LinkedIn CEO “Attempts” to Talk Skills Gap

linkedin-ceo-jeff-weiner-on-the-cover-of-forbes-magazine

LinkedIn CEO Jeff Weiner just received a 100% approval rating from his employees. Makes you think he must not be too bad a guy, right? He’s probably someone worth listening to for ideas and insight about how to run a company from an HR (among others) perspective.

This CBS interview with Jeff Weiner is worth watching.  What’s interesting about it? The reporters ask him a few questions, which he answers. Then, they ask him if he has any message in particular with regards to unemployment and how to fix it.

This is when his face lights up. He very passionately begins to discuss the skills gap. He says there’s a big focus on unemployment, when the focus should be the talent gap. He says there are 20 million people looking for jobs (when you include temp workers seeking full-time, and people who’ve given up the search – these two groups not normally included in the misleading unemployment rate), yet there are 4 billion jobs available. This speaks to a widening skills gap…

This is where he’s interrupted. The reporters don’t seem interested in where he was going with his answer. A reporter suggests, “Isn’t technology taking jobs?”

Weiner tries to redirect the conversation back to what he thinks is the important takeaway. He says the real problem is that the rate of innovation is outpacing our ability to educate. For example, we’re still educating people based on outdated technology.

Before he can finish, the reporter abruptly changes the subject again, asking about LinkedIn’s growth compared to that of Twitter.

Weiner appears reluctant and even a little disappointed to be detoured from what he clearly considers a problem worth solving and an important message.

We wonder what he would have said if he were allowed to continue. It’s interesting, the dynamic between the CEO’s agenda (to share what he deems valuable insight that could benefit society), the reporters’ agenda, and us the viewers.

 

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