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Louisville Talent Monthly

07/04/2018 8:00 AM | Deleted user

Talent Pipeline Management: An Innovative Approach to Bridging the Talent Gap

By: Josh Williams

A cursory glance at our nation’s economy reveals an optimistic outlook. The unemployment rate sank to a miniscule 3.8% in the month of May (the lowest level in 18 years), the labor market continued its 92-month long growth streak (the longest on record), and some 223,000 jobs were added the Bureau of Labor statistics reported. These positive trends echo in Kentucky as well. In “Bridging the Talent Gap,” a 2017 talent alignment survey led by the Kentucky Society for Human Resource Management (KYSHRM), revealed that 81% of employers are expecting moderate to high economic growth over the next three to five years. All of this seemingly signals an excellent economic forecast across the Commonwealth.  

And yet, at the same time we are witnessing these encouraging metrics, employers are experiencing increasing difficulties in finding the talent they need. For the first time on record, the number of available jobs in the US outpaced the number of job seekers by nearly half a million according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Here in Kentucky, this lack of available workers is further pronounced by Kentucky’s sagging workforce participation rate which ranks 43rd in the nation, according to research published by the Kentucky Chamber Workforce Center. The end result is a nearly air-tight labor pool causing 84% of Kentucky businesses to have difficulties in finding talent they need today (Bridging the Talent Gap). Imagine, if companies are struggling to fill current vacancies, how can they possibly hit growth metrics looming on the horizon?

In this context, it’s understandable why workforce challenges are rapidly becoming a priority for Kentucky’s business community. Without a highly skilled workforce, products can’t be made, services can’t be executed and production effectively comes to a grinding halt. Against this evolving workforce landscape, it’s becoming apparent that workforce development efforts must adapt as well. Antiquated are the days when online job postings served as the primary recruiting strategy. With the talent supply so low, we must be more strategic in developing a workforce that is closely aligned to the needs of business. This calls for employers to play a much more active role in developing talent and working much closer with education and training providers. Fortunately, an innovative resource is on Kentucky’s horizon to help with this effort.

To address the widening talent gap, the Kentucky Chamber Workforce Center, in partnership with the US Chamber Foundation and the Kentucky Workforce Investment Board, is leading implementation of a new initiative and tool known as Talent Pipeline Management™ (TPM). Utilizing supply chain management principles, TPM empowers businesses to create and manage talent supply chains through projecting talent needs and aligning those with education and workforce development systems. Kentucky has been selected as one of three states in the nation to lead the TPM initiative and will be launching its very first TPM Academy in September 2018.

The Kentucky Chamber Workforce Center is currently traveling the state to introduce TPM and discuss how communities can get involved. They will be presenting in Louisville on July 26th from 8-9:30 AM at Kentucky Farm Bureau (9201 Bunsen Pkwy, Louisville, KY 40220). Attendees will learn more about the state of Louisville’s workforce, how TPM works and how they can get involved to help in bridging the talent gap. This event is hosted by the Louisville the Society for Human Resource Management.

For event and registration details, please visit LSHRM’s page here or email Workforce-Readiness@lshrm.org

Kentucky’s New ‘Reentry’ Law Gives Employers Clearance to Hire Workers with Criminal Backgrounds

Under a new Kentucky law that will take effect in July 2021, employers can hire qualified applicants with criminal records without fearing legal barriers and liabilities. Specifically, House Bill 497 creates a certificate program that will give employers relief from civil liability for hiring an ex-offender who was trained for a particular job. The goal is to enhance the ability of formerly incarcerated people to get jobs once they are in the community to further aid in their rehabilitation and reintegration. The bill was signed by Governor Andy Beshear on April 5 after being unanimously passed by the Kentucky Legislature in late March. Here’s what Kentucky employers need to know about this new law.

What Are “Certificates” and How Are They Granted?

HB 497 requires the Department of Corrections (DOC) to equip persons leaving incarceration with the necessary documents and paperwork to ease the process of reentry, including documentation of their criminal history, institutional history, and other relevant information. The law also encourages the DOC to provide support for incarcerated individuals in preparing and writing job resumes. 

Importantly, HB 497 establishes a certificate of employability program for eligible individuals to encourage second-chance employment opportunities upon reentry into society. To receive a “certificate of employability,” HB 497 requires incarcerated individuals to complete certain vocational and/or educational requirements, including passing a skills assessment test administered by the DOC. Certificates are only granted if the individual has successfully maintained a crime-free record for a legally prescribed waiting period preceding their release. The certificate of employability will not be issued to sex offenders, and there are other exclusions in the bill as well. Employers can request the certificate of employability from a job seeker and can check the validity of the certificate by contacting the DOC.

What Does This Mean (or Not Mean) for Kentucky Employers?

The new reentry bill does not mean that employers are required to accept an applicant with a criminal record. Understandably, some Kentucky employers are likely reluctant to hire candidates with certain criminal histories. 

The bill does, however, provide legal protection from negligent-hiring lawsuits if you do decide to hire certificate of employability holders. This immunity means that you can feel confident that hiring a person with a criminal record will not create a legal liability. Rather, it gives you the discretion to assess an individual with a certificate of employability based on their qualifications and to treat them like any other applicant. 

For those employers who do decide to utilize this new certification, be sure to educate your Human Resources department, supervisors, and higher-level managers regarding the new law. You may also need to adjust your policies for hiring persons formerly incarcerated or setting up a program to actively recruit candidates with criminal histories.

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