Mind the gap: Matching workforce talent with your company needs

September 11, 2012
Mind the gap: Matching workforce talent with your company needs

In these times of a troubled economy, much has been written about in the past six months about the “skills gap”: record unemployment and plenty of unfilled jobs. There simply aren’t enough workers with the right qualifications for the work that needs to get done.

A report from the U.S. Chamber of Commerce noted that about half of the workforce does not “have the skills required to get or advance in jobs that pay a family-sustaining wage.” Moreover, most all jobs in growing sectors require post-secondary education or training.

Technology and manufacturing sectors are especially feeling the gap. Old-fashioned thinking about manufacturing has steered the youth of middle class families away from this type of work; parents often think of workers doing rote work in dusty, unsafe factories.

At the same time, employers often demand too much from prospective and current employees, missing out on great candidates when the job seekers don’t check the right box on electronic application forms. Similarly, while making sure that everyone plays their role, managers are sometimes missing out on hidden talent right within their team. For the first time, older workers will outnumber younger employees in the workplace.

If you’re in any industry that the skills gap is affecting, ask yourself if you’re rewarding employees who go across organizational boundaries to apply their entire skill set, and go beyond their call of duty. As well, it’s your job to evaluate if you’re successfully telling the important stories about your workplace: Show job seekers that you offer professional development, time for gaining new certification and on-the-job training. Get an employee who you’ve recently recognized for their good, engaged work, and ask them to speak at a local job fair and help to change public perception.

Show that working with you can lead to greater rewards!

To find out more about how you can keep your company competitive and close the skills gap, see:

http://blogs.hbr.org/cs/2012/02/how_employers_can_help_solve_t.html 

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