an employer could do is to hire and then provide on the job training.  If the job’s requirements can be picked up in a relatively short period, it may be worth it for the employer to hire people who lack the skills and then provide them with those skills.

Finally, employers might partner with the government to make a better match between workers’ skills and those needed by business.  Business is often instrumental in pushing education reform today.  Businesses want people who graduate from high school or college with the right skills.  Therefore, they encourage governments to make sure that those skills are taught. 

In these ways, businesses can try to make sure that their labor pool has the skills that they need.

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