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Skills gap hinders productivity, revenue

March 20 2013

The growing deficit of skilled labor needed to fill in-demand jobs hinders employers worldwide, according to survey results released by CareerBuilder. Employers in the world’s 10 largest economies said that extended job vacancies yielded lower revenue and productivity and the inability to grow their businesses.

Employers in Brazil, Russia, India and China reported the most challenges in recruiting high skill labor, with more than half of employers stating they currently have positions for which they can't find qualified candidates. China led the contingent, with 74 percent companies reporting open positions they can't fill.  Russia counts the largest percentage of employers reporting a revenue shortfall tied to extended job vacancies, while the United States is among those most likely to report a productivity loss.

“The inability to fill high skill jobs can have an adverse ripple effect, hindering the creation of lower-skilled positions, company performance and economic expansion,” said Matt Ferguson, CEO of CareerBuilder. “Major world economies are feeling the effects of this in technology, healthcare, production and other key areas.  The study underlines how critical it is for the government, private sector and educational institutions to work together to prepare and reskill workers for opportunities that can help move the needle on employment and economic growth.”

Results for U.S. companies included:

  • Percentage of companies that have open positions they can't fill: 28 percent
  • Negative impact of positions that stay open too long: 38 percent
  • Loss of productivity: 41 percent
  • Loss of revenue: 21 percent
  • Inability to grow their business: 22 percent
  • Hardest to fill positions for skilled labor: Information technology, sales and engineering

Careerbuilder’s survey was conducted online within the United States, Brazil, China, France, Germany, India, Italy, Japan, Russia and the U.K. by Harris Interactive among 6,000 hiring managers and human resource professionals between Nov.1 and Nov. 30, 2012.


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Jason Sprenger03/25/2013 06:27 pm

Skills gaps are emerging in today's economy, and a solution that’s proven to make a difference in helping the economy thrive is investing in career and technical education (CTE). CTE programs, whether at the secondary, post-secondary or other educational level, boost student achievement and deliver increased career and earning potential. CTE also produces workers for the open jobs of today, and boosts business productivity and economic status as a result. Whether it's sewing or shop class, or another one of the many varied CTE career paths, it all makes a significant difference to students, communities and the economy.

The Industry Workforce Needs Council is a new organization of businesses working together to spotlight skills gaps and advocate/kick off CTE programs that work to curb the problem. For more information, or to join the effort, visit the IWNC website at www.iwnc.org.

Jason Sprenger, for the IWNC


Vinda Rao03/21/2013 08:17 am

Interesting study by CareerBuilder. Bullhorn's own recent 2013 Trends Survey in North America focused exclusively on 1,848 staffing recruiters, who admitted that the biggest challenge facing the industry in 2013 is a lack of skilled candidates. Additionally, 76.1% of respondents claimed to have a “shortage of skilled candidates” in their respective recruiting sectors, with IT being most heavily represented.

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