“The problem is as soon as we get someone in, one of our other guys will jump ship,” said Tyson De Jonge, engineering manager at Engine Power Components. “They get better offers.”

So match them.

Letting companies complain that there’s no reserve supply of labor when they need it amidst mass unemployment is a bit much. If you need the perfect fit, you’d better be prepared to pay that prospective employee or to train him or her.

As Capelli writes:

TFinding candidates to fit jobs is not like finding pistons to fit engines, where the requirements are precise and can’t be varied. Jobs can be organized in many different ways so that candidates who have very different credentials can do them successfully.

Only about 10% of the people in IT jobs during the Silicon Valley tech boom of the 1990s, for example, had IT-related degrees.

And if you’re thinking of doing another one of these “can’t find workers” stories, which are plentiful, recall this Capelli anecdote from a follow-up WSJ column:

But a remarkable number of those who wrote were in positions where they were hiring, including recruiters. They reported that their organizations had shortages of employees because they would not train or invest in new hires.
My favorite email came from somebody in a company that had 25,000 applicants for an engineering position and the staffing people said none of them were qualified. Could that really be possible?
If you'd like to help CJR and win a chance at one of 10 free print subscriptions, take a brief survey for us here.

Ryan Chittum is a former Wall Street Journal reporter, and deputy editor of The Audit, CJR's business section. If you see notable business journalism, give him a heads-up at rc2538@columbia.edu. Follow him on Twitter at @ryanchittum.