Hiring for STEM skills in the New Year – Don’t wait

STEM skills worker in the fieldAs we near the end of 2013, is your 2014 workforce in place?  If you haven’t already, get a head start on recruiting for your current and projected 2014 hiring needs, especially if you’re recruiting employees with science, technical, engineering and mathematical (STEM) skills.  One of the most difficult challenges facing companies is the severe and growing gap in professionals with STEM skills.

To learn more about the STEM skills gap and its source, view our new infographic.

Recruiting for STEM jobs

Skilled STEM workers are particularly difficult to find, so we’ve compiled a list of recruiting strategies you can start using now to have your hires ready for January 1, 2014. 
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The Skills Gap and the State of the Economy

Job seekers lack soft skillsThere are plenty of available jobs in the U.S. Unfortunately, there’s no one to fill them.

This is just one of the surprising findings revealed in a 2012 white paper by the World Economic Forum. 600,000 jobs are currently unfilled in the manufacturing sector alone. This figure seems at odds with the unemployment rates that have become a media mainstay over past several years. With so many people out of work, how can so many jobs be open?

The problem, it turns out, is a considerable gap between the skills American workers have and the skills they need to perform in the contemporary industrial workplace.

According to the white paper, 67% of industrial hirers polled experience substantial difficulty finding employees skilled enough to do the available jobs. 56% polled said that they anticipate the problem getting worse in the near future.

To understand more about this issue, we recently surveyed 500 senior executives in a variety of industries. Their responses emphatically underscore the World Economic Forum’s findings: a troubling skills gap exists in the United States, and it threatens the very future of American business.
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Holding onto millennial job hoppers

Millennial indecisive about his job. He, like many other Gen Yers may be a job hopper.“A generation of job hoppers” is how Millennial branding expert Dan Schawbel described Generation Y workers in a recent Human Resource Executive article.

“While older generations are looking for salary and benefits, Millennials are looking for meaningful and flexible work,” Schawbel said in the article. “What they want from their jobs is different, and that’s why they leave in a couple years.”

And indeed, Millennials typically are switching jobs at a swifter rate than previous generations. A recent study found 60% of Millennials leaving their companies in less than three years, with the average cost to replace that employee between $15,000 and $25,000.

For managers and companies focused on retention, these figures can prove daunting. Yet steps can be taken to help boost your odds of keeping your best millennial workers longer. 
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Providing Millennials with Consistent Feedback

A manager giving his millennial worker feedback to better improve his overall performance on the job. Feedback improves the performance of your millennials.So how am I doing?

That question is frequently on the mind of many Millennial workers who want timely and consistent feedback on the job.

As Dharmesh Shah, founder of HubSpot, stated in a recent blog post: “To a Millennial, waiting a year for an annual review is like waiting a month for their newly ordered iPhone to arrive. They crave regular and immediate advice, reaction, response, and praise because they have a constant drive to ‘calibrate.’”

For managers accustomed to only doling out feedback at established performance review meetings, this emerging dynamic can present some challenges.

Yet by taking a few simple steps, managers can develop an approach that allows for steady feedback, without devouring too much time. 
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4 tips for winning the talent game

In any job market, talent can come and go in the blink of an eye. This is especially true today.

Six years after the recession began, the economy and the job market continue to inch towards recovery at a glacial pace. However, while the general unemployment rate hovers above 7 percent, the unemployment rate for college graduates with a bachelor’s degree or above is less than 4 percent. The gap between college educated professionals and those without high school degrees is even more profound, as the unemployment rate for the latter segment is 12.7 percent. The competition for well-educated, well-prepared professionals is fierce (a function of supply and demand), and the opportunity to hire them is fleeting.
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Tips for hiring and attracting millennials for your business

No  matter how you feel about the label itself, “Millennials” are the future of business. Generally considered to be the generation born between 1980 and 2000, Millennials represent the current crop of young professionals. Whether your business needs hungry entry-level recent grads or young thirty-somethings with talent and a few years of experience under their belt, landing Millennial hires requires a change in hiring paradigms not seen since the Baby Boomers shook things up many decades ago.

Five ways to attract Millennials

Millennials are tech-savvy and constantly connected. They’re also often motivated by more than just the almighty dollar. This generation, is not just about “me, me, me”, but are also starting to ask questions like “where do I belong?” and “how can I make a difference?” Taking those questions into account, how do you land the best of this future workforce?

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