Once again Wharton’s Peter Cappelli offers unique insights we do not see elsewhere. If he is right some of the challenges to staffing in Europe may crumble.Reading Dr. Cappelli’s monthly column in Human Resource Executive Magazine about his recent trip to a conference in Vienna (Hay International), I was intrigued by how he choose to contrast Europe’s recession during the last 2 years with a similar one faced by the US… in 1983! (probably because I worked in Staffing at J&J during that time).What makes his comparison so interesting is that in 1983 US firms began a major shift away from ‘being responsible’ for an employees’ job security (no more promises) in what became known as the Employability Doctrine:We can’t guarantee you job security, and you’ve got to look after your own career. The best we can offer is opportunities to keep your skills up to date so that you can find a new job if you need to. (I know sounds rather ‘duh’ now but then it wasn’t so obvious. People still had expectations that a job in a good firm meant “long-term”.)Dr. Cappelli claims the experts in Europe agree that the ‘old arrangements’ – protecting jobs and providing extreme sanctions for companies who layoff – are not going to come back. This would be signal a major change in the approach to staffing in many countries – Germany, France and Italy especially. And, while employers in Europe are not necessarily looking to emulate the US approach (with its potential for intense competition and churn) he does expect significant changes can be expected sooner rather than later.Peter also noted that despite high levels of unemployment in Europe, talent shortages for critical skills are prevalent and are truly global – although there are a few exceptions. He pointed to the Netherlands and Sweden as countries with very low unemployment rates AND fewer problems encountered by employers finding talent because…they develop the skills through apprenticeship etc. rather than compete to hire people already skilled.Another author (probably a bit more controversial than Dr. Cappelli) made this same point exactly 100 years ago. Writing in the Principles of Scientific Management published in 2011, Frederick Winslow Taylor pointed out that never had there been a greater demand for quality talent at every level from the board offices to the factory floor but, then he went on to say (and we paraphrase) we all want to hire workers who someone else has trained.
Original source article: CareerXroads