Economists, demographers and political leaders are increasingly concerned that the next generation of workers won’t be ready to fill millions of new jobs across the country. This can stifle growth in the economy.
There are many factors in skills gaps. Here are a few:
- A disparity in the graduate pool. For in-demand jobs in health care, engineering, computer science, and advanced manufacturing, there aren’t enough people being trained.
- Poor results from automated job match programs. Some employers fill job ads with a list of ideal requirements most applicants won’t meet, resulting in low match rates and few potential candidates.
- A lack of training. Many employers would prefer that job seekers and employees provide all their own training, but this is increasingly unrealistic.
Take IT as just one, but perhaps the primary, example. 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.
Staffing firms are in a unique position to deal with the skills gap, as they spend every day placing talent and experiencing the labor market first-hand. Amidst these gaps there are opportunities as well. Here are four ways that skills gaps are affecting staffing.
#1: Staffing Services Are In Demand
When skills gaps become more pronounced, and the labor market tightens, companies increasingly turn to staffing firms for help.
This is a great opportunity, but it also means that you need to provide the workers that your clients need. You can do this by developing your bench, staying in touch with your contractors, and using appropriate technology to ensure a smooth, specific match.
Staffing firms that look forward have good insights into what will most likely be the skills gaps of the future. You can begin training programs or partner with your clients to provide on-the-job training to bring good workers with potential the skills they need to be successful. You can do training in-house or pay for training classes; either way it’s an investment in your candidate, and your client.
In a time of skills gaps and hard-to-find people, you want to hold on to the best contractors that you have. You can do this in many ways: Paying them efficiently and on-time; letting them know about upcoming opportunities; and checking in on a regular basis all let your workers know that they are valued. Training, mentioned earlier, is another great retention tool. Consider a bonus for those contractors who receive significantly high client ratings.
#4: Client Relationships
Of course, in a skills gap, in-demand market, time-to-fill and other metrics may take longer. You can tell your client what you’re seeing in the market, and let your client know what’s likely ahead.
Meanwhile, through operational efficiencies and targeted recruiting, you can continue to supply contractors as quickly as possible.
This client interaction has the opportunity of putting you in an advisory role, a role that will only help your business in the long run. At Madison, we supply advice and business intelligence that will help you in your consultant position.
Are you looking to outsource your back-office tasks to free you up to focus on recruiting?
Think of skills gaps as an opportunity and you’ll be better equipped to navigate the changes. Contact us today to see how we can help you with that navigation.