The Widening Skills Gap

The Widening Skills Gap

The skills gap continues to cost companies countless amounts of dollars—not only when the wrong talent is on-boarded but also when no talent is on-boarded.

In a recent CareerBuilder whitepaper, “The Shocking Truth About the Skills Gap,” it was determined that, on average, a company loses more than $14,000 for every job that stays vacant for three months or longer.

And, the losses continue—and they’re not always monetary.

Of those employers surveyed by CareerBuilder:

  • 41 percent report lower morale among their employees due to heavier workloads when there are delays in filling open positions;
  • 40 percent find that work’s just not getting done or that there’s a delay in delivery times (34%);
  • And, 30 percent found a decline in customer service when those same jobs went unfilled.

A recognizable problem, an opportunity to invest

The skills gap is quickly becoming a problem with immense impact across all segments of business, but specifically in the computer and mathematical field, architecture and engineering and in management. With 71 percent, 70 percent and 66 percent, respectively, of employers who are hiring in 2014 reporting these areas as the hardest to find talent for, as cited in a recent article.

A variety of factors are attributed to this growing gap in skills, but most commonly, education is cited as the number one reason. In an infographic created by Quicken Loans last year, fourth graders in the United States ranked seventh in science scores and eleventh in math scores, with South Korea coming in first for both subjects. Interestingly, the skills gap that exists in the U.S. tends to be in the STEM subjects (science, technology, engineering and math), leading experts to believe the problem starts young and begins with proper education.

Inspire tomorrow’s experts

To reach the young, the unemployed and otherwise the experts of tomorrow, CareerBuilder has established a six-month internship program aimed at training participants in IT skills that are in-demand and needed in today’s high-tech marketplace.

Similarly, Bosch, Cisco, MasTec, Inc. and Randstad, too, have created programs committed to bridging the skills gap. A proactive approach that Dan Cosey, Senior Director of Intelligence at CareerBuilder says is vital in order to fill these must-have skill sets.

“The government is not going to fix the problem of putting people back to work. So, as a result, this has to be something that other organizations embrace,” said Cosey.

‘Bridge the Skills’

“I’d like to see one more company, just one more company, take the challenge and bridge the skills gap. That’s how I’d like to see it. And by one, there’ll be two. And by two there’ll be four. And before long, we as Americans will solve this problem,” said Cosey.


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