- CEOs are extremely concerned about the availability of key skills, according to PwC's 22nd Annual Global CEO Survey.
- The report shows that the skills gap is top of mind for those at the helm, with 55% admitting their companies are not able to innovate effectively. More than half of those surveyed pointed to the gap as a reason for higher-than-anticipated staffing costs, and many said the shortage is affecting their quality standards or customer experience.
- The skills gap is particularly acute in data analytics and artificial intelligence, the report said. Employers are struggling to corral data into useable and actionable intelligence, and say the primary reason is a lack of capable talent. CEOs said they see "significant retraining and upskilling" as the answer — an undertaking PwC said will require governments and businesses to work together.
The skills gap has been felt across various industries: some forecasts say growth in the in the construction industry will stall due to a lack of available talent. In IT, growth already has "hit a wall," for the same reasons.
For many employers, the lack of new talent is pushing them to train and upskill existing employees — a priority for which workers have voiced support. And as PwC noted, partnerships will be key. Already, stakeholders have teamed up to train displaced and underskilled workers, helping ready them to compete in an increasingly digital workplace. More teamwork may be necessary, however, as the cost to train displaced workers — a population expected to reach 1.4 million — will be $34 billion, according to a report released last week by the World Economic Forum.
And for talent professionals, this increased focus from CEOs presents an opportunity. Those leading talent initiatives are uniquely positioned to make a significant impact on their business' performance, according to Randstad Sourceright. With business leaders increasingly concerned about the global economy, organizations now see talent as the key to value creation, Randstad said in a recent statement discussing the results of its 2019 Talent Trends report.
But to do so, they may need to employ people analytics, said Randstad Sourceright's CEO — a tall order considering that's the exact skill employers say they're most lacking.