- A new joint report from the National Center for the Middle Market and Brookings Institution indicates that mid-market firms (those with annual earnings between $10 million and $1 billion) in the healthcare, services and construction industries are facing serious talent shortages.
- 44% of the firms polled said that a lack of candidates who possess the right kinds of skills is the main reason for the talent deficit, according to a statement. Additional challenges include low numbers of applicants, a large number of candidates who have limited experience and high salary demands among skilled candidates.
- Nearly half (49%) of the mid-market healthcare industry has reported negative impact due to lack of talent, with construction and service firms coming in just behind at 46%
It's not entirely surprising to see healthcare rank atop the mid-market industries facing skill gaps. Positions for hospital roles, particularly physician assistants, routinely rank among the National Staffing Association's list of hardest jobs to fill. Hospitals also generally don't invest much in the way of training, and suffer from a lack of leadership training and other soft skills among employees generally.
It appears that one way to deal with talent shortages is to train less-skilled workers to perform the roles most in demand. In service and construction, this is possible; in healthcare, the process will take a lot longer due to the specialized nature of that industry.
But it's not enough to say current employees need better training, or to lament the lack of talent passively. Leading organizations are taking an active step in developing the next generation of candidates as early as high school, with STEM fields in particular reaching out to youth.
Those efforts also attempt to reach workers who have lost jobs in declining process-driven industries like manufacturing, most prominently through apprenticeships. As technological innovations continue to disrupt work, companies will want to invest more heavily in training of this kind, leveraging veterans as mentors. Even smaller organizations can get in on the act.