Very few of us can claim to have put 500,000 people to work, but that is exactly what Bob Funk, the Chairman and CEO of Express Employment Professionals achieved just last year. It is also why his unique insights on the jobs market are so highly respected.
In particular, when the head of the country's largest private staffing firm says that he could find a job tomorrow for anyone who possesses these four things, we're all ears.
"You have to have honest individuals who deal honestly with your customer base," Funk says in the attached video. In fact, the former head of the Kansas City Federal Reserve Bank says a good attitude and how well you relate to your employer and supervisor and fellow employees is one of the most important criteria companies look for. Even though our 7.3% unemployment rate is still high, Funk says this most basic trait is "harder and harder and more difficult to find" nowadays.
2. Strong work ethic
The key here, he says, is finding people who are not only "willing to put the effort in" to their jobs, but to make an "extra effort" too.
Interestingly, while many people have been outspoken in their worries about the effect that millions of illegal immigrants have on our labor market, Funk disagrees and cites the work ethic and economic contributions of certain ethnic groups as exemplary rather than destructive.
3. Pass a drug test
This may not seem like a huge obstacle, but with more and more employers requiring them (particularly in the trades), the chances of flunking also increase.
4. Education: learn the right skills for your profession
While Funk is genuinely sympathetic toward the plight of unemployed Baby Boomers and Millennials, he places a lot of the blame at the feet of the education system which he says "is not providing the support to re-skill or be skilled" when you get out of school. Those who take that extra step to seek out the right skills will be rewarded in the workplace.
As much as government data shows millions of people have been out of work for six, 12, 24 months or more, Funk believes able-bodied Americans with the aforementioned traits and skills can find work if they want it.
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