Skip to comments.Hard Unemployment Truths About 'Soft' Skills (many applicants fail drug tests, lack work ethic)
Posted on 09/20/2012 5:34:05 AM PDT by reaganaut1
At a recent dinner in Washington, D.C., with representatives from major American manufacturing companies, I listened as the talk turned to how hard it is to find qualified applicants for jobs.
"What exactly are the skills you can't find?" I asked, imagining that openings for high-tech positions went begging because, as we hear so often, the training of the U.S. workforce doesn't match up well with current corporate needs.
One of the representatives looked sheepishly around the room and responded: "To be perfectly honest . . . we have a hard time finding people who can pass the drug test." Several other reps gave a knowing nod. Applicants were often so underqualified, they said, that simply finding someone who could properly answer the telephone was sometimes a challenge.
But considerable evidence suggests that many employers would be happy just to find job applicants who have the sort of "soft" skills that used to be almost taken for granted. In the Manpower Group's 2012 Talent Shortage Survey, nearly 20% of employers cited a lack of soft skills as a key reason they couldn't hire needed employees. "Interpersonal skills and enthusiasm/motivation" were among the most commonly identified soft skills that employers found lacking.
Employers also mention a lack of elementary command of the English language. A survey in April of human-resources professionals conducted by the Society for Human Resource Management and the AARP compared the skills gap between older workers who were nearing retirement and younger workers coming into the labor pool. More than half of the organizations surveyed reported that simple grammar and spelling were the top "basic" skills among older workers that are not readily present among younger workers.
The SHRM/AARP survey also found that "professionalism" or "work ethic" is the top "applied" skill that younger workers lack.
(Excerpt) Read more at online.wsj.com ...
My company had lots of school construction work to accomplish over this past summer-break.
We were literally taking in 50-60 applications a week. After initial screening, we would bring in 20-30; after drug testing we would have about 10 left for training and after a full week or work, usually only two or three had showed up on time, with their tools, ready to work all five days!
The work ethic in the latest generation is simply DISMAL! They only want a paycheck, they are not interested in anything that could advance their skills, careers or personal worth!
No surprise. I am enrolled in a continuing education class at the local community college. Classes are nightly at a local high school. Ours is in the 11th and 12th grade 'honors' English classroom.
The topics for papers are related to slavery, etc. The spelling and grammatical errors are beyond belief in the papers that are posted on the board as exemplary. I cringe to think of what passes for the best in classes below the 'honors' English.
Almost 20 years ago, I attended an open house at my son’s high school. In the English class room, we were given a handout. After the other parents left the room at the end, I spoke with the teacher and pointed out the obvious grammatical errors. I said it didn’t give me much confidence in what she was teaching my son. She said she hadn’t had the time to proof read beforehand. Such a flimsy excuse!
“To be perfectly honest . . . we have a hard time finding people who can pass the drug test.”
About that zombie apocalypse coming.........
No doubt the progressives will argue drug and skills testing should be eliminated and it is the responsibility of the employer to motivate the employee through higher wages and benefits. Since the employers can’t find people to do the jobs, the progressive answer is to have the government bureaucrats at the unemployment office do the hiring. Let the government determine which of the registered unemployed are most suited for a position and sent that person to the company to be trained for the position. Give the employer tax credits for hiring. Problem solved.
You are SO on the mark about this.
I have a friend who works in light industrial staffing. The drug test failure rate is around 65%. And these younger people clearly have lost the work ethic. They will call off or no-show at the drop of a hat in order to go out and party (or recover from the one the prior evening)
It’s like they’re from a totally different planet than me, and I’m not THAT old.
We refer to this state as “going feral”. People have been on unemployment so long that they no longer understand the concept of going to work, staying at work and keeping clean. We require a 40 hour week. Anything less, they have to use leave. They quickly run out of leave and then want a solution. They simply can’t work a 40 hour week. They have too many other things to do.
People use up 10 days of sick leave in the first month. Then they discover we have something called “Leave Without Pay” which disturbs them greatly.
My wife’s cousin has a “disease” called “I can’t get up in the morning”. His mom called the office where he worked and tried to splain it to them but they weren’t sympathetic at all so he lost his desk job. Now he works at Walmart.
In 1990 I audited the Safety Programs of self-insured companies in PA. I went to a nationally known manufacturer in Pittsburgh and audited them. When the question “Do you have a drug prevention program?” was aked the poor safety manager stood up and pointed out the window to the working floor and told me “Yes we do. The only problem is that over 60% of those you see are either drunk or high right at this time. What are we supposed to do? Shut the place down?” I looked out and saw 100 or more employees.
Often people live chaotic lives and keeping or getting a job is nearly impossible. They get drunk and get tossed in jail (not good for a job), they have to be in court for one reason or another (again not good), they can’t get along with fellow workers or just can’t discipline themselves (and never have) to get up on time on a regular basis. They won’t stay off drugs (no one is going tell them what to do!)
And then the low reading skills is a dead weight to getting and holding a job.
I haven’t nailed down the exact term I’d like to use.
Perhaps my FRiends could make suggestions.
I’m stuck between “Ozombies” and “Obambies” to describe the Obama zombie squads that will be trudging the land when “mah check” doesn’t show up as expected.
And they have no interest in “braaaains”, just your money & stuff.
Why the hell doesn’t someone state the obvious? The OLDER generation (me, too!) went to things called SCHOOLS, where they were TAUGHT. Taught things like math, English (the language of the land), geography, spelling, grammar, manners,civics, economics, and the fact that homeWORK had darn well better be done.
In other words, they went to a school system that for almost 200 years EDUCATED students and prepared them for the task of building this nation.
Today, “students” are taught self-esteem, the joy of almost succeeding, the need for diversity, to feel good, and most important..sex education.
The fault lies not with the younger generation..they are the innocent products of a school system that will not, cannot, and is not interested in EDUCATION. These younger people have learned well the lessons they were taught, the problem is those lessons are their ruin.
“We refer to this state as going feral.
People use up 10 days of sick leave in the first month. Then they discover we have something called Leave Without Pay which disturbs them greatly.”
Oh my gosh! Do you work where I work? I am proud to say in the past 16 years I have worked for the same employer I have used 6 sick days. Everyone else around here uses at least 6 PER YEAR! One guy is so sick all of the time he buys an extra week of vacation because he runs out of sick leave. He is a young 20 something and has a side job giving away free drinks at parties for the liquor distributors. Most of his sick days are on Mondays or Fridays. Gee I think I can put two and two together there!!!
Can’t remember the last time I only worked a 40 hour week. I average between 50-60 hours a week. I’ve got so much PTO (Paid Time Off) accrued that I could leave for about 10 weeks. We’ve got a new hire here at my company who’s fresh out of school that comes in close the morning deadline and literally runs out the door as soon as he hits the minimum hours requirement. Half the time he looks likes he’s day-dreaming at his desk wishing he was somewhere else.
boy, that is pretty pathetic! If it were me, I’d be drug free, on your doorstep at the crack of dawn, ready to work. And I’m a girl! :)
You know some might be able to spell if they would stop texting and twittering all day. My spelling has never been great but the people around me are atrocious!
When 90% of the day is spent communicating with sentences like “C U l8tr cuse I be hanging @ D howze” it’s no wonder they look stupid. Also, this is no longer just a “black” thing it’s all kids.