- Employers will need a good understanding of the local talent supply to solve skills gaps, a Dec. 10 report from the Strada Institute concluded. "When employers understand the talent supply in their region, they can target recruitment efforts and engage in upskilling and reskilling their incumbent workforce, as well as better communicate their skills needs to workers, learners, and learning providers," the report said.
- Skill gaps and jobs vary geographically, and the researchers proposed a new way for employers to measure these "skill shapes." The suggested model allows researchers to map the skills associated with a career category, region or individual holder to design academic curricula, training programs and the credentials needed.
- "In today's market, we see paradoxical evidence of skill surpluses and shortages," according to Yustina Saleh, senior vice president of analytics at Emsi and co-author of the report. "It is impossible to effectively target workforce resources with these contradictions. Regional skill clusters allow us, for the first time, to see these simultaneous dynamics of shortages and surpluses and triage our scarce resources in ways that were never possible before."
Some employers already have adopted a local focus for addressing the skills gap, partnering with schools and government organizations. Other have even suggested that local libraries may hold the answer.
Strada also noted in its report that credentials may soon become secondary to skills — a prediction also made by Gartner. With automation and digitization changing employer demands, organizations are struggling to keep up Gartner, said. To build the type of workforce needed to prepare for the future of work, HR will need to train and reskill workers, both current employees and new hires.
The skills deficit is so pervasive, some say, that it affects all categories of workers, a recent TrueBlue study concluded. The national poll of 1,499 managers in HR, operations and business revealed that 32% of managers said they can't find workers to fill low-skill positions, nearly half can't fill middle-skill positions and a little more than one-third can't find workers for high-skill job openings. What's more, the study showed that for a significant number of managers, skills deficits cause prolonged staff vacancies that lead to lower productivity and customer service.