Work: The Critical Element

The wage gap is widening, and the middle class in America is slowly becoming smaller and smaller. Now, the very rich and very poor stand in contrast to one another. There are many humanitarian organizations dedicated to offering support to those in poverty, but at the end of the day, what is really needed is one critical element: work. Offering help is a great way to help people get a leg up, but for those who genuinely want to see change in their lives, the best strategy is attaining an ongoing source of income that will permit them to change their circumstances for a lifetime.

Incentivizing Hiring Practices

Many companies naturally shy away from hiring low-income individuals--and some of them may not even realize that they're doing it. In many cases, however, job requirements for even entry-level positions make it difficult for low-income individuals to break into new positions. They ask for degrees, expensive certifications, and other criteria that individuals may struggle to meet. Changing hiring practices, however, can help families find a way out of the debt cycle.

An increasing number of businesses are finding that it's impossible to find the talent necessary to fill highly qualified positions--including entry-level positions. There's a talent shortage that's running across more than one industry, with more than 40% of global employers reporting shortages in their industry. An increasing number of companies are finding that it is easier and more practical to hire for attitude and train skills than it is to look for specific skills from their job applicants. By opening the door to candidates who possess the right attitude and determination for the job, even if they don't necessarily have the skills, companies will find that they're able to both close that talent gap and benefit lower-income populations.

Modernizing Workforce Training

Today's workforce requires a different type of training than previous generations. Highly specific technology is present in most industries--and it's not necessarily possible for incoming job candidates to learn how to use those tools on their own. By modernizing workforce training, however, many companies will find that they're able to meet the needs of their employees without causing necessary expense. Even internships can be expensive in terms of time, money spent on uniforms and tools necessary to do the job, and transportation. For low-income individuals, therefore, modernizing workforce training is critical to offering the ability to remove themselves from poverty. This might include:

  • Digital training that will allow new employees to quickly move through this portion of the process.
  • On-the-job training within the company, including junior positions within companies that allow employees time to learn the tricks of the trade.
  • Creative scheduling methods, from allowing employees to work from home to offering digital options, to make more time for employees to acquire the training they need in order to move up in their current companies.

By embracing modern training methods, many companies will find that it's easier to hire individuals who are a good fit for the company regardless of how much they've earned in the past. As a result, they'll not only get great employees. They'll also be able to change lives.

Offering work for a reasonable wage, including the ability to train and move into skilled jobs, does more than just put a band-aid on the problem. Whether your company is looking for a way to genuinely help low-income populations or you're simply interested in a more effective strategy for acquiring employees with the skills your company needs, consider changing your hiring and training practices in order to open the door for more employees. This simple strategy has the ability to transform your company and change lives at the same time.