Engineering a solution for a shortage of technical skills
According to data from the American Community Survey collected by the Census Bureau, there were 1.8 million U.S.-born individuals with engineering degrees unemployed, out of the labor market, or not working as engineers in 2010. Yet just last month, U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan reported that 2 million high-wage jobs are open and ready to be filled. In a time of such high unemployment, why are these jobs still open?
First and foremost, available workers often lack the right skills. New technologies are constantly emerging. Companies are moving at an incredible pace to customize cloud-based applications for business and upgrade their infrastructure. Ten years ago, companies wanted mainframe engineers. Today, they’re looking for Ruby on Rails engineers that can construct strong back ends for websites. Workers who haven’t kept up with the latest technologies and learned new programming languages are at a disadvantage.
Unfortunately, many engineers were laid off from positions in which they only utilized one skill, such as Java. Because companies have been doing more with less, these job seekers are now facing a job market full of new skill requirements, for example experience in SAP systems or dynamic case management structures. If individuals are proficient in only one skill, they are unqualified for the majority of open positions.
Whether due to financial hurdles, lack of resources, or other obstacles, some technical workers that have been out of the job market for an extensive period of time are unable to expand their skills. Even if they are able to undergo training, some positions require two or more years of hands-on, professional experience in the technologies that they have just learned.
Unemployed technical workers are encountering a paradoxical situation that notoriously plagues entry-level applicants across all industries. That is, you need experience to get a job, but you can’t get a job without experience.
In addition to this skills gap, the talent deficit is also worsened by an additional factor: Companies and talent aren’t connecting with each other.
Hiring managers can post a job opening, but the post and pray method falls short. Further, unemployed technical workers might be looking in places other than job boards. For example, they might be in contact with a professional staffing services provider that can link them to the right employer more efficiently.
The bottom line is that there are a host of unemployed technical workers and a plethora of jobs to fill. Professional staffing services providers are a potential solution for connecting workers that have the knowledge and experience with companies that need those skills.