Companies around the globe are facing a lack of qualified candidates – and it’s a problem that won’t be solved any time soon. So how can businesses meet the challenge of high demand, low supply?
We take a look at the skills gap crisis and propose some solutions – not only for attracting great new recruits but keeping your current team equipped with the skills they need to succeed.
“Studies have identified a significant ‘skills gap’ between what students are currently being taught and the skills employers are seeking in today’s global economy. Our children must be better prepared than they are now to meet the future challenges of our ever-changing world.”
What’s the skills gap?
Technology is advancing. The job market is evolving. But the people with the qualifications to fill these new and emerging roles are few and far between. This mismatch between skills needed and skills available is making it tough for employers to find qualified candidates.
It’s affecting companies worldwide. In fact, according to McKinsey & Company, 87% of companies are aware that they either already have a skills gap or will have one within a few years.
For individual companies, the skills gap leads to unfilled job positions, a loss of productivity and potentially less revenue. Alongside that, it can lead to fierce competition for those few skilled workers, which can drive up salaries and recruitment costs.
And here’s the biggie. Collectively, it’s thought that by 2030, the talent shortage and skills gap in the US alone is expected to total a loss of $8.5 trillion.
Who’s affected the most?
Unsurprisingly, the industries most affected by skills shortages are those that require highly specialised skills, such as technology and healthcare. Research from Gartner found there’s a severe shortage of young professionals with IT skills, including AI, quantum computing and cybersecurity. Beyond tech, there are also skills gaps in manufacturing, retail and skilled trades industries.
And as for specific abilities, Closing the Skills Gap 2023 found the most in-demand hard skills are strategic thinking and analytics, digital communication, and project management. While the most in-demand soft skills are problem-solving, time management, change adaptability, and leadership.
Bridging the talent gap
Ready for some good news? Workers want to reskill. In fact, 77% are ready to learn new skills or completely retrain. So employers need to provide career pathways and opportunities that will benefit everyone involved.
- Beat the competition: While there may be fierce competition for a small pool of candidates, there are lots of things employers can do to make them most attractive to candidates. That might include competitive salaries, great benefits, and opportunities for career growth. And flexible work arrangements are essential – 76% of employees want flexible working hours.
- Invest in current employees: That could be through specialised training programmes – internal or external. By building learning and development pathways, individual employees will be upskilled – helping companies to plug skills gaps internally and keep employees engaged, motivated and feeling valued. Mentorship guidance will also help to give employees the guidance and support they need from more experienced colleagues.
- Partner with schools and colleges: Working closely with educational institutions will ensure that those ready to join the workforce are equipped with the right skills. That could be through internships, apprenticeships, or mentoring.
Futureproof your employees
Job markets are continually changing. To stay ahead of the skills gap, companies need to be alert to the specific skills gaps at any given time. Then they need to give employees clear progression pathways and training to upskill.
And that’s an ongoing task. According to a Citrix report, 82% of employees and 62% of HR directors said they believe that workers will need to reskill or upskill at least once a year to maintain a competitive advantage in a global job market.
Regular upskilling will be crucial in equipping employees for the ever-changing world of work. And there are significant changes ahead, with the World Economic Forum predicting that 23% of jobs will be disrupted over the next five years – with some becoming redundant, and others being created.
Some of those new opportunities will be in big data, cloud computing and AI, which will create new roles in many sectors, including healthcare, education and renewable energy.
Never mind the gap
The skills gap will continue to be a serious concern for businesses in 2023 – and beyond. But if companies are smart and proactive, they can recruit new highly-skilled employees and upskill existing employees. A major challenge like this requires a bolts and braces solution.
If you are struggling to find talent with the skills, Recruiter on Demand specialises in sourcing the best candidates for your vacancies – even the difficult ones. Your assigned TAs are supported by a network of other TAs and Sourcers, all experts in their fields and sectors. Whatever your requirement may be, Recruiter on Demand can help. Contact us today and find out more.