Michigan has more than 75,000 job openings that can’t be filled. Common wisdom says we have a talent shortage due to a lack of relevant education. That may be and we must address that issue, but let’s look at it from a different perspective. A perspective we can change today.
It’s not just a Detroit and Michigan problem. A recent Gallup study showed that only 47 percent of American workers are completely satisfied with their jobs. In fact, of the estimated 100 million Americans employed full-time in 2010-2012, 70 million of them either hated their jobs or were simply “checked out.”
Obviously, we need to be employers of choice.
What is an employer of choice? The definition of employers of choice is as individual as those applying for positions but there are a few common attributes. People want to work for companies with:
- High values and standards
- A good reputation
- A culture of inclusion and a sense of community
- A strong commitment to socially conscious and environmentally sensitive
- Strong, strategic leaders
- Good working conditions that allow them to positively deal with today’s fast-paced world
- Challenging work
- Open communication and continuous feedback
- Career advancement
- Fair compensation
Sounds pretty straightforward, doesn’t it?
The problem is too often those attributes are not associated with many companies in Detroit and Michigan. They need to be. Our city, our state and our companies are going through a rebirth, a revival, a resurgence and a renaissance. Exciting things are happening here and those who come to live, work and play in Detroit can make a difference. It is up to us as employers to help them make that difference, and we are ready and willing to do it.
Detroit’s business community is all about making a difference. It is playing a key role in Detroit’s transformation. Although we have made great progress so far the next step in that transformation demands that we are employers of choice. We need the right talent to move our city forward. We want people to be eager to work for our companies. We want unsolicited resumes to come in in droves. We want our employees to be the envy of others.
We know becoming an employer of choice isn’t easy, but companies in Detroit and Michigan have taken an honest look ourselves. Mary Barra is doing it at General Motors. Alan Mullaly did it at Ford. Companies throughout Detroit and Michigan are doing it … acknowledging difficult truths and making the cultural changes necessary to be an employer of choice.
Our companies have taken the right steps to attract and keep the best and brightest and to help them develop the skills they need to succeed. We know we need to do more.
Yes, good people are hard to find and good people want to find good companies. We want to be those companies and we know we need to win their hearts before we can win their minds. We’re ready to be employers of choice. That’s what Detroit needs.