According to Michael Stull, Senior Vice President for Manpower North America, assisting job seekers in becoming more employable, developing relevant skills and building careers while connecting businesses with the best-matched talent has never been more important.
“The industry and the world of work is changing faster than we’ve seen in our company’s nearly 70-year history,” Stull said.
Job seekers with the most in-demand skills increasingly will have greater opportunities in the workforce and advance further in their careers, he added.
Stull leads the Manpower brand in North America, where the company currently has 70,000 people on assignment on any given day across 320 branches in the United States and Canada. He is based at ManpowerGroup’s corporate headquarters in downtown Milwaukee.
Stull will be the keynote speaker at the Wisconsin Manufacturing Extension Partnership’s Manufacturing Matters! conference on Feb. 23 at the Hyatt Regency Hotel in Milwaukee.
Stull also has been instrumental in driving ManpowerGroup’s digital transformation in North America to enable higher-value relationships between employers and job candidates.
“Companies have become consumers of labor instead of builders of talent,” Stull said. “As such, employers are expecting employees to be productive on day one, while individuals have become more responsible for developing their own skills.”
Prior to taking on his new role, which became effective in December, Stull led ManpowerGroup’s global marketing across 80 countries and all brands for five years. He played a lead role in leveraging technology solutions and third-party relationships to enhance and modernize experiences for candidates and clients.
The traditional work model, where employees were hired and put on a specific, and often narrow, career path, is outdated, he said.
“Today, the path is a much broader labor market,” Stull said.
Workforce challenges must be addressed, especially the struggle to find qualified workers to fill open positions.
A critical shortage of workers continues, but labor participation rates aren’t rising, a sure sign that a skills gap continues to exist, Stull said.
“We continue to need to figure out how to get across the divide,” he said.
Employers have been developing intriguing solutions to their workforce needs. Retailers with varying seasonal demands, for example, are engaging in collective work programs.
Manpower’s staffing services have been evolving to meet market demand, as well. Traditionally, Manpower primarily focused on finding candidates to fill jobs.
“With the Internet, candidates and employers both have access to almost everything that is out there,” Stull said. “The value is now in the assessment piece. The closer we can get to a one-to-one fit between an employer and a job candidate, then everyone is better off.”
Finding an appropriate match leads to more predictable performance, Stull added.
Although there is a high volume of digital information and services available to match employers and job seekers, the “human touch” remains a needed element, Stull said. Guidance often is needed in terms of education and professional development as job seekers look not only for a current job but also a path to their next job.
“We love putting people to work and helping them get ahead,” Stull said. “We think of ourselves as providing a workforce opportunity for them.”
ManpowerGroup’s annual Talent Shortage Survey also provides valuable insight into the labor market. It asks employers in 42 countries which roles they are struggling to fill and to identify skills gaps. As a result, ManpowerGroup knows what employers want, and which skills are needed for employees to move on, move up and earn more.
Manpower also recently launched MyPath, which includes its full college tuition coverage program offering eligible U.S. associates the opportunity to pursue a college education along with valuable career coaching. MyPath provides associates with assessment, guidance, development and education alongside career opportunities with Manpower in the United States.
This encourages Manpower’s associates to improve and expand their skills by achieving college degrees while they work. As these individuals add skills, businesses will have access to a wider pool of quality talent.
Stull also pointed to how digital technology has changed the way candidates look for jobs and how employers search for candidates.
“People want to do a lot of stuff on their own,” Stull said. “Much of what we do is more convenient in our mobile world, especially when it comes to things like seeing if someone is interested in a job. The other big piece with digital is leveraging the underlying data to provide a better overall experience. We know employees’ preferences and their situations and where they will be more successful.”
Cultivating skills and connecting individuals with these skills to the jobs that need them most will be keys to success in the imminent job skills revolution and Manpower is well situated to assist both organizations and individuals.