Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Skills Mismatch

Though an HR director named Schmidt
Looked for candidates with the right fit,
The conditions she set
Could only be met
By the one who had recently quit.

One of the puzzling aspects of America's ongoing high unemployment rate is the so-called skills mismatch: in spite of millions of unemployed, there are also millions (though not as many) of unfilled positions for which employers cannot find applicants with the right skills. The Wall Street Journal looks at this conundrum and finds an alternative explanation: that the software used to screen candidates imposes so many requirements that only someone who has already done the job would qualify. One may infer an element of behavioral economics behind this; evidently, the aversion to a less-than-perfect candidate is greater than the desire to fill the position.

Thanks to Jodi Beggs of Harvard University and Economists Do It With Models, who requested a behavioral economics limerick. Hope this fits the bill, Jodi!

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