The “Other” Side of the Employment Equation

hand writing 1 + 1 = 3 on blackboardWhile much rhetoric today tends to portray job creation as a panacea or the silver bullet that will remedy unemployment, far too little attention has been placed on the other side of the employment equation—the supply side.  If you refer back to The Employment Model that Amelioration Incorporated first introduced in the fall of 2011, you will notice that there are other necessary ingredients that comprise the employment mix. In fact, if the other elements are lacking in the appropriate degree, unemployment will not decrease at all simply as the result of the additional jobs being created through entrepreneurism and existing business growth.  Instead, the employment landscape will shift from an employer’s market to an employee’s market, but the unemployment rate will not decrease.

The Employment Model describes a compelling relationship between existing jobs, motivation, and individual capability that must be compatible in order to actually affect the unemployment rate.  In order to achieve and maintain this appropriate relationship, the key factors that drive motivation and individual capability (the other side of the employment equation) must be in place as well.  If you doubt the significance of my point here, let’s take the fact that larger companies already feed the economy with a large volume of available opportunities, but yet the overall unemployment rate remains high.  In fact, General Electric, for example, literally creates or updates roughly 400 new job opportunities every single business day on their careers website and the company still struggles to find suitable talent to fill these new roles.  Can you see how the issue of unemployment encompasses a great deal more than just the creation of jobs?

So the question is: How much of the unemployment issue can be attributed to a shortage of jobs versus the other elements of the equation?  While I certainly do not profess to be omniscient regarding the subject of unemployment, I can certainly offer up some hypotheses that are based upon my personal observations—hypotheses that The Entrepreneurial Revolution will gather data on and test statistically within the context of Project Amelioration to either validate or dispel them.

Sadly enough, one of my longest-held hypotheses has been that the unemployment rate is high because people are looking for jobs—jobs that they view as commodities that exist only to provide them with revenue.  Jobs, however, are not commodities; they, instead, comprise the mechanism by which every commodity is produced and they could actually be termed anti-commodities (see my February 21, 2012 blog post entitled, Jobs: the Anti-commodity).  A job description, simply put, is a company’s description of a need that the company has.  Most rational companies will fill that job with the most cost-effective solution that can satisfactorily meet the company’s need.  The irony of the situation, however, is compelling: at a time when the needs within the economy are nearly at an all-time high, unemployment is also at its highest level.  Might this indicate that the situation begs for a fresh perspective?  How about the perspective in which no one is “entitled” to a job and everyone (at least, to some extent) is an entrepreneur and needs to have a value proposition (see my February 16, 2012 blog post entitled, We are all Entrepreneurs—Whether We Know It Or Not.)?

While any economic society certainly needs jobs in order to maintain a low unemployment rate, let’s be careful to avoid putting all of our focus on the creation of jobs and none on individual motivation and capability.  Currently, larger corporations create hundreds of new jobs each day, but they still struggle to identify suitable candidates to fill these positions.  In order to address the issue of unemployment, we will need to look critically at the entire equation and gather data and test hypotheses that deal with individual motivation and capability as well as the creation of new jobs.


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4 responses to “The “Other” Side of the Employment Equation”

  1. Yolanda Morales

    Very interesting point within your blog. A lot of people believe that there are not enough jobs out there and that is why there is a high unemployment rate, but I believe (as you have stated within the blog) that everyone has to have a motive in order to want to work.

    In my case, my motive have been my children. In consecuence, if my motivation are my children; I need to have food, a home and necesities for them. In order to do that I need to have a good paying job (or a job that pays enough to cover these expenses). If I want to obtain good paying job; I have to have the ability to perform the best I can within the job. In order to perform my very best; I have to have the knowledge that the job requires. In order to be capable to do this; “The key to success is education”.

    One other thing that I believe plays a factor and I believe is really important in order for unemployment to go down; is that we need to treat each person as an individual and analize exactly why it is they have not been able to get a job. Many people do have the education, but do not have the capacity of performing within a job because of emotional problems or other issues going on in their life. This goes back to; Is there enough motivation?

    Since I lost my Office Management position in 2006, I have had several jobs. I believe it has been about 10 or so….Using Temporary Agencies have been a good resource for me to maintain my household, although not really convenient at times. Also unemployment has been a great back up for me in the past, until my weekly unemployment check went down to $200 dollar a week. Not enough to cover all our household needs.

    One other good resource I have had, has been my local Career Center, where there are workshops that teach you from Typing Skills, How to write a Resume and How to interview.
    Whithin the my local Carreer Center there were computers I was able to use where each day I was there, I sent out an average of 15 Resumes/applications a day. The results were getting 2 to 3 interviews a week…. Also I have gone and looked for emotional help with my local health provider. I no longer let that interfear with what is important which is my initial motivation.

    Finally, I have been working within a company through a Staffing Agency for 8 months now and hoping to be hired directly with the company within a few month. I will continue to enroll in classes so I may expand my knowledge because you never know what may happen and this way I may always have an open door to go though and not stay long within the unemployment steam….

    Thank you
    Good day


  2. Douglas Thomas

    This piece lays out the largest problem in our economy, the inability of companies to find qualified applicants. As I have been in the business of assisting job-seekers in their efforts for many years, I realize that many factors play into a successful job search. Not the least of the obstacles is the ability to relocate to the location of the offered position. Many people simply do not want to move! Of high importance in the problem of matching applicants with jobs is the lack of appreciation for the employer’s needs. Do they hope to find an acceptable person among the many resumes that flow in? Just weeding out those which show the applicant has done little to further his or her education, both formal and professional, will significantly lower the pile. Demonstrated experience in the area of need is a big problem – too many people flood the market with totally inappropriate resumes. But the resumes keep coming. I have developed a theory over the past few years, which applies to both companies in the producing market and job-seekers: Not enough of them are hungry enough. I don’t mean hungry in the sense of an empty stomach – I do mean the demonstration of serious intent to succeed in the endeavor, be it the successful sale of a good or service, or the serious seeking of employment. There may be a high degree of desire, but what comes out as the means falls short of any real desire to succeed. Take a company that makes a food product. They provide coupons, but many simply do not give the discount required to excite interest. Effectively getting 10 cents off a $1.50 can of soup is not very attractive when the shopper must buy 3 cans to get the offer. Maybe they only want one can, and 20 cents would close the deal? Too much emphasis on profit. The job-seekers who would be ideal in all respects but have a social networking presence which demonstrates a negative image are rejected. Or the MBA who seeks a position in the business world but whose resume demonstrates zero interest in professional education or even activity in the major group in one’s field. As I tell younger members of professional organizations, you just have no idea where you will be working five or ten years from now, and a well-rounded and continuing interest in all facets of your field are necessary. A person who is only interested in purchasing medical supplies as a career will not be successful if someone else brings a well-rounded and solid record of varied assignments and willingness to take on responsibility. The potential employer will, in the case of several applicants, be interested in the person who has demonstrated a wide variety of experiences and proven professional interest. Teamwork, leadership, innovation, record of promotions or salary increases – these are serious things an employer will look at. And too many people simply fall short.

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