Only 1 in 2000 Admin Assistants Have the Right Job Skills

The irony is dramatic – I’m watching CNBC report how the stock market is crashing while reading a blog about skilled worker shortages that even made my jaw drop.  Included in the post was a list of job requirements that demonstrates why the number of job openings (even during while the unemployment rate is rising) will continue to rise and exceed the number of employable workers.

From one of my favorite blogs comes a post, What Should We Expect as Basic Administrative Skills?.  While the number of candidates applying for an administrative position might prove that unemployment and/or employee dissatisfaction is on the rise, it is also proof that the Perfect Labor Storm is real.

In today’s post, Jim Kissane writes:

I recently spoke to a client who advertised a entry level sales position, got over 2,000 responses, and after sorting out the candidates, was left with only one (1) that demonstrated the attitude, work ethic and technical skills that he required.

The Perfect Labor Storm is no longer a story of more jobs than people – it’s a story of open jobs because many of the people looking to fill these jobs don’t have all the skills to meet the job requirements. While the list of job requirements has certainly expanded from one of "how many words can you type?" the list is not outrageous nor out of line….and yet employers cannot find workers who can meet even this minimalist list.

I’d also be remiss if I didn’t mention in the reasons for this gap that employers also play a significant part – it’s a seller’s market for job skills and wages are going up, up, up. As this one story confirms finding a skilled worker who can meet all your job requirements may be like finding a needle in the proverbial people haystack – a 1 in 2000 chance!

When I asked what he was looking for, he gave me his list. 
It looked like this:

    • Familiarity with desktop operating systems (Apple OS, Windows)
    • Ability to access files – understand the concept of connectivity – storage
    • Perform basic word processing
    • Operate E-mail, calendar, address book
    • Able to perform data entry and chart preparation
    • Create a brief informational presentation
    • Ability to safeguard confidential information
    • High-school graduate (not GED)
    • Able to pass a drug test
    • Valid active in-state drivers license

More and more stories like this keep coming up.  If you are a manager or employer experiencing problems finding skilled workers, please add comments or contact me directly.


Ira S Wolfe