In the 1800s, our country was an agricultural society and by the 1900s we had transitioned to an industrial society. Today, it can be said that our economy is in the Service Age.
Many U.S. manufacturing jobs have gone to China and other countries, and they are not coming back. In 1900, 38% of American workers were still employed in agricultural occupations. At the end of the century, that figure was 3%. Persons employed in goods-producing industries (manufacturing) fell from 31% to 19% of the workforce.
However, jobs haven’t “gone away” – they have just morphed into different types of jobs. Service industries accounted for the most significant rise in 20th century employment, increasing from 31% to 78% of the workforce.
As a nation, we must recognize that this shift to a more service-based economy is going to continue, and we must plan accordingly. Plenty of opportunities still exist, but they are very different from the jobs of the past. We still have a good economy, but the job landscape and necessary training to thrive in that landscape have changed.
It is essential that we retrain our workforce – and our future workforce – with new and varied skill sets to compete for the new jobs that accompany the service economy.
All of us – individuals and employers alike – have to wake up and understand that society is changing again to a completely different economic model. As a nation, we’ve been nimble before, we’ve pivoted and adopted. These shifts are hard, but as a society we must embrace and understand the change and adjust accordingly with the education and training that are necessary to adapt to a changing economic landscape.
Candidates want to work for companies who appreciate their people… and who want to keep their talented people by recognizing their contributions. This is one of the largest areas of opportunity for many organizations. In a recent survey of human resource professionals, more than half said that keeping and retaining their talented employees was one of the greatest challenges they face. I enjoy working with companies in a strategic consulting role to help them keep and retain their top talent… rather than taking a basic tactical approach and simply filling a job opening.
In fact, this is one of the reasons I recently pursued the Certified Employee Retention Specialist (CERS) designation from the National Association of Personnel Services. The perception in the marketplace is often that recruiters cause disruption by moving quality people in and out of positions, but I am particularly passionate about being part of the solution rather than part of the problem. This is part of the core of the CERS designation, which requires extensive knowledge of employment laws and regulations and the ability to serve as a consultative expert who can work with clients not to just find top talent, but to retain the top talent already on their team.
“Attaining National certification through NAPS is one way recruiters can set themselves apart from the rest,” says John Sacerdote, NAPS President. “It ensures industry professionals are knowledgeable on the most current employment laws, the highest ethical standards and the best business practices as well as confidentially assessing a client’s retention issues and advising them with specific recommendations as their trusted retention advisor.”
CERS have the highest standard of business practices set forth by the National Association of Personnel Services. I’m proud to join approximately 60 CERS in the United States and thrive on the opportunity to work in long-term partnerships with the companies I serve, supporting them in their efforts to keep their very best people engaged and motivated.