The Death of Average

“The world needs ditch diggers, too.”

You’ve heard this saying, right? We say it in regards to explaining that we all can’t be high performers. We all can’t be the best. I’ve said a million times that I would take an army of “B” players, just folks who show up to work and actually do the job they are paid to do!

The reality is, it’s now rare to find anyone who just wants to be “average”. I grew up in a world where the majority were completely fine with just doing their job, going home and living their life, rinse and repeat. Now, everyone wants to be extraordinary.

The problem is, if everyone is extraordinary, we all just are the same. If we are all the same, aren’t we all just average at that point? We are. You just raised the bar. This notion of abundance is a falsy, a dream. If everyone becomes high performing, that becomes the new mean, and someone will step up and become a higher performer. Welcome to life, kids.

Does the world still need ditch diggers?

I’m not sure, to be honest. It feels like we can build a robot or a machine or software to do most average stuff. Do we really need Starbuck baristas anymore? No! Robots are already making better coffee without the attitude, and if you want “attitude” we can make a button to push and the bot will give you attitude!

The current employment crisis will only speed up this evolution of eliminating the average. Say goodbye to some disinterested kid at the front counter at every fast food place. Say goodbye to grocery checkout clerks. Bank tellers. Truck drivers. I could do this all day.

If you can do your job and be average and no one says anything to you, know it’s just a matter of time until some sort of technology replaces you. That’s why no one is giving you any grief, it’s not worth pushing you for more when they know you’re going to be replaced!

The world will always need people who are willing to work, show up ready to work, and find some personal satisfaction of a job well done. Somehow that has become a lost art.

Average is Over

Average is over primarily because most people lack the self-insigt to understand and comprehend they are average. We are developing a world of people who believe they are above average at the very least, when most are performing below average work. This is a “participation medal” type of issue. At some point in our lives, we all got a participation token of some sort. This is a blurred lens of not understanding the person next to you is actually way better than you, either through hard work or flat out better talent.

A recent study by Goodhire found that 83% of Americans feel they don’t need a boss. The reality is, about 1-5% of Americans can perform average to above average work without some sort of supervision following up and ensuring performance is being met. So what Goodhire found out is that around 80% of Americans are stupid! Or, as I said above, this confirms the lack of self-insight. Very few people have the self-motivation to get up every day and manage themselves to success, let alone to just being average.

If you are an actual high performer in your life or any job, this is the best news you will ever hear! You are basically surrounded by morons who think they’re great, but struggle to turn off Netflix when real work must be done. People who believe because they replied to an email at 9pm at night, they are extraordinary. People you will walk over on your career ascent because they are average and don’t even know it.

The masses are killing average, but don’t be fooled, average didn’t go anywhere it’s just hiding in a new wrapper of “above average” inside of dumb people.

What is your “Save” strategy for 2022?

I’m calling 2022 the “Great Retention“! Primarily because I was sick of hearing “Great Resignation” when it wasn’t really the great resignation, it was more reshuffling. A ton of openings allowed workers to upgrade jobs and salaries in 2021, so yes, folks “resigned” but then immediately accepted a job somewhere else they felt was better for their life choices.

We are facing some major challenges in 2022 and beyond. Most of which can be traced back to simple demographics. The reality is, we are going to see more jobs than workers for a long time. This means a few things:

  1. Yes, we can be and must be getter at acquiring talent.
  2. We need to be more flexible with our workforces, if we want to keep and attract talent.
  3. We need the government to open up immigration in new and innovative ways, for both skilled and unskilled workers.

How are you going to Save talent in 2022?

Your recruiting strategy can not only be to actually go recruit more talent in 2022. There must be a simultaneous strategy to retain talent and save talent. What’s the difference between retaining and saving?

Retaining talent is about a systematic, ongoing strategy to improve and change pieces within your work world that helps create an environment where your current employees want to stay longer with your company.

Saving talent is about having a systematic strategy that is designed to talk someone out of leaving your company for another opportunity. A save strategy goes into effect the moment you believe someone is going to leave you. That might be when they put their notice in, or maybe you start to hear about someone interviewing, etc. The reality is, there’s a good chance they are looking to leave your employment.

What does a save strategy look like?

Most save strategies are designed around critically hard-to-fill and/or revenue-focused roles. Roles that will have the most impact by keeping well-performing talent versus having to go out and try to hire new talent.

When you engage a save strategy, there must be concrete steps you take to try and talk the employee out of leaving. This might, and usually, includes multiple people, including senior executives up to the CEO. In a traditional notice situation, you have two weeks or so to work your strategy. While the person is in your employ you can have them travel, meet, and pretty much pay them to do what you need before they leave.

Traditionally, let’s face it, most of us waste these two weeks. We let the employee dictate what they will do and not do. This usually ends up being pretty much useless as the current employee just makes sure people know what they have going on before they leave.

What if you designed those two weeks around trying to do whatever it would take to keep that employee with your company? You might have them meet with the leadership team and discuss why they are leaving and what it would take to keep them. You might have them go try a different job they are interested in to see if they would be opening to transfer to another role or location.

I’ve worked with organizations that when a certain level of an employee put their notice in, they were immediately scheduled for a flight out to meet with the company executive team to discuss why they decided to leave and what the executive team could do to keep them. The success rate was 40%. Not perfect, but instead of hiring ten new employees for every ten that put their notice in, we only had to hire six! That made a huge difference for a stretched TA team!

The best recruit you’ll ever make is the one you don’t have to!

Tracking Remote Employees is an Amateur Move!

I continue to see more and more technology being released by tech companies targeting c-suite executives who are paranoid their employees who are working remotely aren’t working! Mouse tracking software, keystroke tracking software, login/logout tracking, etc. It’s become a billion-dollar industry to track you while you work at home, just in case you’re not working at home and just screwing around!

The most ingenious employee is the one who is trying to get paid without doing any work! Check out this TikTok:

@leahova

It’s called mental health, Janice. Look it up. #wfh #workfromhome #corporatetiktok #worklifebalance

♬ original sound – Leah

Now, I don’t think Lea is trying to get away with not working. She’s a good one, she’s paranoid in the other direction. If I try and go to the bathroom may be the A.I. will tell my boss I’m not working and I’ll get fired! None of this software really works like this, but it’s all a slippery slope!

A better idea for tracking employees!

How about building measurable performance goals and just managing those!? OMG! How f’ing brilliant am I!?! I just gave you an idea from 1979 that actually works perfectly and you don’t have to make your employees feel like they are being micromanaged and tracked by Big Brother!

Seriously! How lame are you that you think you need to track an employee at home by how often they move their mouse!? If you’re an executive and you believe this is the cure to your corporate ills, it’s time to hang it up, Hank!

It’s the 21st century, we can now treat employees like adults and place goals and expectations on them, that we’ve sat down and worked with them on coming up with so that we all feel like we are getting a fair deal on this little employment contract we’ve put together. We give “X”, You give us “Y”, and we are all happy with “Z”! If you don’t give us “Y”, let’s dig in and find out why that is, and if you continue to not give us “Y”, we’ll stop giving you “X”.

Okay, for those bad at Algebra, I’m talking about you do your damn job and we pay you. If you decide to sit at home and watch Netflix and not do your job, we stop paying you.

A better idea than buying a “mouse mover”!

Quite that stupid job who thinks measuring your mouse movements is equal to work. Seriously, there are more jobs open than people alive right now. Leave! There are great companies that are waiting to hire you that will let you go to the bathroom as much as you want.

If you bought a mouse mover to sit at home and watch Netflix and get paid, but not work. Congratulations, you’ll eventually be fired and/or your company will go out of business. You win, I guess, for the time being. Just know the world hates people like you.

What if you allowed anyone in your company to hire?

Let me walk you through a scenario and you tell me what I’m missing.

We all have hiring needs right now. Almost all of us are struggling to fill those needs. We love employee referrals! We also have great employees, doing great work who work with us, that we trust.

What would happen if we went to our employees and said, “Hey, we love you and trust you, so we are going to allow you to hire one person. You have total say in whether this person gets hired. We have a few parameters around HR stuff, drug screen, background check, etc., but the hiring decision is yours”.

You could probably add in some fun parameters like:

  • Here are the positions we have open that you can hire someone for. (IE., you might have some positions you don’t want the run of the mill making hiring decisions on)
  • If your hire fails, you won’t get this chance to hire another person for at least a year, so make it a good one!
  • If your hire succeeds, you will be given the ability to hire another person.
  • Maybe you want to throw some sort of bonus to your folks for successful hires, explain what “success” looks like, etc.

What might happen?

Honestly, I don’t know. I’ve never done it, but I think I would be willing to test it out.

Let’s dig into what we think would mostly happen.

My best guess is you would have some employees who would be like, awesome, I’ve got a friend or family member I think would do a great job, and I’m going to hire them. Yes! Some positions get filled and they have some employee sponsorship that will probably help hold them accountable and be more successful.

You will probably have a few misses. Yeah, I thought Johnny would do well, and since he has a record no one will hire him, but he’s my sister’s kid and I really thought he turned his life around and this was a great chance, but ultimately he’s a loser.

You will probably have some employees who think you are nuts and not serious.

The big question is would you allow this for any positions, or just low/no-skill type of positions? I mean, really, conceptually, it works for any level. If I have a finance position open, and there are certain requirements needed for the job, then it isn’t really that hard to see if the person can conceptually do the job or not with their experience and education. So, it could work for any level job, blue-collar or white-collar.

Does this empower your employees?

Imagine being an individual contributor in your organization and one day you wake up and go to work and you realize you can actually hire someone. I can have that experience of making a life-changing decision for someone else. That seems like it would be pretty powerful!

Do you remember the very first person you ever got to hire? That’s a giant career moment. I tend to think every person you hire is a pretty great career moment, but the first one is big!

I think being able to hire someone would be super empowering and it’s really just a next-level employee referral program. Instead of you just referring someone, just take it few more steps and make it happen!

I tend to look at our current staffing problems with a strong testing mentality. Let’s try a bunch of stuff and see what might work. Most of it won’t work, but we might run into something amazing! Maybe our first test of this concept is to go to a hand-selected group of 10 or 20 employees and give them the first shot. Measure the results, gather feedback, decide if it should be rolled out further or what changes should be made.

All that I know is that early in my career if the CEO came into my cube and said, “Tim, we are going to allow you to hire one person to work here!” I would have taken that assignment very seriously and would have thought that was super cool!

What do you think? Tell me how crazy this is.

What About Me!?

The year is 1981, the artist is Shayne Ward, the song is “What About Me” (Look it up, kids!). I actually sing this to my wife all the time as a joke:

The chorus:

“What about me, it isn’t fair
I’ve had enough now I want my share
Can’t you see I wanna live
But you just take more than you give”

What about the employees who have that are staying!?

We all have a lot of employees who are leaving us. I’ve had a couple of really great folks of my own that have left for new positions. I also have the vast majority that have stayed and are also really awesome!

We do this stupid thing in organizations that I hate. It’s been going on forever. We tend to really overvalue new employees and employees who are performing that leave, and we totally discount the folks who stay. Dare I even say, those who are “loyal” and stay. That’s a trigger I know, because honestly, those who left were loyal also, until, well, they left.

I mean, just because someone leaves for an opportunity that feels is right for them and their family doesn’t make someone not loyal. I believe disloyalty is when someone purposely tries to hurt your organization, and as such, is trying to hurt all the employees who actually work there as well. That’s way different!

We have this fixation on trying to “save” an employee who wants to leave. I actually think trying to save good employees is a good investment. The problem is, we also need a “save”/retention strategy for all those employees who are killing it every day and not going anywhere. They need the love as well!

Wait, isn’t that just good old fashion employee engagement or good new fashion employee experience?

Yes.

Yes, and in certain times it’s also more than that. In times of terrific economic advantage to workers, like we are now in, we probably have to do a bunch more. You can show your employees some love, or someone else will!

I had a number of conversations recently with really smart leaders around pay and compensation. In times like we are in right now, compensation market-level data can’t keep up. It never really can, but it usually doesn’t move this fast, so being 3-6 months trailing is okay. Right now, you can not be one month behind. Actually, your recruiters probably have better market data than your compensation team. They are seeing it with accepted and declined offers every day, with pre-screen expectations, with comments they are hearing from hiring managers on offers they are hearing about.

Don’t kid yourself, it’s about pay until it’s not about pay.

We have been sold an old paradigm that we love to believe is true, but it’s only half true. Pay being equal, all the culture and leadership stuff matters. Pay not being equal, no one cares about your stupid skills development program, and Billy the nice boss. First, pay me what I should be getting.

We have a major crisis on our hands right now as organizations. You can only solve so much of this by backfilling talent and turning on your recruiting machine. You first have to turn off the exit pipeline leaving your organization. Settle down the turnover and it will be easier to recruit and build back to where you need to be.

You have a ton of employees who are staying and not resigning. Those folks are now doing more to take up the slack because turnover is so high. As leaders, this is the time you actually make your money. Full court press on making sure your folks are taken care of in the ways that are important to them, that they feel appreciated and seen, that they matter.

It’s not about the folks leaving. It’s about the folks who are staying!

Choose Your Hard…

I was at SHRM Annual last week and a very common story from everyone I spoke to, know matter their title, was the fact that recruiting talent is extremely difficult right now. Most organizations are in desperation mode, and I’m not saying that to be dramatic.

There’s a concept that motivational folks have been using for a while now. The concept is “Choose your hard.” Meaning, a lot of stuff in life is hard. It’s hard to be overweight and not feel good about yourself, it’s also hard to work out and eat healthily. Choose your hard.

It’s hard to get up and go to work each day and put in long hours to make ends meet. It’s also hard to be unemployed and figure out ways to survive. Choose your hard.

It’s hard to recruit talent.

There are so many things organizations can do to recruit talent better. You can hire great recruiters and give them the right tools. You can actually fund your recruitment marketing and advertising appropriately. You can measure and performance manage your recruiters and sources. You can work with your hiring teams to help out as employee advocates to produce more referrals. You can shop out your entire recruiting to RPO or Agency. You can hire great employees who love your brand and train them to be recruiters. You can go out and lead the market in pay and total compensation packages.

All of this stuff is hard to do.

It’s hard because most of this stuff comes with accountability. If I can talk my CEO and CFO into funding us correctly, this will come with some expectations of performance. I will put a bullseye on myself and my team.

It’s hard to get fired from a job because you didn’t perform. Because you didn’t do the work that was needed to be successful. That you didn’t put in the work to build the plan, to acquire the needed resources, to lead your organization to success.

Don’t get me wrong, working harder is not a strategy. Working harder is a short-term fix, that eventually leads to failure and burnout. Hard is doing the work that needs to be done so your sole strategy is not just working harder.

At the end of the day, we all have to choose our hard.

Don’t Mistake Credentials for Intelligence!

I was the first person in my family to graduate from college. I was the first person in my family to obtain a master’s degree. I continue to have the grammatical skills of a middle schooler!

My parents are “real” people and have “real” conversations. My family has reached high levels of what most people would call successful. My Mom and Dad didn’t go to college, but both I would consider being very intelligent. They “get it” at a very high level, but one of their biggest strengths was never assuming someone was smart or dumb based on a credential.

This fact allowed them, in their careers, to speak to anyone on an equal footing. The guy swinging a hammer, or the woman running the billion-dollar company, both started on the same level in my parent’s eyes. Both the hammer guy and female CEO have great knowledge, although most likely different knowledge, to share and learn from. Depending upon the specific time, each brought high value to the interaction that was being had.

I get told all the time, “oh, you are just like your mother”, and I see why people make that comparison. I also believe I’m very much like my father, in that both of my parents feel very comfortable fitting into almost any situation. Because they don’t measure a person’s value based on their credentials or the size of the bank account, but on the value, that person brings overall to the interaction that they are having in that exact moment.

At the same time, I’m very pro-credential!

I married a woman who has her master’s degree. My oldest son, at 24, already has his master’s degree, my middle son has his bachelor’s and I’m sure eventually something beyond that, and my youngest son will attend university very soon. So, if credentials don’t equate to intelligence, why did I push my own children to obtain said credentials?

Just because a credential doesn’t equate to intelligence, doesn’t mean that most people don’t make this mistake as a first impression! Also, we are still in a society that overvalues a credential for the most part when it comes to getting jobs and promotions. So, you set your kids up the best you can with the hope this will assist them in being successful.

The real challenge is to get them to understand that just because you are educated, doesn’t mean you’re smart! To have that super valuable skill my parents have! That I hope I have some of! To truly value those around you without the credential that many times have so much more to offer you than you have to offer them.

I believe the best leaders in the world have this skill. The ability to look at each individual and know they probably possess all kinds of strengths that I don’t have, regardless of pay grade or formal education, and to treat them accordingly. It seems like an easy concept, but every day I see examples of highly credentialed people looking down on those less credentialed than themselves.

It goes both ways, we all judge…

I also understand that this type of judgment goes both ways. I have many friends and family who are blue-collar and tend to think less of those who are credentialed for the simple fact they view these people as less hardworking. Sure, they might not get dirty and sweat on a daily basis, but it doesn’t mean they don’t work their butts off.

Covey has the classic line, “Seek first to understand”. You swing a hammer, I try to sell the project that allows you to swing a hammer. Without each of us, business does not happen. One is not more important than the other, and both are keenly needed for success. If more of us understand this very simple concept, the world would be a much more civil place to live in.

3 Steps To Getting Sh*t Done at Work!

There are times when I struggle to get things done.  I’m a really good starter of things. I love starting projects!  I can always see how I want it finished (a little shout out to Covey – Begin with the end in mind).  But like most things you start, eventually, things get bogged down, and getting them over the finish line can be hard.

It’s probably why most projects fail, it gets tough, so we stop and move onto the beginning of something else because that’s fun and exciting.  I’ve learned this about myself over the years and I do two things to help myself. First, I surround myself with people who have a great resolve to getting things done, the type of folks who don’t sleep well at night because they know there was that one glass left in the sink, and they should really get up and put in away.  I love these folks, they aren’t me. I hire them every time I get the chance.  I even married one of those types, she makes me better!

Second, I force myself to not start something new, until I finish what I’ve already started.  This can be annoying, I’m sure, for those around me because sometimes projects have to go on hold while you wait for feedback, or other resources, etc.  This makes me antsy and I like to get things finished!

I was re-introduced recently to a quote from the novel Alice in Wonderland that I think really puts in perspective what it takes to get something done.  The quote is from the King of Hearts and it is quite simple:

“Begin at the beginning and go on till you come to the end: then stop.”

Your 3 Steps:

1. Begin

2. Go till the end

3. Stop

We make it much harder than that but it really isn’t.  I like simple stuff, it fits into my mind quite well.  It might be the best advice I’ve gotten in a really long time.  I don’t need pre-planning, or post-project assessments, or update meetings, or budget reviews, or a project charter, etc.

Naive?  Probably.  But, sometimes you just need to Begin, go to you come to the End: then Stop.

The Dance We Call Work.

I read a statistic the other day that said on average a person works about 6 hours per day, Monday through Friday. The number of hours worked per day has actually decreased during the pandemic. It’s interesting because when you ask people how many hours per day they work almost all would say at least 8, or more.

But, do we really “work” eight hours per day?

Prior to the Pandemic when most people went into an office, you definitely “worked” at least eight hours most days. Or at least you were present in your office environment for eight hours. How much work you actually did during that time varies widely!

The Pandemic hits and people work remotely and we begin to hear a different narrative around work. The conversation switches from “hours” to what actually got done. Let me be clear, this should have always been the conversation, but culturally we still have so much “asses in seats” management going on it was tough to break through.

When people started “working” remotely they began to have the flexibility to integrate all of their life at one time. No longer did you have to shut down one part of your life to go to work. You could now seamlessly start a load of laundry on the way to fill up your cup of coffee and still make it back in time for the beginning of your sales Zoom meeting. It all just kind of made sense, for those who could do it.

All of this now makes “The Dance” we do in the office seem a bit silly!

I’ve always been a giant fan of set solid productivity goals and if someone hits those goals, I could care less if it takes them 10 hours a week or 60 hours a week. You make life decisions on how you work at the office, at home, etc. If you are super productive and kick out your job in 32 hours a week, but still get paid a full salary, you’re winning the game! If it takes you 50 or 60 hours a week to complete your job, you need some development to help you, or to find a new job/career!

You show up at the office at 8 am, dink around a bit, catch up with co-worker-friends on what happened in the 12-16 hours since you saw them last, do some stuff until lunch, do some more stuff, wait until 5 pm, then run off to do life stuff. Rinse, lather, repeat. The Dance is never-ending.

But something cool happened during the Pandemic and now everyone wants to dance a different dance! It’s not that everyone wants remote. If you say that out loud, just know I’m judging your intelligence! Everyone doesn’t want to work full remote. A lot of people love working with others and seeing them face-to-face, many on a daily basis! You might not like your co-workers, company, job, etc., but actually, most people do.

The New Work Dance is really about finding ways to add in some flexibility.

A little bit goes a long way! “Yeah, but Tim, our jobs don’t allow flexibility! We open the doors at 7 am and customers start coming and we need our workers there!” Yep, I get that. You can’t have someone make coffee at home for customers who come to your location to buy coffee! But that doesn’t mean you can treat your employees like adults and allow for some flexibility.

Let me share an example. I have a friend who manages a retail chain. She’s a really good manager. A single mom who works her tail off to make ends meet. Her child is starting to play sports and on Saturday mornings for an hour, she wanted to go watch him. She was told she couldn’t have every Saturday off, so she would have to miss some games. She said I don’t want to take off every Saturday. I’ll come in, open up, run over to the game, run back, and the other workers said they’ll cover for me. Adults working out a solution.

What happened? You know! Nope, you can’t do that, because if we allow you, then everyone will want to start doing stuff like that!

Yes!!! They will, and if it works out, fine, that’s okay! Adults being adults, making adult decisions and solutions. Let them Dance! Find ways to give them a bit of flexibility in a mostly inflexible world. They’ll be happier, perform better, feel good about working for you, etc.

Will it always work out? No. Real-world, some folks will take advantage of the situation and those are the people you don’t want working for you. But, we have to change the dance. We have to find more dances that work for more people. We will not find one for everyone, but we can find more.

My hope is the Pandemic taught us one thing. This dance we call work is a fraud. 8 hours, 40 hours, whatever it is, it’s not about time, it’s about results, it’s about getting a job done well. I want to hire people who think about how to get the job done well in less time verse hiring people who want to show up and dance for forty hours a week.

2.9 million Americans have been unemployed for at least a year! Why?

When I saw this number released this week, I was shocked. This month that number increased by almost 250,000! The 2.9M number represents 29% of all unemployed workers. I found myself asking, Why and How? How can someone who wants to work be unemployed for one year?

Being someone who is in the business of hiring people my gut reaction wants to say, “well, these people must not really want to work!” But that’s a cop-out and mostly ignorant way to think about it. The truth is, there are 2.9 million reasons why 2.9 million people remain unemployed for a year or more!

If we could easily go to each of these 2.9 million people who have been unemployed for at least a year I think we would start to hear some common reasons:

  • Pandemic related reasons: They have medical issues that make it very dangerous for them to return to the type of work there were doing prior, and possibly they are also concerned over an experimental vaccine that could protect them, or even that the pandemic shuttered the work they do, and it still has not come back. Childcare issues do to normal school and after-school programs not running as usual.
  • Pivot Reasons: We talk about “Reskilling” all the time but we don’t truly talk about the logistics of truly reskilling yourself. I was employed as an “X” and because of whatever reasons I left the workforce to reskill because I now want to be a “Y”. Maybe this was of their own doing, maybe this was pandemic related, etc. Some probably are unemployed because they lost their job and decided to go back to school.
  • Executive Positions: There is a lot of data around how long it takes someone to find a job the higher up in a company or your salary is. At a VP level for large organizations, on average it takes six to twelve months for people to find their next position after a job loss, at that same level. This is simply do to the fact that very few of those positions come up, so there’s a waiting game that takes place.
  • Retirement: For a number of reasons I made the decision to retire, but because it’s to my benefit to not actually retire, and claim unemployment, I now get this soft landing going into retirement by taking advantage of extended unemployment benefits, etc.
  • Stimulus and Extended Unemployment Benefits: Let’s not be naive and act like this doesn’t have an impact as well. It does, but probably not to the extent that most people believe. If I can make more money not working than working, well many people will decide to ride that out as long as possible. Some would even find that you know after doing this for 6-9 months, maybe our family can actually live on one income for a while, etc.
  • Habitual poor performers: Have you ever noticed that some folks just aren’t good at working, any job, ever! For whatever reasons, these folks just are not wired to work. They constantly get fired, and eventually it’s really hard for them to get a job. Could be cognitive issues, mental health issues, drug and alcohol issues, etc.

What I know is having 2.9 million workers out of the workforce for a year, is a problem for US companies. We need those individuals, or at least we need those within the 2.9 million capable of working, to return to the workforce in whatever capacity they can!

The unemployment rate currently sits at 5.9% that is still rather high as compared to early 2019, but actually not very high historically. Those of us in HR and TA figure that once you get below 5% unemployment, you have slim pickings when it comes to talent, for many of the reasons listed above. Within that 5% or less, many of those folks just don’t want to work, or can’t work, in the jobs we have open.

Currently within the US today we have one open job for every unemployed worker, but as we all know, those jobs are not aligned in a way that we can fill those jobs with those who are unemployed.

If you are one of those folks who have been unemployed for a year or more, I would love to hear your reason and see if it aligns with mine above. Hit me in the comments!