Are you looking for a job?

This article was first published in the Trinidad Express Newspapers on March 27th 2019.

Are you “between jobs” as they say? Retrenched? Recently retired and looking for a way to supplement your pension?

Are you finding it difficult to get what you are looking for? If so, have you stopped to consider that you may be using out of date and obsolete search methods? Are you still doing what people did in 2009?  Sending out dozens of resumes, reading the classifieds? And not getting results?

Life has changed, work needs have changed, management systems have had to change in order to stay alive. I work for a company that looks hard for people to fill jobs…not jobs for people who are looking for work. Employers are finding it difficult to get people who can meet the requirements of today’s organisational needs. We placed an ad looking for six middle-level administrative positions for a client the other day.

We got over a thousand applicants, complete with resumes. Approximately four hundred for each position. How many H.R. managers do you think have the time to do all their other jobs as well as to read four hundred letters and four hundred resumes, interview and check references and qualifications for four hundred applicants for each position?  One bad job hire can cost an organisation $150,000.00 over a probationary period of six months.  Efficient organisations run tight ships where everyone can and will multi-task, where every hour makes a difference between making a profit and making a loss. No one can any longer hire someone who wants a job description that will outline their responsibilities for life, and enable them to say: ”No. I won’t do that. It is not in my job description.” Who needs them? What employers want are people who will welcome change and ask: “How do I learn to do that?”

The basic computer skills that students come out of school with are no longer enough. The school books were written years ago. Before technology changed all of our lives. Before the interface between business methods and wifi, digital electronics, smart phone mobile apps, AI, integrated circuits and sensors, transistor functions, algorithms and the numerous other functions that have become so much a part of work that we don’t even notice them.

If they are not in your work functions now they will be by 2020, and employers are not looking for someone who can operate on last year’s needs, but on 2020 needs, or who are capable of adapting and learning the new skills and resiliencies that we all know are coming up.

Are you still in the typing and shorthand era? Are you content with a school curriculum that has not even defined applied math and problem trees? Do you not believe that  technology changes our lives that quickly?

Who even remembers processing Kodak film? Diskettes? MP3 players?

How will a police force, not attuned to technology hired five years ago, handle a criminal that videos a murder he is committing on his headset? Or transfers drugs by drones or submersibles? Or even to use effectively the computer network that every station is supposed to already have?

Perhaps the question to ask is: ”How do we make sure our workforce does not have built-in obsolescence nor our organisations  built to fail?

Perhaps by developing adaptive and predictive leaders, not leaders persuading employees that staying away from work is legitimate because a judicial function has to be re-organised in order to make it compliant with new legislation.

Every employer now looks not only for academic qualifications and skills, they look for work experience and above all attitude to work. They are looking for people who they can depend on to be still productive and creative in 2020 and beyond, not people who want to stay in the past.

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