By | Ben Eubanks – Industry Analyst, Podcaster, and Influencer, Lighthouse Research & Advisory
According to a recent study from CareerBuilder, skills gaps cost a company more than $800,000 per year. For clarity, the skills gap is commonly referred to as the frustrating rift between what candidates have to offer and what companies are looking for. This leads to perpetually-open jobs and frustrated candidates at a minimum, but it can also contribute to reduced productivity, higher turnover, and revenue loss. The research points out that companies are having trouble finding the right people to fill positions, and it’s an issue regardless of company size:
- 1-50 employees: 49 percent
- 51-250 employees: 74 percent
- 251-500 employees: 72 percent
- 501+ employees: 71 percent
The problem has been around for quite some time, and at a macro level, it’s not going away anytime soon. On a company-specific level, there are activities that can help employers to not only understand their own skills gap, but to start filling it with internal and external talent.
Companies Aren’t Skills-Savvy
Even the discussion about a skills gap is somewhat misplaced, because these employers are focusing on jobs they can’t fill, not specific skill sets. And while we don’t advocate looking at employees purely as a set of skills under a biological disguise, it’s important to get comfortable with acknowledging what skills exist and how to leverage them. This focus on skills needs to be woven throughout the company’s talent practices:
- Assessments: are you evaluating a generic set of criteria on each candidate, or are you examining the critical skills necessary for success in each role?
- Selection: are your selection processes geared toward “gut instinct,” or hard skills measurements?
- Training: are you putting together yet another low-impact PowerPoint presentation, or are you seeking ways to develop the skills that create business value?
- Recognition: are there processes in place to track progress and make employees feel that their efforts to acquire and demonstrate skills are recognized appropriately?
These and other talent practices can help employers to be more skills-savvy, adopting a mindset that skills are not only inherently valuable, but also a core element in a good talent management strategy.
Combating the Skills Gap
Quickly–what are the top three skills that matter the most to your business? Is it a specific sales discipline? Maybe it’s a consulting methodology. Or what about a technical coding skill?
Originally published by Ben Eubanks @ LinkedIn and republished with kind permission.
I’m a human capital management industry analyst helping companies and vendors with strategy, content, and more. I have worked as an analyst for more than seven years with five of those in an independent capacity.
Previous experience working as an in-the-trenches leader in the human resources field has provided a broad range of opportunities to lead HR in smaller organizations, government contracting firms, and the nonprofit sector. I’ve had my hands in pretty much everything at some point: recruiting, benefits, employee relations, coaching, and the rest of the spectrum you run across in an HR shop.
I’m also co-founder of the HRevolution movement, an event that has attracted hundreds of attendees from around the globe to work together and explore the future of HR, work, and business. During the evenings, I write at upstartHR.com. I’m an HR blogger with a passion for leadership and culture–two things that can make or break your organization.