The Truth About 2021 Skills Gaps

Sure, our workforce has always faced interruptions in times of economic changes, technology trends, or automation but 2020 accelerated impacts to the world of work as we know it. Now, employers face enormous challenges including how to successfully attract and recruit talent in a virtual environment, how to build critical skills and competencies for virtual staff, and how to develop effective midlevel leaders suddenly managing remote teams. Although unemployment is peaking at an all-time high, the pool of skilled workers remains somewhat shallow and shows little signs of improving on its own.

Generational factors are pressing down on our talent supply as well. Baby boomers are leaving the workforce at an alarming pace, with over 10,000 per day reaching the retirement age of 65 now, until 2030. This “silver tsunami” retirement effect added to the influx of inexperienced millennial leaders is creating additional pressing challenges for organizations everywhere to meet their talent needs. Attracting talent to your organization is more competitive than ever! Shockingly, compensation is now decreasing as the primary factor for attracting new talent, creating new avenues to entice talent and differentiate your organization. Firms that offer defined training programs and internal growth opportunities are found to be more attractive to new talent than salary alone and yield higher employee retention rates.

More than ever, employers need to react quickly to fast-changing conditions and identify underlying skill discrepancies or new skills needed for the post-COVID future of work. The traditional successor approach to promoting talent cannot keep pace with the demands of today’s uncertain, rapidly changing skill needs. Employers need a dynamic approach to identifying skill needs and deploying responsive solutions.

Looking Ahead 2020 survey

Looking Ahead, Together, 2020 Survey.

Companies across our local region participated in a survey conducted by Laurel Ridge Workforce Solutions, to identify and articulate their current skills gaps. Unanimously, the top needs across industries are for adaptive leadership competencies and staff communication skills. These organizations transparently revealed they are not fully equipped to respond to the current pace of change–because who could have predicted we would be in such unprecedented times? Navigating skill and competency gaps, mapping them to ongoing shifts in work trends all while trying to attract new talent, can sure seem overwhelming.

Workforce Solutions has been providing strategic and innovative solutions to our area for over 20 years. Let our team of experts guide your organization in assessing and identifying skills gaps, adapting existing resources to develop your talent, and enabling employees to align their strengths with your organizational needs. We can offer consulting and assessment services to help you examine your work design, job roles, and core competencies to pinpoint misaligned tasks, discover trapped resources, eliminate internal friction, and clarify team priorities to heal your overwhelmed staff. Our comprehensive training and creative services can assist you in tackling the employee remote experience and implementing successful strategies for collaboration and connectivity that improve employee engagement and expand your internal career pathways.