Misconceptions Are Powering the Skills Gap

skills gap

I was recently at an event and started discussing my role as a recruiter and today’s labor market. We were talking about some of the positions I regularly recruit for, the industries, and what types of degrees are most beneficial. This tied very well into a number of recent conversations I’ve had with hiring managers on the skills gap. I have been tasked by my clients to find the next generation of workers within the building materials, mining, and the pulp and paper industries.

It was a very interesting turn of events, as I just had conversations with both a major hydraulic fracking company and an industry-leading specialty paper company about some of their struggles. They both expressed concern that young professionals do not seem as interested in gaining a degree towards becoming a mining engineer or entering the paper company to support the industry’s growth.

Misconceptions fuel the skills gap

One of the people I was speaking to at this event made a comment that the mining industry would soon go away, likely within the next ten years. Another mentioned that the paper industry was going to go completely under, and it was good for the trees. We talked about whether these industries were solid career pursuits, and if it was worth getting a degree or if these career paths might just be adding debt they could never escape from. However, these claims are certainly not true.

As a recruiter in the mining and heavy industrial industries, it’s my responsibility to understand these misconceptions. To do my job effectively, I must understand how young professionals feel about my industries and help them develop a better understanding of how these industries are going strong and great career pursuits.

Mining and Heavy Industrial are evolving

The mining and heavy industrial industries are changing. Many of the items in our everyday lives are manufactured from raw materials extracted and processed from a mine. And a solid environmental engineer can help companies to mine more responsibly. Look around you. Your phone, computer, car, bedroom light, and the latest Amazon package are all things that aren’t going anywhere. Additionally, the amount of paper for publication has gone down, yet packaging for online shopping and food has skyrocketed. In other words, misconceptions like the ones detailed above are sometimes preventing young, talented professionals from seeking careers in these industries.

Do a little digging

Choosing to pursue your passion and learn more about the sustainable initiatives companies have in place could change your mind. For example, the Sustainable Forrest Initiative does a great job promoting healthy forests for timber and paper. The funds generated by businesses even subsidize private landowners to maintain the natural property; this ensures the land is responsibly planted and harvested. These same landowners might otherwise decide to sell to make another parking lot. Therefore, don’t let a misconception keep you from looking into a career of any sorts.

Battle the skills gap with a professional

Is the skills gap hurting your recruiting efforts? Don’t fret, you’re not alone. But that doesn’t mean you have to tackle this tight labor market on your own. Partner with me and my talented team. We will help you find the candidates your organization needs and help bridge this skills gap.