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Where will we get our next wave of new-hires?

At a recent workforce symposium put on by the Arizona Association for Economic Development, a series of speakers addressed the topic “The War For Talent.”

We often look to our universities, Northern Arizona University and Arizona State University, for recent or soon-to-be graduating PR students.  Over the years, we’ve had plenty of success in finding the brightest and the best.

But will that continue?

Fred N. Ingersoll, apprenticeship and workforce development – construction, for Katerra, which describes itself as a technology company redefining the construction industry, offered some interesting insight during his presentation.

He said that “disengaged youth” are going to be a stumbling block for employers in all industries.  They are between the ages of 16 and 24 and are neither employed nor in education or training.  They are “N.E.E.T.” – at least in their own eyes.  I just wonder what they do all day.

Out of the 38.9 million Americans who fall into that age range, about 6.7 million of them are N.E.E.T.  In Arizona, that number is almost 150,000.

Sounds like a challenge lies ahead.

Ingersoll offered up a couple of great quotes to help ease that potential pain:

“You don’t hire for skills, you hire for attitude.  You can always teach skills.” – Herb Kelleher

“Great companies don’t hire skilled people and motivate them.  They hire already motivated people and inspire them.” – Simon Sinek

Those comments don’t apply to all industries, but there’s some truth to both.

Scott Hanson
Scott Hanson
President Scott is president of HMA Public Relations and a founding member of the Public Relations Global Network. He’s a Phoenix native, husband, father of two and a fan of all sports and a participant in some. Check out Scott's full bio

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