Demand for high-tech skills rises as talent search gets tougher
- The demand for highly skilled tech workers rose, but so did the difficulty in finding them, the results of a new Consumer Technology Association's (CTA) survey found. According to the CTA's second annual Future of Work survey, 92% of respondents said they will need more employees with technical skills, a six-point jump from the last poll. And 74% of respondents said that finding people with the right skills will be harder.
- In other survey results, the most important retention benefits are health insurance (91%), bonuses or incentive compensation (88%) and flexible work options (86%). Key non-monetary benefits are technical skills training (80%), retirement savings plans (78%) and professional development programs for hiking soft skills (74%). Top training and development programs are conferences and events (69%) and internal training classes (58%). The best recruiting strategies include internships (58%), social media ads (56%) and online job portals (54%).
- Jennifer Taylor, CTA's vice president of U.S. Jobs, said that despite the 50-year low unemployment rate, there are still millions of unfilled jobs because the skilled talent isn't there. "The widening skills gap is one of the biggest hurdles facing American business owners and should be addressed immediately with expanded non-traditional pathways to education if we want to remain a global leader in innovation," she added. According to the study, of the 37% of respondents who expect to see technology displace workers, 57% said they plan to reskill workers.
This study confirms what others have previously shown: health coverage and career development are major recruitment attractions. And although higher pay is still the greatest motivator for job seekers and employees looking for better opportunities, offering other much in-demand benefits, such as paid family leave, have proved to be effective recruitment strategies.
The Future of Work will require new skills sets, as employment experts predict. But as the skills gap widens, finding workers with the needed skills could get even more difficult. Organizations have little choice but to reskill, train and develop workers to fill jobs. Training might even be necessary for jobs that don't yet exist.
Companies don't have to take on the skills gap shortage alone; schools and governmental organizations have as big a stake in preparing students for the workplace of the future as any other entity. For instance, Arizona State University in Phoenix is educating students on the jobs that will likely be available when they graduate before they select a major. The city of Indianapolis is linking low-income workers with training programs that could provide sustainable living-wage jobs. And TeamNEO, a Cleveland-based economic development group, has started training northeastern Ohio workers for jobs predicted to be in high demand.