Why Job Seekers Don't Land Jobs Wharton's Peter Cappelli speaks with The Wall Street Journal's Francesca Donner about why the hiring process is frustrating for employers and job seekers and how to fix the problem.

Peter Cappelli confronts the skills gap and provides an actionable path toward putting people back to work

Even in a time of perilously high unemployment, companies contend that they cannot find the employees they need. Pointing to a skills gap, employers argue applicants are simply not qualified; schools aren’t preparing students for jobs; the government isn’t letting in enough high-skill immigrants; and even when the match is right, prospective employees won’t accept jobs at the wages offered.

In this powerful and fast-reading book, Peter Cappelli, Wharton management professor and director of Wharton’s Center for Human Resources, debunks the arguments and exposes the real reasons good people can’t get hired. Drawing on jobs data, anecdotes from all sides of the employer-employee divide, and interviews with jobs professionals, he explores the paradoxical forces bearing down on the American workplace and lays out solutions that can help us break through what has become a crippling employer-employee stand-off.

Among the questions he confronts: Is there really a skills gap? To what extent is the hiring process being held hostage by automated software that can crunch thousands of applications an hour? What kind of training could best bridge the gap between employer expectations and applicant realities, and who should foot the bill for it? Are schools really at fault?

Named one of HR Magazine’s Top 20 Most Influential Thinkers of 2011, Cappelli not only changes the way we think about hiring but points the way forward to rev America’s job engine again and put people back to work.

“Peter Cappelli’s new book addresses one of today’s major conundrums: why do so many jobs in America remain unfilled in the face of persistently high unemployment? With so many concerned observers looking to the government to solve the jobs crisis, Cappelli’s book is a refreshing and highly readable treatise on the roles and responsibilities of the private sector in matching job seekers to jobs. A must-read for those interested in how to get US employment back on track.”

—Jennifer Blanke, Lead Economist, World Economic Forum

“Peter Cappelli has produced a valuable and very readable examination of the important, but often misunderstood, skills gap problem. He punctures many common myths and outlines a sensible way to better match the demand for, and supply of, skills.”

—Ray Marshall, Rapoport Centennial Chair of Economics and Public Affairs, University of Texas at Austin, and Former Secretary of Labor

“It is high time to dismiss a silo approach to education and workforce and focus on the overall objective of these efforts, which is ensuring that every American has access to a training mechanism that will allow them to maximize their human potential. Such an approach requires greater engagement of corporate human resource departments, training providers and government leaders. Bravo to Dr. Cappelli for highlighting the importance of taking a supply chain approach to worker training and public-private partnerships.”

—Cordell Carter, Former Vice President, Public Policy, Business Roundtable
  • Featured image for article: Don’t blame schools for worker shortages
    The Japan Times, September 08, 2015

    Don’t blame schools for worker shortages

    Peter Cappelli, professor at the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania and author of “Why Good People Can’t Get Jobs: The Skills Gap and What Companies Can Do About It” says there is no such thing as a perfect fit between applicants and job requirements.

    Read More
  • Featured image for article: Skill Shortage or Ineffective Hiring?
    ScienceCareers.com, November 13, 2014

    Skill Shortage or Ineffective Hiring?

    Peter Cappelli, a professor of management and director of the Wharton School’s Center for Human Resources at the University of Pennsylvania, examines (in his book Why Good People Can’t Get Jobs) how the widespread use of computerized algorithms to screen applications has made hiring practices rigid and ineffective at doing what they’re supposed to do: match workers with jobs they have the ability, or can acquire the ability, to do. 

    Read More
  • Featured image for article: Leaders Work to Close Gap Between Education and Labor Market
    Education Week, October 28, 2014

    Leaders Work to Close Gap Between Education and Labor Market

    At The Close it Summit in Washington, D.C., today business, government, education, and nonprofit leaders discussed the changing dynamics of the labor market and how educators can best prepare students for the workforce.

    Read More
  • Featured image for article: Where The Jobs Are: The New Blue Collar
    USA Today, September 30, 2014

    Where The Jobs Are: The New Blue Collar

    “There’s a new middle. It’s tougher, and takes more skill,” says Anthony Carnevale, director of the Georgetown University Center on Education and the Workforce.

    USA TODAY looked at jobs data in 125 of the nation’s largest metros, finding that prospects look good.

    Read More
  • Featured image for article: Free eBook: Why Good People Can't Get Jobs
    September 10, 2012

    Free eBook: Why Good People Can't Get Jobs

    For one week only, download a free ebook: Why Good People Can’t Get Jobs.

    Read More
  • Featured image for article: New Book: Why Good People Can’t Get Jobs
    June 01, 2012

    New Book: Why Good People Can’t Get Jobs

    In Why Good People Can’t Get Jobs, author Peter Cappelli confronts the myth of the skills gap and provides an actionable path forward to put people back to work.


    Read More
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