U.S. Employers — Skills Gap takes toll on Morale, Quality, and Revenue


The same week when increased unemployment numbers were issued by the U.S. Labor Department, a Harris Interactive/CareerBuilder survey sent a much different message to the nation.s businesses.  Rather than dwelling on people who are not currently working, this survey sought to find out what is happening to U.S. companies that are looking for new employees. The results were that the lack of skilled talent, across many job sectors, is impacting both the morale of current employees, and the bottom line of the organizations seeking new talent, in a very negative fashion.

According to the employer survey, 34 percent of respondents reported that job vacancies have resulted in a lower quality of work due to employees being overworked, and 23 percent of employers cited a loss in revenue. These numbers should be alarming to State and Federal Agencies that are reporting an increase in Unemployment. There is a disconnect between the jobs available and the unemployed job seeker.

Specifically, regarding current employees, employers with unfilled positions often reported that employees worked  longer hours, 33 percent of employers said vacancies have caused lower morale, and 17 percent pointed to higher turnover within their organizations. Increased turnover, combined with lower morale, is the last thing an employer who is already struggling to find human capital talent needs to be dealing with.

What isn’t apparent is how the gap between the companies seeking new employees, and the unemployed, will be closed. From the survey,  41 percent of companies reported they currently have programs in place to help alleviate the skills gap including on-the-job training, mentoring, sending employees back to school, and other efforts.

Interestingly, employers seeking to reskill workers for their organizations will likely find willing participants as 77 percent of U.S. job seekers said they would be willing to take a job in a different field than the one they currently work in. And 54 percent would be open to relocating to a new city or state.

SOURCE: The Careerbuilder’s survey was conducted online within the U.S. by Harris Interactive among 1,648 U.S. hiring managers and human resource professionals and 2,036 U.S. job seekers (employed full-time, not self-employed seeking a job or non-employed seeking a job) ages 18 and over between Feb. 8 and Feb. 29, 2012.