Saturday, 7 January 2017

When Reality does not Meet Expectations

Read a US news article which argued how dining expenses will increase if President Trump's policy were set in place. You can read it here.

What got pique my interest was this particular paragraph:

"A stark example of the need for immigrant labor was apparent in 2011, when the North Carolina Growers Association had 6,500 farm jobs available, all of them in or next to counties with unemployment rates greater than 10 %. Only 268 of the approximately 500,000 unemployed North Carolinians applied for a position. Ninety percent of them were hired, but only 163 showed up to work on the first day, and only seven workers — of the 6,500 required — completed the growing season"

This reminded me of Certis CISCO recruitment failure in Singapore where they were not able to obtain enough locals to fill its manpower vacancies and had to seek foreign manpower to fill this gap. Article can be read here.

What surprised me was that despite offering about $2,575 monthly salary to "O" level graduates after their training period (and a higher starting salary to those who join with a higher educational level), many of the local workforce are still not inclined to join. To get a sense of how much is a $2,575 starting salary; this starting pay is much higher than the average starting pay of any polytechnic graduate in MOE's survey

To add icing to the cake, Singapore's labour situation is not rosy at all - Our economy is experiencing a problem where there are more job seekers than job vacancies. As the situation narrated in the US article, it bears resemblance to what we are experiencing here. 

When Reality does not Meet Expectations

So why does such a disparity exist. Another paragraph from the US article will shed some light:

"Some may argue that these laborer positions could, and should, be filled by American workers. But the reality is that these positions are not considered desirable due to the physical demands and the need to work outside in inclement weather."

So as one may guess, the answer is because those job vacancies do not match what job seekers are expecting; in psychology, we learn that when one's expectations are not met, it leads to a drop in dopamine in the brain, resulting in the feeling of disappointment. Perhaps our local workforce are disappointed with these available jobs and are bidding their time to seek employment.

Singapore is going through an interesting period and therefore I am curious - Given the current scenario where reality is not matching the expectations of the workforce: will businesses here pack up due to the stringent labor compliance cost (eg. local to foreigner ratio/high cost of labor) or will the hunger of the people eventually succumb to the acceptance of jobs below their expectations.

This reminds me of another viewpoint article written by a local journalist. Is the lack of hunger something which will hinder our economy navigating through these tough times?

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