Skills shortage: All smoke and no fire


Aerotek survey questions validity of supposed skills shortage

A recent survey conducted by Aerotek Inc., a leading provider of recruiting and staffing services, shows that across the country, HR professionals still believe it is possible to find the perfect candidate for the job. The findings of the survey also reveal that the apparent skills shortage, which has been blamed for a huge number of open positions, may be based on unfounded beliefs.

For years companies have been blaming lower hiring on a skills crisis, saying that the pace at which technology is advancing is outstripping U.S  workers' abilities. This idea, however, could be bunk, considering the Perfect Fit Survey found that the majority of hiring managers, or 69 percent, still believe finding a candidate that has all the necessary skills, experience and salary requirements is the same or less difficult than it was 6 months ago.

What's more, 90 percent of respondents stated that the last employee they brought on meshed well with skill requirements, experience level, company culture and overall position.

"As one of the largest staffing agencies, Aerotek has an influx of marketable and skilled candidates that we are putting to work," said John Flanigan, senior vice president of Recruiting Operations and Delivery for Aerotek. "We do this by helping companies set their expectations for the position by establishing the required skills, experience and pay rate that is reflective of the industry's standards."

Though the reported skills gap has been noted in all sectors, including the information technology and warehousing industries, the manufacturing sector has been the most vocal about its inability to find skilled workers. Even this, however, is being refuted, as evidence surfaces that the economics behind the skills gap don't add up.

According to the Minneapolis Star Tribune, economists say that if skilled workers really are in demand, employers should be offering higher wages to attract them. This, Steve Hine, director of labor market information for the state of Minnesota, isn't happening.

"If there is a shortage of something, you would expect the price of that something to increase over time," he said. "It doesn't matter if that's skilled welders, or the market for beer."

Between the findings or Aerotek's survey and economists' analyses, it seems that the perfect workers are out there, they just need to be found. 

To learn more about the survey or to download Aerotek’s Five Steps to the Perfect Hire, click here.