- Employers are struggling with skill proficiency deficits across all skill levels, leading to productivity, service quality and business revenues losses, according to a survey of 1,499 HR, operational and business managers by staffing firm TrueBlue.
- The nationwide poll revealed that 32% of managers said they can't find employees to fill low-skill positions, 46% can't fill middle-skill positions and 35% can't find workers to fill high-skill openings.
- Survey results also showed that for more than one-third of managers, across-the-board skills shortages caused extended job vacancies that led to decreases in productivity or service quality. One quarter of the respondents reported seeing higher turnover, and 23% said their companies saw a decline in revenue, TrueBlue said.
Many discussions of the skills gap center on positions that demand advanced skills, but skills shortages exist across all categories of workers. This shows the depth of the problems facing recruiters.
The shortage is reportedly so severe that it ranked as the biggest emerging business risk during the early months of 2019 in a Gartner, Inc. study. What's more, the issue shows no signs of abating: A survey of 600 HR leaders by Wiley Education Services and Future Workplace found the skills gap grew by 12% since 2018. Forty percent of the respondents to latter survey attributed the cause of the growth to changes in technology and the need for certain skills.
Middle-skill workers — those with some college or certification but no four-year degree — are a special challenge for employers. These workers make up a significant segment of the workforce across many industries, which makes them critical targets for retention and engagement efforts. Better learning and development programs that both focus on day-to-day skills and identify opportunities for future career paths may be a way for employers to improve outreach to this workforce segment.