To American employers,

Across the country, you have been crowing about the inability to find good employees. You have complained about the education system, job boards, and the work ethic of young people. Your lobbying arms have pushed for more visas and your R&D facilities have tried to design more robots to do more workers' jobs. But, what if the problem all along has been the way you treat your workers?

You still have an outdated mindset.

Your companies are still stuck in a 2009 mindset when it comes to employees. You have been operating as though you can pick and choose the employees you want for the prices that you want to pay them. Every job listing comes with a laundry list of requirements, including at least several years of experience. In 2009, a company could get away with such behavior. There were 6.6 job seekers for every job opening, meaning that people with master's degrees were often stuck working at Starbucks to pay their bills.

Face the new reality.

But things have changed. Now, the economy has around one job seeker for every opening. Employees want and expect more out of companies, and they are staying away from open job positions if they do not get what they want. Some retailers and other companies have started to offer generous benefits packages and pay their employees well. Others have internship programs that move college students into company positions without requiring years of experience.

At the same time, many of you are not changing their practices. You keep their product prices and executive compensation packages high, while keeping wages as low as possible. Employers continue harmful scheduling practices that keep workers from knowing when their next shift will be, making it impossible to plan for household chores or child care. If you continue to engage in these practices, potential employees will stay far away from your business.

It’s time to pay up.

You have been wondering what is wrong with American benefits and worker's compensation. The problem are the employers. You take advantage of the power that you have over workers, including your ability to hire and fire at will in most states. You also fail to change your hiring tactics when the job market requires it. This open letter will hopefully show you the error of your ways and the actions you will need to take in order to get Americans working again.

Make sure that you are treating your workers fairly and offering generous benefits packages. If your employees are making more money than the competition, that may actually be a positive development. Those employees will be happier at their jobs and will stay with you longer. Also, consider training employees instead of expecting them to start at your job with several years of experience. If you do not change the way you think about wages or benefits in this current economic climate, your possible employees will pass you by.


The disgruntled employees of the United States