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Monday, August 19, 2013

Can Workforce Management Systems Help Close the Skills Gap between American Workers and Companies?



One of the biggest challenges facing hiring managers today is the growing skills gap of American workers. In spite of an economy where many professionals have found themselves without employment it seems that many of the skills in demand by companies are not currently possessed by these individuals on the job market. 
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However, the problem may not lie with a lack of skills in the marketplace but rather the way we source candidates for upcoming jobs. 

There was a time prior to the recession when managers would seek out individuals with aptitude rather than an exact laundry list of experience. The right attitude and the ability to learn were more important than knowing exactly how to format pivot tables or work in Great Plains. After the recession hit, starting with the sub-prime mortgage meltdown in 2007, employers changed course and began looking for individuals with an exact match to specific skills desired.  Many companies expected that with so many people out of work they should be able to find a surplus of individuals with specific experience. 

Experts still disagree about what the skills gap actuallyis. Is it a lack of education or is it a recruiting issue? Some employment specialists even suggest that a raise in salaries for skilled individuals would help to close the skills gap. This discrepancy between available professionals and technical skills could have been caused the tightening of corporate belts during the same recession that lead to high unemployment. As cost of living continues to rise in the United States wages have been steadily falling since 2000, long before the recession began. 

Perhaps the solution is to reconsider the way we are recruiting and retaining qualified employees. An online workforce management system can help connect employees to open positions with little effort and higher success rates. It can help bridge the gap between skilled workers and the employers seeking their talents. Here are just three ways a workforce management system can work for you.

1. Employee Updated Skills. Many professionals are augmenting their skills with continued education to increase their experience with new in-demand technologies. On an online system they can easily add the information to their profile making it easier to source when a need for their skills becomes available.
2. Increased communications between employees and clients. A workforce management system allows for your clients to post job requests that can be immediately viewable by candidates looking for work. This can shorten the recruiting time for certain critical positions.
3. Reports on salary information. Sometimes the answer lies in educating your clients on the cost of employment. It is difficult to hire a skilled professional for a project if the wage offered is below a minimum salary requirement. Easily sharing reports on successful hires and wage research through the workforce management system can help explain the disparity to clients. 

NextCrew, Workforce Management for the New World, can help you enhance your temporary and contingent staff process. Contact us today to learn more.

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