Survey: Skills Gap Hurting Top 10 Economies

Chicago — March 20

The growing deficit of skilled labor needed to fill in-demand jobs is causing a drag on employers across the globe. A significant number of employers in the 10 largest world economies said that extended job vacancies have resulted in lower revenue and productivity and the inability to grow their businesses.

Employers in China were the most likely to report having open positions they cannot fill and corresponding negative effects on their company performance. Russia houses the largest percentage of employers reporting a revenue shortfall tied to extended job vacancies, while the U.S. is among those most likely to report a productivity loss. Japan ranked high among those who said the inability to find skilled talent has impeded expansion of their businesses.

The global CareerBuilder survey, conducted online by Harris Interactive from Nov. 1 to Nov. 30, included more than 6,000 hiring managers and human resource professionals in countries with the largest gross domestic product.

“The inability to fill high-skill jobs can have an adverse ripple effect, hindering the creation of lower-skilled positions, company performance and economic expansion,” said Matt Ferguson, CEO of CareerBuilder. “Major world economies are feeling the effects of this in technology, health care, production and other key areas. The study underlines how critical it is for the government, private sector and educational institutions to work together to prepare and reskill workers for opportunities that can help move the needle on employment and economic growth.”

Employers in the BRIC countries (Brazil, Russia, India and China) were the most likely to report challenges in recruiting high-skill labor, with more than half of employers stating they have positions for which they can’t find qualified candidates.
• China – 74 percent
• Brazil – 63 percent
• Russia – 57 percent
• India – 53 percent
• Germany – 31 percent
• Japan – 29 percent
• U.S. – 28 percent
• France – 26 percent
• U.K – 23 percent
• Italy – 18 percent

The BRIC nations are also hiring at a more accelerated rate, containing the highest percentages of employers planning to add full-time, permanent staff in 2013.

A large percentage of employers in the top 10 economies stated their companies have experienced negative implications from extended job vacancies, citing less-effective business performance, lower-quality work, lower morale and higher employee turnover. Following the BRIC nations, employers in Italy and France were the most likely to report this.
• China – 81 percent
• Brazil – 74 percent
• Russia – 74 percent
• India – 69 percent
• Italy – 55 percent
• France – 47 percent
• U.K. – 41 percent
• Japan – 40 percent
• Germany – 39 percent
• U.S. – 38 percent

Of employers who have felt a detrimental impact from extended vacancies, the following reported suffering a loss in productivity and revenue and stagnant business growth.

Loss of Productivity
• China – 65 percent
• U.S. – 41 percent
• Russia – 40 percent
• Brazil – 39 percent
• U.K. – 33 percent
• India – 32 percent
• Germany – 31 percent
• Italy – 31 percent
• Japan – 30 percent
• France – 21 percent

Loss of Revenue
• Russia – 29 percent
• China – 26 percent
• Japan – 26 percent
• Germany – 24 percent
• India – 22 percent
• U.S. – 21 percent
• Italy – 19 percent
• France – 17 percent
• U.K. – 16 percent
• Brazil – 15 percent

Inability to grow their business
• China – 33 percent
• Japan – 25 percent
• France – 24 percent
• U.S. – 22 percent
• U.K. – 22 percent
• India – 21 percent
• Germany – 21 percent
• Italy – 21 percent
• Russia – 20 percent
• Brazil – 19 percent

Not surprising, technical fields — namely information technology and engineering — dominated the areas where employers said they are having the most difficulty recruiting skilled talent. There were notable challenges in recruiting for high-end sales positions in the U.S. and Europe, and recruiting for research and development jobs in India, China and Japan. Filling production jobs is a bigger challenge in Brazil, Russia and Europe.

Source: CareerBuilder