Skills Gap Is Forcing Employers to Raise Starting Salaries

A recruiter the other day told me how she’d found the perfect candidate for her client. “Let me think about it and get back to you,” said the employer. But three days later, when he called back to say, “Let’s go ahead and interview that candidate,” the candidate was no longer available. It’s a story that’s becoming more familiar as the gap widens between open jobs and available qualified candidates, particularly in manufacturing and STEM-related fields: science, technology, engineering, and mathematics. (To read a great article by the Wall Street Journal on the labor shortage forecast, click here.)

According to a recent CareerBuilder study, the number of job openings that go unfilled for more than 12 weeks is increasing. Using their data on job postings versus hires, CareerBuilder concluded, “For software developers, nurses, sales representatives and network administrators and IT managers, the number of people hired for these occupations significantly lags the number of job ads companies are posting – evidence that the skilled labor supply is not keeping up with the demand.”

The result, says the study, is that 60% of these employers with unfilled job openings plan to increase starting salaries over the next 12 months. Our advice? Check with your staffing partner as soon as you have a hiring need. We have access to the very latest salary data and can give you the most up-to-date market rate compensation for any position. While it’s seldom beneficial to underpay (remember the old adage, You get what you pay for!), it’s also not helpful to raise a salary based only on speculation.

The skills gap is real, and certain types of candidates will become harder and harder to find. And you know the laws of supply and demand: the higher their demand, the higher a wage you can expect them to command. But knowledge is power, so don’t panic! With your staffing partner’s resources and experience on your side, you can still acquire the top candidates you need to reach your business goals.

How can you motivate employees without spending money? Click here for advice from our president.

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