Companies are struggling to find the skilled talent they need to fill open positions. The skills gap grew by 12% since last year, according to the results of a 2019 survey of human resource leaders, conducted by Wiley Education Services.

In response to the question, “Is there a skills gap in your organization right now?” 64% of respondents replied affirmatively, up from 52% in the 2018 report. The skills gap is growing, and business leaders are looking for solutions to close it.

Some of the important findings from the report are:

  • The top three barriers to filling open roles are: the pace of change in technology (37%), not enough skilled talent capable of moving into positions of greater responsibility (31%), and the lack of qualified candidates in the workforce (30%)
  • Skills become obsolete quickly; 40% of employers estimate that a skill is usable for four years or less, which increases the need to hire or upskill workers
  • The hardest-to-fill roles are: operations, technology and IT, and management

 

Closing the Skills Gap

The report outlines several strategies companies can implement to close the skills gap and fill in-demand roles:

 

Broaden Hiring Practices

Though 68% of employers rely on a college degree to validate hard skills, 90% said they would hire a candidate  who didn’t have a four-year college degree. In addition, 55% of employers often offer jobs to people who haven’t finished college, and 46% prefer to outsource roles to vendors instead of hiring or upskilling employees.

Companies that are having difficulty recruiting for open positions will benefit by expanding their talent pool to candidates with diverse backgrounds. For example, 61% of employers often offer jobs to military veterans, but a many others (36%) rarely do.

 

Invest in Training

While companies pay lip service to the importance of investing in continuing education and training for employees, many don’t follow through with actions. Less than half of companies (48%) spend more than $500 per year per employee on upskilling or continuing education, though 68% of HR leaders said their companies very often or always communicate the value of these efforts.

York Solution’s Link to Leadership program is specifically designed for IT professionals with career goals in IT leadership. The purpose is to aid those individuals in developing their soft skills, while giving them the opportunity to learn from some of the most senior IT leaders within Think IT.

 

Find Education Partners

When companies form partnerships with higher education institutions, they are able to help schools identify hard and soft skills that are valuable in the workplace, and build talent from within programs. School recruitment helps 60% of employers identify talent with the right skills for current and future roles, and 64% of employers said they have partnered with schools to make curriculum more responsive to workforce needs.

York Solutions’ Barriers to Entry program (B2E) aims to close the skills gap and provide organizations with a new pipeline of diverse talent. B2E provides paid training to veterans, stay-at-home parents, and caregivers who are returning to the workforce and launching careers in IT.

Learn more about the Barriers to Entry program (B2E)