The Economy is Rebounding, but Skill Shortages are Causing Jobs to Go Unfilled: What’s the Solution?

June 18, 2015


For anyone who isn’t aware, LinkedIn Publisher has been a great new platform for business leaders to provide thought leadership to their networks. What began as a showcase for high-profile individuals like Jack Welch and Richard Branson has grown immensely and led to a flourishing of great insights from professionals within many different areas of business. This week, we read a great post on Publisher about the state of the labour market from Nishant Bhajaria, a career coach, author, and business transformation specialist at Nike. The post touched on larger economic factors behind what we’re seeing in the talent market here at Argentus: that of a burgeoning skills shortage in our area of specialty of Supply Chain Management.

The post, titled “Why are Employers Struggling to Fill Jobs?”, examined a few signs of U.S. economic recovery, with an eye to the labour market: Employers are advertising more open jobs than any time in the last 15 years. The economy is beating forecasts in terms of jobs added, and wages are increasing for the first time since the end of the Great Recession.

All encouraging news. But Bhajaria points to a number of indicators that, despite this solid growth, there are an unprecedented number of new jobs going unfilled, with companies complaining about a lack of qualified candidates. Construction, IT, and even the Manufacturing sector are all reporting a huge amount of unfilled positions. Bhajaria goes on to examine the reasons for this so-called “skills shortage”: In the internet age, the economy is creating new, specialized jobs at a tremendous clip, and required skills are evolving faster and faster. Companies are saying that universities aren’t preparing students well enough, all the while advertising positions with stated requirements higher than the qualifications possessed by incumbents.

But Bhajaria makes a great point that’s worth noting to help reorient the discussion: he says that what has been called “Skill Gaps” should actually be called “Trainings Gaps.” In his eyes, companies and high-potential job-seekers have the shared responsibility of training and developing on-the-job skills through mentorship and educational programs. We’ll quote him directly here:

“’Skills Gap’ is a fancy term, but the real solution is to invest in our workforce, and grow the number of market-ready employees. That way, rather than competing for a small yet qualified sliver, employers have a bigger collection of talent to pick from.”

This is the message we preach at Argentus, both in our efforts to urge the Supply Chain industry to reach out to young people and take a proactive role in helping develop the next generation of Supply Chain talent, and in our efforts to urge companies to hire high-potential, analytical individuals who can hit the ground running and learn specific systems on the fly.

A recruitment partner can help organizations manage skill gaps by tapping into networks of passive talent – people who aren’t actively looking for jobs but are high-skill, high-potential, willing to make a move for the right opportunity. The types of individuals who, with the right company mentorship and further training, will be superstars. As the economy improves, it’s becoming more of a candidate’s market (high-potential candidates that is), and that’s precisely the time that a partnership with a specialized recruitment organization shines. Argentus is pleased to represent some of the top emerging talent in the Supply Chain field. Connect with us today to take your Supply Chain team to the next level. logo_icon

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