After the CoronaCrisis in Germany there is a lot of whining about the shortage of skilled workers. While that is Problem already old and also often homemade.

{Replica} Demographic change vs. AI in recruiting: Are you also annoyed by the whining about a shortage of skilled workers?

Are you also annoyed by the whining about the shortage of skilled workers?

Do you feel the same way? Personally, I can no longer listen to the whining about the shortage of skilled workers that I read about every day. This is of course a rhetorical question if you HR are and hand-wringing Candidate search but can't find any, you're probably indignant now. But let's look at things in order:

It may be that the baby boomer generation is finally in pension and the corresponding positions can no longer be filled with enough young workers. However, that was foreseeable for a long time and thus clear and there is still plenty beyond that Companyswho can afford the luxury, the older, well-educated and experienced Employees into early retirement because they are simply too expensive. So the crux is: There may be a shortage – but of cheap skilled workers.

Demographic change vs. AI

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Also, I read about it every day Ascent of AI tools and that we are in Future have to work less. For example, I was recently in Switzerland, checked myself into the hotel with my mobile phone and paid my own bills in the supermarket - all without receptionists, cashiers or other staff. It doesn't even have anything to do with AI. A robot has also taken over my office cleaning for a few months.

Sure, the Technology is not yet perfect, people often have to make adjustments, but you can see: the potential for saving time and Money is huge. And it works in areas I never thought it would. Especially in direct comparison to Switzerland, I ask myself: Did the German companies and the public sector sleep completely? Privacy, which is often put forward and is a legitimate argument in the medical sector, for example, cannot be the excuse for everything. And there would be for that Solutions. I rather suspect the reluctance of many companies to invest, which would simply prefer to continue as usual.

Not a new problem - 4 examples against the shortage of skilled workers

Incidentally, none of this is a new problem. I still remember a discussion that popped up here on the blog a few years ago, in which frustrated engineers shared their bad experiences with the Job Search complained. By the way, started by our reader Karen: Karen studied engineering at the University of Erlangen, later emigrated to Sweden and was angry:

"My semester ended about a year ago and although compared to the first semester about 40% did not complete the course, only about 5% are in permanent employment. Many from our semester have turned their backs on Germany and are working in Scandinavia, Austria and Switzerland. Others are employed as Hartz IV top-ups and hope for better times. Many with good degrees are also affected... I have not regretted my decision to turn my back on Germany for a minute and would do it again."

She was by no means an isolated case. Numerous graduates, but also seasoned engineers with relevant work experience complain Internet about bad prospects. University of Applied Sciences graduate Marek was also looking for a job for several months with a final grade of 1,3 in the standard period of study.

“I have written many applications, including unsolicited ones, and have only received rejection so far. And always with the reason that there is currently no vacancy! How can that be, since there is a desperate search for engineers?”

Mechanical engineer Marcus, who graduated in November 2009, was looking for a job until August 2010 and then took up a position in Switzerland. Before that he had over 50 applications and 4 unsuccessful ones in Germany job interviews put behind:

“Most of the time, the reason given for the rejection was that my qualifications do not fully meet the requirements. good i got it Study finished with 2,4, but I also have a technical one Vocational Training and I did my practical semester abroad.”

However, many employers prefer to keep looking, despite the need, than unsuitable ones Candidates - as reported by this computer scientist who prefers to remain anonymous:

"We're looking in ours Company software developers in the Rhein-Main area. But even here, most applicants are rejected. Applicants must have practical experience in the programming languages ​​and operating systems we use and speak English very well. You should also have knowledge of the stock market environment. We are under so much pressure that we can hardly train new people and it is therefore not possible to hire beginners. However, we definitely hire people over 50. Often there is also a lack of interpersonal relationships Communication. We just can't imagine some people on our teams. If it turns out that a new employee is not performing well, they will be fired without further ado.”

Take a differentiated look at the shortage of skilled workers

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How does that fit with the thesis of a shortage of skilled workers that has existed in recent years? There is much to suggest that the subject needs to be viewed in a more differentiated manner: even if there are vacancies, not everyone is hired immediately: professional qualifications, specialization and personal factors such as mobility or Teamwork, a role - factors that, as is often the case, can be argued about: In a weekly report of the German Institute for Economic Research (DIW) from 2010, the labor market researcher and scientific consultant on the board of the DIW, Karl Brenke, spoke at the time of an impending flood of skilled workers for some areas.

“We cannot rule out that we will be in some Industries will have a glut of skilled workers. Currently, only a few areas can be identified where there is a lack of skilled workers. This is most likely still the case with the doctors.”

A look back: That's what science said on the subject

The explosive thing about this statement: you completely contradicted the ruling one Opinions the shortage of skilled workers and also the statements by DIW President Klaus Zimmermann. Like the Frankfurter Rundschau and Spiegel Online reported, the original version of the study even had to be revised again: the study, it was read, was only concentrating on the next four to five years. However, nothing has changed in the core thesis: If Brenke has his way, there was certainly no shortage of skilled workers in Germany at the time.

Brenke was able to justify his statements with several statistical values: The wages for skilled workers have hardly increased, as would be the case when there are bottlenecks, and since 2009 they have not developed any better than those of other employees. On the other hand, the number of students and graduates has increased since 2007. The most important factor, however, is that, according to the Federal Employment Agency and calculations by the DIW, the number of unemployed is higher than the number of vacancies for almost all skilled workers. Brenke only saw a significant bottleneck among vulcanizers, electricians and doctors.

Ignorance and misinterpretation of the numbers are to blame for the dilemma

Where did the discrepancy come from? Behind held Hand Suspected affected manipulations by the employer side, with the Objective, by a large selection on well-trained, local, more flexible workers, and on the other hand being able to phase out older engineers. Ignorance, misjudgements and statistical inaccuracies are more likely. Because, as labor market expert Brenke admitted at the time, there are no scientific methods that could map the entire labor market and thus make a definitive statement about the overall economic shortage of skilled workers.

For example, there is a lack of meaningful current data on wage developments in individual occupations, there are only figures on wages in individual groups of skilled workers. And the information on vacancies and the unemployed only contains the figures from the Federal Employment Agency – anything that is not reported there does not appear in the statistics. According to Brenke, a distinction must also be made between university graduates and specialists with company training.

Linguistic inaccuracies also play a role for sure a role: Most people would probably only speak of a shortage if open vacancies could not be filled within a reasonable period of time. Others interpret the term shortage more liberally or panic when they no longer have hundreds of applications on the table. This is the only explanation for the fact that companies throughout Germany continue to be actively involved in Boy recruit people to your company while laying off experienced employees,

Figures on the shortage of skilled workers: A review

Labor market researcher Karl Brenke caused a stir back in 2010 with his study, according to which there is no shortage of skilled workers in Germany. In order to show how such calculations came about, we have summarized the results again.

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