Connecting Talent with Opportunity

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Connecting Talent with Opportunity

Throughout the global economy, there is a mismatch between the labor pool and the labor market. Good jobs exist at many employers, and good workers are available, but too often they can’t find each other. The consequences include high unemployment and underemployment, decreased productivity, and slow economic growth.

According to our analysis of this situation, the problem actually involves the intersection of three trends we’ve been following for more than a decade:

  1. The apparent shortage of jobs for skilled workers
  2. The apparent shortage of skilled workers at companies that need to hire them
  3. The emergence of online talent platforms, which just might provide the solution

Let’s start with the apparent shortage of jobs for skilled workers.

In countries throughout the world, between one-third and one-half of the working age population is either jobless or barely working. Adding up the impact on just seven countries—Brazil, China, Germany, India, Japan, the United Kingdom, and the United States—850 million people are unemployed or underemployed, according to a new report from the McKinsey Global Institute by James Manyika, Susan Lund, Kelsey Robinson, John Valentino, and Richard Dobbs.1

There are many obstacles preventing workers from finding jobs:

  • Workers could be in the wrong location.
  • They may have the wrong skills for the job openings.
  • They may be in the right location with the right skills, but never find out that the perfect position for them is available.

Another problem is that young people are not entering the workforce at the same rate as previous generations. Today, nearly 75 million young people are officially unemployed, but the number of their peers who are not even trying to find a job, get an education, or acquire skills through training programs is in the hundreds of millions, according to McKinsey.

The four-year college degree, which until recently was the key that unlocked a lucrative career, no longer turns the tumblers of the new employment marketplace. A recent LinkedIn survey found that 37 percent of respondents believe their current job doesn’t fully utilize their skills or provide a sufficient challenge. In other words, they’re overeducated and underemployed.

With so many people either overqualified for their current jobs or looking for work, it would seem that employers would find it easy to hire qualified candidates for every position...

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