I always have my eyes and ears wide open, listening and looking for trends or connections. A few things became very clear in Southern California over the past week.
The first glimpse of a connection started with the record heat temperatures in California over the past week. As a result, the media has been filled with stories of many of the challenges and tragedies due to the weeklong wave of triple digit temperatures. Today, I heard an interview with Ron Deaton, General Manager, Los Angeles Department of Water and Power. And while discussing the telephone staffing shortage that was a result of the unexpected power outages on Saturday in LA, it became quite evident that DWP is having a hiring crisis for specific skills-based positions. I didn’t sense that these positions were necessarily in the customer service division that the reporter was homing in on, but Mr. Deaton did say that DWP was finding it a bit challenging to find the right staff with the right qualifications to fill certain positions.
The second glimpse was when a colleague, who is applying for citizenship to the US, had to go to the INS (Immigration and Naturalization Service) for electronic fingerprinting. She arrived at 11:30 for a 1:30 pm appointment and had to wait nearly two hours, outside in the sizzling heat due to the long lines of other appointment holders. When she finally did get inside for the five minutes that it took to process her prints, she asked the technician why it was taking so long to be serviced. The answer? There is, apparently, a shortage of trained fingerprint technicians.
So, how is that possible when you, if you are over fifty, have been looking for work for 6 months with not a single prospect in sight? Well, if I were you….I’d take a look at my local department of water and power websites. See what positions they have open. If I had a skill set they are looking for…I’d apply. And I’d keep my eyes glued to opportunities with the Department of Homeland Security. (Heck, I might learn how to fingerprint!) And I’d also look for anywhere that service is falling down, because when a company cannot keep customer service to a high level that is almost surely evidence of problems that are happening at different levels within the company. Often it is a staffing shortage, or high turnover that cause the stress on the organization. Poor customer service? Check out the company’s open positions. They might be very happy to meet you.
And it is just starting. The wave of unfillable positions at a skilled level is just coming on us now…and particularly with Gen Y job-hopping as an already accepted trait of the demographic, it is just a matter of time before recruiters start seeking you out, desperate for someone who will remain loyal to a position for longer than a year.
And, if you haven’t posted your resume on Gen Plus yet, make sure to do so today. Make certain you can be seen when a recruiter is looking for you.