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Skill Gap Drives Unemployment

Skill gap drives unemployement

Even though the unemployment rate is still high and many individuals are still searching for jobs, many companies are unable to find workers skilled enough to suit their open positions. With fewer people perusing certain career paths, it's becoming more difficult for organizations to fill critical jobs, which can significantly hinder operations and ultimately impact a corporation's bottom line. 

In fact, a recent survey by CareerBuilder revealed that a huge portion of companies in the world's largest economies said positions that remained vacant for an extended period resulted in lower revenue, less productivity and the inability of management to increase business. Unfortunately, the skills gap is an all-too-common problem corporations face on a daily basis - the survey revealed 28 percent of American employers have a hard time finding skilled applicants. Forty-one percent of companies in the United States claimed their productivity and revenue stagnated when they couldn't find the right candidates for a job. 

These numbers fall in line with another recent survey from the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM), which found two-thirds of companies have a hard time filling their open jobs. High-skill positions were the hardest to fill, with many individuals lacking the proper qualifications and knowledge necessary to help a company grow. As a result, applicants were considered unqualified. This problem is of major concern to finance executives trying to enhance their company, reduce turnover and grow employee productivity. Jobs that sit vacant for an extended period can have detrimental effects on a business and ultimately hurt its competitive advantage. 

Companies need to recognize and deal with the skills shortage 
With less productivity, revenue and diminishing employee morals, not effectively dealing with the skills gap can be dangerous to a company's bottom line. There are ways a team can mitigate the risks of having a position open too long, find the right people and ensure no vacancy lasts for so long that it becomes detrimental to a firm. 

• Change up internal recruiting strategies. While a current employee may not be perfectly suited for a newly open position, they can sometimes be made to fit a new role with less training and instruction than a company would spend on hiring a brand-new employee. By offering employees extra training or allowing them to take a course that may allow them to develop new skills, they could be a better fit for vacancies than an external hire, especially as they already know internal processes, company culture and various supervisors. 

• Implement the latest hiring initiatives. A company may think its recruiting strategies are the most up to date and represent the most effective practices available, but they may not be doing much to attract the most qualified employees. Hiring practices change constantly, especially since technology develops so rapidly. Corporations should not only be certain they're using the right channels to find new recruits, they should also ensure they're offering the latest options, such as allowing interested parties to apply straight from their smartphones, in order to get the tech-savvy and connected candidates they need. 

• Rethink the recruiting process. A company's leaders may think they have all their bases covered when it comes to screening, interviewing and hiring new workers, but with all the requirements and steps, it's easy to miss something. Ensure applicants are well-versed with any programs by giving them a test - sometimes employers can't rely on an applicant's word alone. It can also be helpful to have more than one person sit in on the interview to ensure all the necessary questions are addressed and an unqualified applicant doesn't get hired for a position he or she can't actually handle.