The Skills Gap is Widening

Is it becoming tougher and tougher to find employees with the right skills for your open positions?

You’re not alone. In a recent survey of 600 business executives, 46 percent said they felt skills gaps within their companies had grown over the past two years. And the consequences can lower productivity, delay the release of new products and services to market, and cause you to lose ground to your competition.

• As Baby Boomers retire, skill shortages are at critical levels. This massive exodus from the workplace is leaving behind a plethora of open jobs that require specific areas of expertise. And, as industries continue to adopt new technology, additional positions are being created faster than they can be filled.

• The outlook will probably get worse before it gets better. The lack of growth in the working-age population, coupled with the loss of Baby Boomers, will continue over the next decade. To survive, businesses need to explore creative new ways to attract and retain talent.

Recruiting Tips

Here are some strategies for addressing the ongoing skills gap:

• Deepen your talent pool. Look beyond your usual sourcing zones and recruit demographics that you may traditionally have overlooked; for instance, veterans, older workers, and those returning to the market after lengthy career breaks. This can result in a win-win situation: You fill your critical positions – and you increase diversity in hiring.

• Start early. Begin recruiting at the college or even high school level. Talk to students about the skills they should develop in order to work for your company. Then, as they acquire proper training, set up internship programs. After graduation, schools can place these students and, in doing so, help you to address your skills gap.

• Hire for cultural fit. Then, train for specific skills once a person is on the job. When evaluating candidates, look for superb soft skills. Many technical skills can be taught.

• Provide upskilling and reskilling to meet STEM talent needs. In another study, 67 percent of employees said they needed more training to stay current or to prepare for the future, but their companies weren’t paying for it. Be forward thinking, so you can future-proof your business and better retain your high-performing employees.

• Pay well. You must pay competitively. Period. Offer the wages and benefits necessary to hire and keep employees, while remaining profitable.

As you address your ongoing talent needs, a niche staffing firm can help ensure they are met, so your company maintains its competitive edge. In engineering, IT, accounting, finance, marketing, cybersecurity, logistics and supply chain management, TRC Professional Solutions offers unparalleled experience and market intelligence. To learn more, contact us today.