Sunday, November 12, 2006

Sunday Smorgasbord


Lots of good stuff today...

Rate thyself
Not that we needed another reason to question self-ratings, but according to a recent Hudson survey of 1,854 U.S. workers, 92% of managers consider themselves to be an excellent or good boss. These must be the folks that are having the Lake Wobegon children.

The same survey showed that 26% of managers felt they did not receive sufficient training for their positions, only 54% of workers who felt they would be offered a supervisory job actually wanted it (more likely among men and those with children at home), and only half of workers felt they regularly were told about strategic and organizational changes.

Hidden talent pool
Most HR folks know this (or should), but people with disabilities are dramatically unemployed in the U.S. (about 30-40% of those that want to work aren't). In my experience affirmative steps to hire those with disabilities primarily comes in the form of "bonus points" or special programs to highlight those with disabilities. It would not surprise me if this had a stigmatizing effect, as programs like this often lead to question like, "Do I HAVE to hire the person with a disability/veteran/other under-represented group?" The focus should be on merit, and some statistics cited in the above article can be used to highlight this sector of the workforce: namely, accommodation costs are usually low (under $500), turnover among individuals with disabilities is much lower, and attendance is on par or better, as is job performance.

Worker shortages
Speaking of employment...debate continues to rage about current and projected labor shortages in the U.S. This article mentions trucking, welding, and restaurant jobs as some of the most in need of workers, but what caught my eye was a quote from a gentleman from the Center for Immigration Studies, who points out that there are lots of unemployed folks willing to take jobs--just not at the wages employers are offering. In my experience it's a bit more complex than that.

Yes, there are situations (particularly in the public sector, and particularly for state government ; see pages 12-15) where wages aren't competitive, but consider:

1) There are many jobs where they are; and

2) In many cases it's not finding people, it's finding qualified people.

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