The ‘living wage’ fallacy
The April jobs report was bad news for the post-COVID-19 economic recovery. Across the United States, employers added just 266,000 jobs and the unemployment rate ticked up to 6.1%. This…
Finding workers for hard-to-fill skilled jobs is one of the toughest challenges that Minnesota’s small- to medium-sized employers face. Fortunately, a revolutionary new on-line search tool—the RealTime Talent Exchange—now gives them the kind of reach and sophistication they can otherwise only dream of.
For these employers, the Exchange is like having their own top-dollar, Fortune 500-style human resources department. And it’s remarkably affordable: $39 for regular job postings and $19 for internships.
RealTime Talent, which operates the Exchange, is a public-private collaboration formed in 2015 out of work started by the business advisory group Itasca Project. RealTime Talent’s goal is to increase workforce alignment in Minnesota.
The organization launched the Exchange in February 2017. The mission of this new service is to remake today’s inefficient hiring process, which is often a hit-or-miss affair in which employers struggle both to reach an adequate pool of candidates and to determine if any are a good fit. Using a revolutionary new technology, the Exchange cuts the time needed to fill jobs, minimizes productivity losses from unfilled positions, and helps identify ideal matches.
A recent Twin Cities Business article describes how it achieves this:
While [the Exchange] has the normal functionality of a job board where interested applicants can apply, the real difference is in its matching tools. Applicants…fill out a skills and interests quiz tailored to their preferred industry and roles. The questions are drawn from [a federal database], which contains the description of every job type in the country.
Based on the results of the quiz, employers and applicants are able to see a one- to five-star rating on how well the job might fit the applicant…. It also provides the employer with seven of the best-matched profiles on the site that haven’t applied for the job so they can reach out to them.
A RealTime Talent brochure sums it up this way:
Our data-driven technology sorts and stack-ranks matched candidates based on alignment with job characteristics, not keyword counts…. You receive a list of the candidates who best match your needs, and then click to connect.
With the Exchange, employers never need to worry about reaching an adequately broad pool of potential candidates. Job postings are automatically distributed to more than 5,000 local, regional and national job boards, and also integrated with promotion through social media and email.
Job applicants who use the Exchange have as much to cheer about as employers. A RealTime Talent brochure lays out the process:
To start, you’ll answer simple, occupation specific questions focused on your interests and skills. Then, you’ll receive instant compatibility scores, while employers will receive instant notifications of good matches.
You’re matched with new opportunities as they’re posted. Positions are active for just 30 days to ensure you’re only connected with employers who are actively looking to hire.
Candidates who fail to get a job they applied for can see where they fell short, and identify other job opportunities that may be a better match.
The Exchange is designed to serve individual employers and job seekers. But RealTime Talent offers a variety of sophisticated services that have a broader focus.
Sandee Joppa, the organization’s executive director, explains its ultimate goal this way in the Star Tribune:
[Our state] is experiencing a shortage of workers that will grow to about 278,000 by 2022 unless we make significant changes. Minnesota needs a better way to make sure the students we graduate have the skills they need…and that employers know where to find them more easily, and vice versa….
We provide custom research, access to labor market data and innovative tools to address labor force needs and to support our higher education and workforce centers. Ultimately, we are all about boosting the economic prosperity of our state and Minnesotans through collective action and market-oriented decisions.