Matching Higher Education to Job Needs – Part Two

Businesses need high-skilled employees in order to stay competitive, right? Successfully competing is what helps a business thrive and continue to hire employees. And then there are higher education institutions, whose goal is to create the employees that businesses want to hire. What problem could there possibly be?



Achieving the right fit.

Although businesses are hiring, the right candidates are not lining up. Even when there are applicants, the qualified employee for the job still needs to be found. Any new hire could mean special training, classifying an employee as temporary until quality of fit is determined, and similar precautionary measures. During this period, time and money is invested that might never have a payoff.

While having a bad fit might seem a minor nuisance to both parties, for business it’s a problem that could jeopardize profitability. From the folks at Harvard Business Review, we learn: “In skilled and semi-skilled jobs, the fully loaded cost of replacing a worker who leaves (excluding lost productivity) is typically 1.5 to 2.5 times the worker’s annual salary.”

Excluding lost productivity—a large exclusion, just think of the last time you tried to learn a new skill and now imagine hundreds of people doing that in one organization—the price of replacing an employee is more than paying that employee for a year. That is why employees are sought who perfectly fit the business.

If higher education institutions need to create future employees with a better fit to the needs of business, and businesses remain competitive by having employees that fit well with their needs, how does a business ensure that applicants are qualified?

The answer seems almost obvious.

Businesses should become more proactive in contributing to the design of courses offered by educators. By developing business-educator strategic partnerships, the benefit of a degree will be evident: future employees will have the security of knowing what value they can bring to a business.

In Part Three, we’ll look at the innovators already taking charge.

Questions? Talk with an Advisor