Letters: The problem with hiring, the language of jobs and work

Marketplace Staff Sep 8, 2011
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Letters: The problem with hiring, the language of jobs and work

Marketplace Staff Sep 8, 2011
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Kai Ryssdal: We’ve been talking on the program this week about jobs, mostly the lack thereof. One of the complaints you hear a lot from employers is that they can’t find workers with the right skills. Commentator Betsey Stevenson said the other day those companies just aren’t looking hard enough.

Allen Laudenslager from Denver says employers are hung up on a piece of paper.

Allen Laudenslager: If you ain’t got the right degree or certificate, you won’t get the interview. Most of those older workers learned their skills long before there was a degree or certificate in that field, and the cost and time to get that credential is prohibitive. The problem is not employers or cost — it’s caused by using the wrong HR filters.

Dr. Larry Breiterman — he’s a dentist in Wayne, N.J. — disagrees. He’s been trying to hire people; he says it’s way harder than you’d think.

Larry Breiterman: Even among those that somewhat fit the criteria, you find that there’s either large gaps in their employment history or they simply are not interested in working. You know, in my kind of business, we work some nights and weekends and we find that a lot of people, when we tell them that there’s nights and weekends involved, that they’re just not interested.

We tried on Tuesday to parse the language of jobs and work. Words that get used a lot. Often interchangeably.

The difference, says Shlomit Auciello of Rockland, Maine, is this.

Shlomit Auciello: Jobs provide pay and tax revenue, data for the Bureau of Labor Statistics and talking points for political candidates. Work — at least good work — provides needed goods or services, a sense of useful occupation and dignity, and a good night’s sleep at the end of a hard day. When the two come together, it is very good indeed.

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