On-the-job training was popular a generation ago but has been steadily declining in the U.S. for decades. Companies expect candidates who are armed with a degree or certification and relevant work experience, which is discounting a large pool of the American workforce.
This model worked for companies when there were more qualified people than jobs available, but today’s labor market paints a different picture. Now we are seeing a lot more demand for specialized talent than there are qualified candidates. And though we have seen strong hiring, wage growth has been stagnate, leaving many workers frustrated with the lack of progress in their careers. In fact, only 15% of the job force are currently in fields that are experiencing wage growth and competitive salaries, which are the “opportunity” jobs, according to a new report released by Indeed’s research team Hiring Lab.
The upside is that 35% of all job postings on Indeed are these opportunity jobs, which are in the fields of healthcare, management, technology, business and finance and engineering. There are a lot of talented workers out there, employed or not, that have transferable skills that would be interested in moving into a role with steady wage growth and competitive salaries.
That’s why I think it's important for companies to consider investing in employee development to fill roles within their organization. Investing in training helps workers get into a high-growth career and enables companies to build its own pipeline of talent.
Employee development can look very different depending on your company or industry. For example, at Indeed we bring in about 80 university graduates from around the world to our Austin technology office for a summer program called Indeed Universtiy. We train these new hires on Indeed’s data-driven development process and give them the freedom to develop new product ideas. This is helping us to fill our most in-demand jobs - software engineers - while training them to contribute right away and offer innovative ideas for our company to test. Finding a software engineer who already has 3-5 years of experience is extremely competitive, so as a company we made the decision to invest in new college grads to help fill this need.
Offering development to your employees is an investment, but for those companies who are struggling to fill roles in these highly competitive and specialized fields, it can help close the gap of of the mismatch we are seeing in the labor market.