Employment Expertise: Commit to being ReadyNOW
There has been a great deal of discussion around the concept of a “skills gap." Employers are trying to fill positions that require a range of skills that, in the minds of the employers, job seekers appear to be lacking. On the opposite side of the coin, job-seeking applicants say they feel they’re qualified but never hear back from the
employers. Who is right?
In our experience, we have seen that both sides can have equally valid points. Often the perceived gap may have to do with the specific job opening where the employer has a difficult time attracting candidates. On the other side, certain open positions may have an abundance of qualified applications, but the candidates who are not hired never hear back from the employer and do not know why they weren’t chosen.
We have seen employers and job seekers communicate very effectively on a few occasions, where one can meet the other on common ground with the same goals. They literally meet face-to-face in a non-interview situation. This is an ideal setting that is less formal and much less intimidating.
One important way that this happens is through the ReadyNOW employer-job seeker event that has been hosted twice in Ottawa County. The program also has been replicated several times throughout the state and is about to kick off a regional event March 6-8 at Grand Valley State University.
This event has been repeated often because of its unique approach. ReadyNOW is aimed at bridging a definite gap. The focus isn’t so much on a “skills gap” but on a communication or a perception gap. In this setting the employer gets to know the job seeker, not the resume, and the job seeker walks away with a clear understanding of what the employer is looking for — and clear direction on next steps.
The high success rate of ReadyNOW is the result of a significant level of commitment made by employers, job seekers and community partners in our region. Each group is committed to following through on their missions: to hire qualified people, to be one of those who get hired and to facilitate the economic growth of our region.
— Provided by Ottawa County Michigan Works!, which assists both job seekers and businesses. Located at 121 Clover St. For more information, or to pose a question, go to miottawa.org/michiganworks, email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 616-396-2154.