Is the Skills Gap Eating Away at Your Bottom Line?

Evan AbbottEvan Abbott, Organizational Development and Learning

You know that “Talent Gap” industry gurus have been talking about for years?  Well, it looks like the beginnings are upon us . . . and it is costing money.  A recent study by CareerBuilder found that on average, if you have a position at your workplace that stays vacant for three months or longer, your company loses more than $14,000.

A good percentage of the loss comes, unsurprisingly, from lost revenue, but hidden costs also factor in:

  • Lower productivity
  • Poor work quality
  • Greater voluntary employee turnover
  • Lower morale due to heavier workloads
  • Delayed delivery
  • Declining customer service

So which roles are organizations experiencing the most challenge trying to get hired?  Examples run the gamut from computer and mathematical occupations to management, installation, maintenance, and repair occupations.

Matt Ferguson, CEO of CareerBuilder and co-author of The Talent Equation, has stated, “There is a growing disconnect between the skills employers need and the skills that are being cultivated in the labor market today. This causes workers and companies to miss out on realizing their full potential and, in turn, causes the economy to fall short of its potential. The onus is on businesses and the public sector to work side by side to identify where there is a deficit of talent and reskill workers to close the gaps within their communities. This is not a problem that can be solved overnight, but it can be solved.”

Employers are taking a variety of strategies to try and stay ahead of the negative impact of this Skills gap.  Some are partnering with local 2 and 4-year degree institutions in order to ensure students are being taught the relevant skills and knowledge needed in the workplace.  Others are tapping into local Workforce Centers and participating in industry specific job fairs in order to obtain the talent they need.  Some, in partnership with available Federal monies, are designing apprenticeships and on-the-job training experiences in order to grow the talent they need.  Employers across the United States are putting extra emphasis on training their employees.  Many are hiring employees that don’t meet all the skills of the position and training them while they grow in their position.  Employers are also recruiting more heavily from colleges and universities as the job complexity continues to increase.

What can you do meet this skills gap?  Give us a call at MSEC and we can help talk you through your options and help you identify a strategy that best fits your organization.  Not sure where to start? A training needs assessment may be a good way to collect information from your employees about where they see skills gaps.  Do you, like other employers, have a skills gap when it comes to those managing employees?  As the economy recovers and organizations begin to grow, it is common to promote people who “do the job well” but don’t always have the strongest foundations in supervision, management or leadership.  Perhaps some of our management training would be helpful.  At MSEC we recommend the following course for every new manager:

Building strengths in these core areas will provide your supervisors and managers with the foundation they need in order to be of best service to your workforce. If you need help, give us a call at 800.884.1328.