Skills Gap as a Hot Topic

The skills gap is a hot topic. While the existence of a skills gap is debatable, it opens up important implications for businesses. How can we prepare workers for the changing workforce and better match employers to jobs?

The skills gap describes the difference between the skills employers are looking for and those that job searchers actually possess. With the unemployment rate this year remaining at a record low of 3.9 percent, a low not seen in the last 18 years, aligning jobs with a tight labor pool is imperative.

Does such a gap exist?

The numbers may point to the fact that the skills gap is alive and well in the U.S. According to one study by Live Career, job ads contain an average of 21.8 skills, while resumes list an average of only 13 skills. These points on the resume include both hard and soft skills. Resumes are showing only 59% match of hard skills and 62% of soft skills.

Whether or not this phenomenon can be proven, its presence is definitely felt. A 2017 survey by CareerBuilderfinds many employers agree that a skills gap exists. Over 55% of employers report this gap has had a negative impact on their business due to extended job vacancies. Respondents pointed to productivity loss, employee turnover, lower morale, lower quality work, and more as the largest areas impacted by this inability to fill open positions.

Industries with the Largest Gap

Engineering, information technology, and scientific industries remain the leaders in the American Staffing Association (ASA) Skills Gap Index. Following the major IT trades, health care, industrial, administrative, and managerial industries are experiencing the pangs of the skills gap.

With technology shaping the workforce and quickly becoming a necessary component to the world economy, information technology jobs become prime real estate in the job market. However, the Bureau of Labor Statistics estimatesover 100,000 new IT jobs will open every year with only 60,000 IT workers entering the workforce currently.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics estimates the economy will need as many as 100,000 new information technology workers per year over the next decade. Right now, only about 60,000 of these workers enter the workforce each year.

Speaking of technology, this influx of new innovations in the workplace explains why the STEM jobs have become so important. From an article by The Hill,

“The technician role has become much more high tech, in that the operators are monitoring the online data and they are manipulating the control systems and making online decisions based on real-time data,” said Kevin Nepveux, Pfizer’s vice president of global manufacturing services. “That requires a different skill set for the operators.”

The Skills Gap and Your Business

What are the implications for you as a leader in your company? The workplace is changing, and quickly. Looking back just several decades, you can see the only constant in the job market is that change is inevitable. As you plan for the future of your business, stay on top of the changing trends. When you are looking for a partner to help you find the right one for your job opening, call on your team at Charles Foster. We have the proven experience with the foresight to stay ahead of challenges.