Skill Gap Costing Companies Big Bucks


Even though approximately 7.5 million people in the U.S. are unemployed, more than half  (68 percent) of employers have a tough time finding qualified candidates for their open jobs — and it’s starting to affect their bottom line.

This skill gap — the difference in the skills required for the job and the skills a candidate possesses — is estimated to cost employers $800,000 annually according to a survey by CareerBuilder.

“The gap between the number of jobs posted each month and the number of people hired is growing larger as employers struggle to find candidates to fill positions at all levels within their organizations,” Matt Ferguson, CEO of CareerBuilder, said in a press release. “There’s a significant supply and demand imbalance in the marketplace, and it’s becoming nearly a million-dollar problem for companies.”

According to the survey, 60 percent of employers have job openings that go unfilled for 12 weeks or longer. And because of factors like lost productivity and high turnover, 55 percent say these job vacancies have had a negative impact on their business. They report that these unfilled jobs have resulted in:

  • Lost productivity: 49 percent
  • High employee turnover: 40 percent
  • Low morale: 39 percent
  • Lower quality work: 37 percent
  • Inability to grow business: 29 percent
  • Revenue lost: 26 percent

Reviewing these numbers, it’s easy to see why 67 percent of companies said they are concerned about the skills gap. But they’re not the only ones who recognize the problem. Twenty percent of workers say their skills are not up-to-date, with 57 percent reporting that they would like to learn new skills but can’t afford to do so.

How can employers find quality candidates?

Considering the results of the survey, how can you find better candidates in these trying times? Here are some tips:

  1. Offer Competitive Salaries

In a survey by Jobvite, 68 percent of companies said they have increased their average salary offer to candidates. As more jobs become available, job seekers have more options and companies are competing for top talent. To stay competitive, consider increasing your salary offers for your open jobs.

  1. Recruit Passive Candidates

Passive candidates are the cream of the crop, the star players. Because they are so desired by employers, they already have a job. The good news is, 45 percent say they are willing to learn about other opportunities. You can’t reach them by simply posting your position on a job board because they aren’t currently looking for a job. You have to be proactive and pursue them. One of the best ways to reach these in-demand candidates is to work with a staffing firm like Morgan Hunter.

  1. Improve Benefits

According to 78 percent of recruiters, medical and dental benefits are most effective for attracting top talent. You might also consider offering more non-traditional benefits like flexible hours and a casual dress code — 44 percent of recruiters say these benefits help as well.

  1. Incentivize Referrals

Over half of companies (64 percent) report awarding bonuses to incentivize employee referrals. Your employees are one of your best resources for new talent. Make it a priority to encourage your staff to provide referrals for your open positions.

  1. Work with a Staffing Agency

Did you know that 80 percent of jobs are never advertised? That’s because many companies either hire internally or work with a staffing agency like Morgan Hunter. With deep talent pools and extensive professional networks, staffing agencies are a great resource for any company struggling to find quality candidates. Many staffing agencies, like Morgan Hunter, work on a contingency basis, meaning if they can’t find a quality candidate to fill your role, they don’t collect a fee. Their success is based on yours, so they are extremely motivated to find the talent you’re looking for. Plus, many organizations find there are no added costs when factoring in the time and money they spend posting jobs online and sifting through applications.

Need more help finding talent?

Contact Morgan Hunter. For more than 30 years, Morgan Hunter has helped connect talented professionals with career opportunities in the Kansas City area. To learn more about how we can help you find your ideal candidate, contact us today.