HR Information

Skills shortage ‘a major concern for organisations’

A new survey of global organisations by PwC has revealed a skills gap continues to be the main concern of employers looking to boost headcounts.

As the economic upturn continues, many companies are planning to hire more staff over the next 12 months. However, nearly two-thirds (63 per cent) of those surveyed believe they will not be able to find the people with the skills they need to fill vacant positions.

An overwhelming number of business leaders (93 per cent) believe they need to alter their strategy for attracting and retaining the best talent but three in five have made no progress on this goal.

The number of chief executive officers (CEOs) citing skills shortages as the main threat to business growth has risen by five percentage points since 2013, to 63 per cent. The job sector likely to be most affected by the skills shortage is the technology industry.

Michael Rendell, global HR consulting leader at PwC, said life-time careers are now a thing of the past and many businesses are now looking for "chameleon-like employees who apply their skills whenever and wherever they're needed".

"Businesses need to get out of the mindset that new skills equals new people. The most successful organisations will combine recruitment with developing their own people to be more adaptable to its changing plans."

Many organisations are responding to the skills shortage by looking to emerging markets for new talent. Multinational companies have already exploited the graduates and skilled young workers emerging from China and India and are now looking to countries such as Indonesia, Vietnam and the Philippines for new employees.

Companies are also seeking help from governments in order to help address the skills shortage. Two in five CEOs believe creating a skilled workforce should be among the top three government priorities, while half think regulation is harming their ability to attract the best candidates.  

Mr Rendell said CEOs should take advantage of HR analytics to predict the skills they require and plan for changes in supply and demand.