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Big data for career development


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It makes me sad to read articles like this, with ideas that seem to make a lot of sense and yet have no chance in hell of being implemented.

What Friedman doesn't seem to understand is that LinkedIn itself is part of the problem. Before there was a gigantic database of resumes, companies that needed to hire had a maximum of three choices: take the most qualified person who walked through the door, train someone to do the job, or not hire. LinkedIn made it easy to SPECIFICALLY TARGET someone who already had done or was currently doing that particular job for one of your competitors... and then lure that person away. So why hire an underqualified person at X salary and Y cost of training and Z risk that they won't work out, when you can hire an overqualified person for 2X salary and zero cost of training or risk? Of course this has two ripple effects: the senior person is bored doing the same job, and the junior person isn't stretching themselves to learn new skills.

There is only one force that seems to make companies commit to training and retaining talent, or really to anything good for the worker: competition for labor. Unfortunately that type of competition tends to only happen towards the end of boom periods, and rapidly vanishes during busts. Right now even low-wage companies like Walmart are rolling out better benefits and higher salaries... but I expect these to be temporary. There is one force that might help increase competition, namely demographics: Baby Boomers are retiring and there are just a lot fewer Gen Xers to replace them. Hopefully this will lead to Millennials getting better training and opportunity soon... but they are so numerous that they create their own intra-generational competition.

Which leads me back to my original point, which is that I see practically zero demand for the services which Friedman is pushing... and I don't think any act of Congress will make datamining for talent a requirement of hiring managers.

Sadly, I think you're right. 

LinkedIn HAS created an environment where it's easier to poach than to train. 

I hope you're right about millennials getting opportunities for training. 

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