80% of all employees believe that the skills gap is real

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We're working in the age of the employee. Employees have access to a wider variety of occupations and a greater number of jobs than ever. They can spend their entire careers remotely or locally. They can be employed by multiple employers simultaneously, be a contract employee working for a company for a set period of time, or have a full-time job. That doesn't make becoming employed, sustaining a job, or growing in any career significantly easier, but having more flexibility than ever is a welcome change from previous eras.

Why do skilled employees have the upper hand? Because their skills are in high demand.

Companies of all shapes and sizes definitely agree on a central issue: the skills gap is very real. Even with today's lowest unemployment rates in the U.S. since 2008, the skills gap is a hindrance for any organization looking to recruit employees.

Companies say that the biggest reason for the skills gap is the gap in wage expectations between employees and employers. Compensation can be a particularly thorny issue for both parties. But the skills gap here centers on the workforce. Therein, the reluctance to pay would-be personnel the going rates for in-demand jobs, such as software engineering, healthcare and customer service professionals, is a sure method to push away talent, stymie future hiring and even damage the employer brand in the process.


Here's what the organizations we polled had to say:

  • Gap in wage expectations: 46%
  • New/shifting technologies: 41%
  • Employers not willing to pay enough to attract talent: 32%
  • Job requirements that are above entry requirements: 27%
  • Access to education: 21%

What About the 20% Who Don't Believe in the Skills Gap?

In contrast, the one-fifth of employers who don't believe in the skills gaps have their own explanations for why 80% of organizations struggle to recruit the right talent. For instance, one company indicated that such companies have done a poor job planning for the future, also known as strategic workforce planning: "Such companies have poorly managed their talent pool. Instead of thinking long term about hiring needs, they've responded to upswings and downturns in the market." Another company indicated that organizations believe there's a skills gap because, "There is too much rigidity in the perception that qualified candidates should have the capabilities and wherewithal to be successful as soon as they're hired, and there's less focus on learning and development to get to those levels."

To read more about the skills gap and what best-in-class companies are doing to overcome it, download your free copy of "The Definitive Guide to Building a Better Workforce."

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