Skill Gap Making Engineering, Medical and Technical Jobs Difficult to Fill
Press release from the issuing company
Tuesday, November 8th, 2011
More than one-half of organizations are having difficulty finding skilled workers for specific job openings, with engineering, medical, technical and executive positions especially hard to fill, according to a new poll by the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM).
SHRM's poll —The Ongoing Impact of the Recession — Recruiting and Skill Gaps— takes a detailed look into what SHRM'sLeading Indicators of National Employmenthas reported this year — that industries in both the manufacturing and service sectors are having a tough time finding skilled workers for some of their job openings.
Fifty-two percent of respondents said their organizations were having a difficult time recruiting for specific jobs. High-tech companies (71 percent) and manufacturers (68 percent) were more likely to be having difficulty than financial firms (49 percent). Professional services (59 percent), and construction, mining, oil and gas companies (51 percent) reported a harder time than state and local governments (33 percent) and the federal government (31 percent).
"American businesses are facing a paradox — high unemployment and the inability to fill key jobs in their organizations," saidMark Schmit, vice president for research at SHRM. "Our research shows that gaps between unemployed American workers' skills and those required for open jobs inthe United Statesare a major reason for this seemingly unlikely contradiction. It follows logically that if key jobs cannot be filled in organizations, then other less critical jobs requiring less skill cannot be created either because the organizations' growth potential is stunted. Thus, the cycle of low or no job growth continues."
What are the most difficult jobs to fill? The organizations that reported difficulty recruiting said: Engineers (with 88 percent of those respondents saying the position was somewhat or very difficult to fill); high-skilled medical positions (86 percent); high-skilled technical positions (85 percent); scientists (83 percent); and managers and executives (78 percent).
HR professionals at organizations having difficulty recruiting also reported gaps in basic knowledge and skills in job applicants. The top four skills gaps were: critical thinking/problem-solving (with 54 percent of those respondents saying that job applicants typically lack that skill); professionalism/work ethic (44 percent); written communication (41 percent); and leadership (39 percent).
The most common gaps in basic knowledge skills were:
- Writing in English
- Reading comprehension
- Speaking in English