Employers Resolve to Fill the Skills Gap in 2018

Matt Ferguson


With the arrival of the New Year comes good news on the economic front: Economists are predicting solid growth in 2018, along with low unemployment, increased productivity and improved consumer confidence. According to CareerBuilder’s annual job forecast, U.S. employers seem to share this optimism, as 44 percent plan to add full-time, permanent staff in the coming year, and half (51 percent) will hire temporary workers.

Filling these positions will not be without its difficulties, however. More job creation means more competition for talent – a struggle with which U.S. employers are all too familiar. Forty-five percent of HR managers say they have been unable to fill open positions because they cannot find qualified talent, while 58 percent report they have jobs that stay open for 12 weeks or longer. Their challenges don’t end there, either: 40 percent of workers plan to change their jobs this year, putting added pressure on employers hoping to retain top performers.


Five Recruiting Trends for 2018

Of course, every challenge brings an opportunity, and employers are already looking into new, creative ways to recruit talent, retain high performers and bridge the skills gaps at their own organizations. Here are some of the top talent management and recruiting trends you can expect to see in the coming year:

  1. Going Back to School: Employers plan to get a head start with recruiting on college campuses this year, and 64 percent plan to hire recent college graduates in 2018. With increased competition for new graduates, employers may want to consider stepping up their campus recruiting efforts and partnering with local colleges and universities.
  2. Going Abroad: Foreign workers bring a wealth of skills and diverse thinking to an organization. Perhaps that’s why nearly 1 in 4 employers are thinking “outside the border” to expand their talent pools and fill vacancies. Twenty-three percent of employers surveyed say they plan to hire workers from other countries to work in the U.S. this year.
  3. Reuniting With Past Employees: It pays to stay on good terms with former employees - they can make for excellent job candidates. After all, they know your business, your culture and your customers. With this in mind, 39 percent plan to reach out to and hire former employees in 2018. Companies with a solid alumni network will certainly have a leg up recruiting boomerang employees.
  4. Hiring First, Training Later: Not being 100 percent qualified is no longer a deal-breaker. Employers are investing more in employee training and development this year to bridge the skills gaps at their companies. According to the survey, 66 percent of employers plan to train and hire workers who may not have all the skills they need, but show potential to excel. Similarly, 44 percent of employers plan to train low-skill workers who don’t have experience in their field and hire them for higher-skill jobs.
  5. Boosting Pay: As competition for in-demand workers heats up, it should come as no surprise that compensation levels across many companies will increase as well. Thirty percent of employers plan to increase starting salaries for new employees by 5 percent or more, while 36 percent will do the same for existing staff. Keeping tabs on industry trends can help companies stay competitive on this front.

Read the full 2018 forecast now.



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