Lack of Qualified Candidates Squeezes Businesses

If there was any doubt that the much-talked-about skills gap really exists, two new surveys support the fact that employers nationwide really are experiencing a lack of qualified candidates. Increasingly, companies are being forced to relocate candidates and employees from out of the area to fill their open positions.

In a recent Citibank survey, small business owners expressed that they view current business conditions as the best they’ve been in at least four years. While that’s encouraging, the survey also revealed that the skills gap is causing small business owners a significant amount of trouble.

When asked to describe the current hiring environment for their business, 37 percent said applicants are not qualified and 31 percent said applicants’ skills do not match the open positions. And while half of small business owners say on-the-job training is the best preparation, many see an educational opportunity to improve workforce preparation: 59 percent say trade schools and apprenticeships should receive greater emphasis in schools.

Although the small business owners surveyed expressed a positive outlook on current business conditions and higher growth expectations, 75 percent have no plans to hire in the next 12 months, and only 17 percent intend to hire full-time employees.

The 47th Annual Atlas Corporate Relocation Survey, conducted online between January 22 and March 8, 2014, found that 38 percent of 353 companies relocated one to nine employees in 2013. Over half of the relocations were new hires, says Kathy Gurchiek of Society for Human Resource Management.

Respondents most often said the lack of qualified local candidates was the external factor with the most significant impact on the number of employees a company relocated in 2013. A company’s growth was the internal factor that had the most significant impact on the number of employees a company relocated.

Relocation incentives were offered by 65 percent of employers surveyed, and employment assistance for a spouse or partner was offered by 42 percent. In spite of that, 52 percent of employers surveyed had workers who declined to relocate. For the past five years, the main reason for a worker’s reluctance to accept relocation was housing/mortgage concerns. But happily this past year, the most common reason given for declining to make a move was family ties or issues. To read more results from the Atlas Van Lines survey, click here.

Do you need help finding qualified candidates? With 55 years of recruiting experience under our belt and a database of over 600,000 candidates, we’re up for the challenge of partnering with you to fill your next open position. Contact us today at 714-993-1900 or online at to start searching.

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By Marcianne Kuethen

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