by Steven Cherry
Back in October, an article appeared in The Wall Street Journal with the headline “Why Companies Aren’t Getting the Employees They Need.” It noted that even with millions of highly educated and highly trained workers sidelined by the worst economic downturn in three generations, companies were reporting shortages of skilled workers. Companies typically blame schools, for not providing the right training; the government, for not letting in enough skilled immigrants; and workers themselves, who all too often turn down good jobs at good wages.
The author of the article, an expert on employment and management issues, concluded that although employers are in almost complete agreement about the skills gap, there was no actual evidence of it. Instead, he said, “The real culprits are the employers themselves.”
That article drew over 500 comments on the Journal’s website and a suggestion from a colleague to expand it into a book. The book did indeed get written and published this month by Wharton Digital Press. Its title is Why Good People Can’t Get Jobs: The Skills Gap and What Companies Can Do About It. And its author is my guest today.
Peter Cappelli is the George W. Taylor Professor of Management at Wharton, which is the business school of the University of Pennsylvania, in Philadelphia, and he joins us by phone from there.