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Skills Gap: Job Search - Persistence Is Key

Value Added: Acquiring skills certifications can help job seekers find employment.
Skills Gap: Job Search - Persistence Is Key

Skills Gap: Job Search - Persistence Is Key

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Show 1406: Job Search: Persistence Is Key
Air Date: February 9, 2014



Rob McClendon: Let’s talk a little bit about, if we can, switching over from the employer to the employee. What’s your best advice there?

Andy Barth: Well, the big thing is, is not all degrees are created equal. And just because you have any old diploma doesn’t necessarily guarantee you a great job; having said that, once you have those skills in hand, you have to remember to keep the faith while looking for work. Let’s take a look at this.

In today’s competitive business climate, even getting an interview can be hard. Eric Gilpin is the president of CareerBuilder’s staffing and recruiting group and says both hard and soft skills make you more of an appealing job applicant.

Eric Gilpin: If you have a good attitude and you have a good work ethic, you know it’s kind of the American dream, you’ll figure it out. But I think that why wouldn’t you kind of elevate your opportunities and have some skills that employers are going to have in demand for the foreseeable future?

Andy: But even with the best skill sets, looking for work is hard and often frustrating. Jonathan Thom with Express Personnel says persistence is often the key.

Jonathan Thom: You have to remain optimistic. You know as you think about the job search, it can be demoralizing to go out and send resumes and not receive a response. Or you finally have an opportunity to interview and that interview doesn’t move forward. So you simply have to continue to be optimistic and put the best foot forward.

Andy: And sometimes that best foot forward is one that will help you step up the ladder of success.

Thom: Absolutely consider temporary or contract work. It’s a way to be exposed to employers that are hiring. It’s an opportunity to audition for the job.

Andy: And in a world where workers with the right skills are in high demand, Gilpin says employers must create a work environment that can retain skilled workers once they are hired.

Eric Gilpin: The workers of today do look very different. They’re incentivized by different things. And I think employers need to create environments that embrace technology and understand that mobility, flexibility, recognition, as well as you know working on things that provide more self-esteem and confidence outside of just recognition in the office are important for our future workers. And you know the millennial crowd, that is the future of work, needs to be treated a little differently to achieve results.

Andy: Understanding generational differences that will bridge the skills gap, making a stronger, more efficient workforce.

Rob: So Andy, certainly good advice, but what about the person that says, whether they be you know underemployed or unemployed that says, I’ve got bills to pay and a family to feed, and I just don’t have the time nor the money to go back to school?

Andy: Yeah, and you know it’s never easy, but the good news is, for the majority of the jobs that we’re talking about, they don’t require a four-year degree, let alone a master’s or a doctorate. And oftentimes it’s those skills-based certificates that people can get that make them a more appealing job applicant plus those certificates only take about a few months to a few years to get.

Rob: And oftentimes a lot of these employers, because they’re struggling trying to find the right employees, they’re willing to even help these new workers go back and get the skills they need.

Andy: Absolutely! You know Warren Cat is a machinery company that covers Oklahoma and Texas. And they have about 100 jobs available, but not enough workers to fill those jobs. And they are willing to pay for school; the starting salary is about $60,000, but if you come to them with the skills-based education and the experience behind you, you can be making anywhere up to $100,000.

Rob: Wow! Well, all right, thank you so much, Andy. Now this will be an issue we will follow closely in the coming weeks. In fact, Oklahoma’s business roundtable will be examining how to solve the skills gap later this month. Now when we return, a new segment here on “Oklahoma Horizon” we call our Oklahoma Standard.