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Why Good People Can't Get Jobs: The Skills Gap and What Companies Can Do About It

Book Description

Even in a time of perilously high unemployment, companies contend that they cannot find the employees they need. Pointing to a skills gap, employers argue applicants are simply not qualified; schools aren't preparing students for jobs; the government isn't letting in enough high-skill immigrants; and even when the match is right, prospective employees won’t accept jobs at the wages offered. In this powerful and fast-reading book, Peter Cappelli, Wharton management professor and director of Wharton’s Center for Human Resources, debunks the arguments and exposes the real reasons good people can’t get hired.

Table of Contents

  1. Contents
  2. Preface
  3. Introduction
    1. A Failure of Imagination
  4. Chapter 1: Why Aren’t the Vacancies Being Filled?
    1. The Home Depot Syndrome
    2. A Real-World Job Market
    3. Competition for Jobs in the Market Is Relative
  5. Chapter 2: The Skills Gap Debate: Deconstructing Demand
    1. Myth: Employers can’t find workers with adequate skills to fill available jobs.
    2. Myth: Employers can’t find workers willing to take jobs at the going wages.
    3. Myth: Skill shortages are only part of the problem. Employers must also deal with a lack of knowledge and experience.
    4. Myth: Even when workers are skilled, knowledgeable, and experienced—and the pay is commensurate with talent—they are often reluctant to go where the good jobs are.
  6. Chapter 3: Workforce Facts and Myths: Parsing Supply
    1. Myth: Students lack the basic competency needed to succeed in the workplace.
    2. Myth: Public schools are failing their students, their families, the nation’s employers, and society as a whole.
    3. Myth: Not enough Americans are graduating from college.
    4. Myth: Even among college graduates, too many didn’t major in fields where the jobs are.
    5. Myth: As we enter a knowledge economy that will demand ever more sophisticated skill sets for survival, things will only get worse.
  7. Chapter 4: Something Is Wrong with the Hiring Process
    1. Software-Driven Hiring
    2. Beat the Software
    3. Hiring by the Numbers
  8. Chapter 5: A Training Gap, Not a Skills Gap
    1. The Skills Standoff
    2. The Real Skills Failure
  9. Chapter 6: The Way Forward
    1. A Not-So-Novel Idea: Developing Skills on and for the Job
      1. In-house training programs
      2. Employer/employee-shared training programs
      3. Public-sector/private-sector shared undertakings
      4. Broader-based alliances
      5. Apprenticeship programs
    2. Flying Blind
    3. Money Talks
  10. About the Author
  11. About Wharton Digital Press
  12. About The Wharton School
  13. Notes
  14. © 2012 by Peter Cappelli