Instead of resources or land, "capital" today means human capital. It doesn't take a shoe factory to go into the shoe business these days. Nor do you need raw materials or fleets of trucks. Nike became a shoe industry leader by concentrating on the value-producing capacity of it's employees, for design, marketing and distribution know-how. The real capital is intangible: the person's knowledge level, combined with an aptitude for application.
The current “jobless” recovery is a result of our economy evolving from a resources and manufacturing based economy, to a knowledge based one.
For most of the 20th Century, a recession was a cyclical temporary decline in demand where people were temporarily laid off, while inventory backlogs were reduced. As demand increased, workers returned to pre-existing positions or found comparable jobs with another and the economy could snap back quickly
Technology has allowed companies to establish tightly integrated demand and supply chains while outsourcing jobs to save money. Many of the jobs which have entirely disappeared from
North America have reappeared in India, China and Mexico.
We are now witnessing the first recovery in what has become a full information economy. Investment in new capital equipment is no longer a pendulum swinging form recession to recovery and back again firm - the result of inventory that needed to be sold off.
Because job growth now depends on the creation of net new positions in different firms and industries, you can expect a long lag before employment rebounds. Employers incur risks in creating new jobs, and require additional time to establish and fill positions.
America's challenge is to leverage its % of the global population into a much larger percentage of intellectual capital competitiveness. Knowledge Workers are the backbone in all sectors of the economy: most obviously in the Information and Communications Technology (ICT) sectors but they also embrace the other industrial sectors including healthcare, manufacturing, transportation, and the Public Service.
Labour Market Studies indicate that there is already a looming Knowledge Worker skills shortage – a shortage that impacts competitiveness and economic and social development. These shortages will not diminish soon because skilled “Baby Boomers” are retiring in unprecedented numbers while the newly created knowledge economy jobs require more education and higher skill levels.
‘The War for Talent’ today is a qualitative conflict that is best characterized as the ‘War for the Best Talent’ - a global conflict being fought amongst the G7 countries with the winner taking all. Knowledge economy jobs are borderless - a vacancy in San Francisco may be filled by someone in China, India or elsewhere.
As a job-hunter, you need to comprehend that the production of value is the most important criterion for an employer when hiring. Articulating your value is your key to successful job-hunting; it separates you from all the other job-hunters. Understand, value is not salary; worth does not flow from a job title. Knowing what's important to a company means looking beyond job descriptions and compensation tables, especially today when sudden changes and uncertainty are the norm.
The New Value Table in Guerrilla Marketing for Job Hunters is the ideal jump-off point for articulating yours.