Where Are the Qualified Workers?

According to a new survey from HireRight, the Irvine, Calif.-based provider of employment screening solutions, good workers are indeed hard to find in spite of increased unemployment and a large pool of available workers.

Forty-nine percent of the report’s 1,800 surveyed professionals reported that finding and retaining quality talent was one of their top business challenges. Within the field of talent management, attracting and retaining experienced workers was reported as the number one issue, according to the survey.

“With unemployment numbers topping nine percent, most people assume that every company has their pick of hundreds of qualified workers for every job,” said Rob Pickell, HireRight senior vice president of customer solutions, in a press release announcing the findings. “In reality, employers appear to be experiencing a different phenomenon today. This year’s benchmarking survey results and other third-party reports suggest that many companies are having difficulty in filling critical positions.”  

The survey’s findings show that America has a work/skill gap that is contributing to the employment problem, Pickell went on to say.

“While 90 percent of organizations expect no decline in their workforce and 51 percent anticipate an increase in hiring, the obvious challenge is finding the right candidate for the role,” he said.

Here’s hoping those companies looking to increase their hiring will consider all avenues of applicants — including older workers and those who have been unemployed for a long period of time — to help fill those new positions.

One thought on “Where Are the Qualified Workers?”

  1. Does the survey measure whether the job specs actually match either the need or even the extant skills required? My experience in outplacement over the last 15 years suggests that employers use “mismatch” or “hard to find” as an excuse to avoid the increasingly high “risk penalty” placed on hiring managers by financial equity stakeholders. It simply costs too much to “high the wrong person(s)” and I’m rewarded more for playing it safe. I’ve also seen companies hiring tomorrow’s employees with yesterday’s job spec updated for skills 5 people in the universe might have (if updated at all) simply because what I “need” is ‘brand new’. Companies want “shovel ready” employees rather than the “best available talent” with potential – perhaps for some because their product or differentiating edge is good for only the next 12-24 months – but for too many, it’s because their company/culture – which rewards ‘let’s get rich and then let’s sell’, rather than ‘how many people and communities can we enrich?’ is only “good for” that long!
    It’s not ‘hope’ that we need…it’s an entrepreneurial group and management model that says “I have/want/am building a company that first and foremost benefits my community and provides people with both worthwhile product/service AND meaningful work.

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