Is the Growing Skills Gap Causing Nurse Burnout?

May 4th, 2017 Comments off
Emotional stress of young doctor

The burgeoning skills gap in our nation is probably something you’ve heard a lot about. Employers across all industries are struggling to find the right talent to fill their open positions. Nursing, the backbone of U.S. health care, is not immune to this growing talent shortage – 56 percent of health care employers say they currently have open positions for which they cannot find qualified candidates, seven percentage points higher than any other industry surveyed.

Meanwhile, the number of nursing jobs is increasing at an accelerated rate. CareerBuilder’s analysis of the labor market shows the number of nursing jobs (RN and LPN) in the U.S. grew 6 percent from 2012 to 2016 to 3.5 million, and is expected to grow another 7 percent from 3.6 million in 2017 to 3.9 million in 2021.

Employers looking everywhere for the right talent
As nursing jobs increase, employers are struggling to find qualified talent to fill job vacancies. CareerBuilder research looked at the number of unique (or de-duplicated) nursing job postings in Q1 2017 and compared that to the total number of job postings for nurses – meaning how many times those unique job postings were posted on other sites – to find a stat called the posting intensity ratio. The higher the posting intensity ratio, the more effort employers are putting toward hiring.

In Q1 2017, the average number of unique job postings for registered nurses was 178,586, but the total number of job postings for registered nurses in that timeframe was 1,749,900 – a ratio of 10:1. That means every unique job listing for registered nurses was posted an average of ten times on different sites, signaling a highly competitive hiring environment where employers are using multiple touch points to try to reach potential job candidates.

Talent shortage may lead to burnout
This skills gap is leaving nurses currently on staff with larger workloads and longer hours. Day-to-day demands and high pressure situations have 7 in 10 nurses saying they feel burnt out in their current job, and 54 percent of nurses rating their stress level at work as high.

The effects of stress are real – nurses report feeling tired all the time (50 percent), experiencing sleepless nights (35 percent), weight gain (33 percent), high anxiety (32 percent), aches and pains (32 percent) and depression (19 percent).

Seventy-eight percent of nurses say their company does not offer classes or programs to help employees manage stress.

How you can combat nurse burnout and fill your skills gap

  • Build relationships with nurses in the community. In order to recruit nurses, merely posting jobs no longer cuts it. Employers need to build relationships with nurses in their communities. Creating a network of nursing talent will help you build your pipeline of candidates.
  • Recognize nurse burn out, and provide the right tools. Burned out nurses are causing harm not only to themselves – long-term high levels of stress can be a major detriment to one’s health – but they can also be putting their patients at risk. Make sure your nurses are getting the support they need by offering a flexible work environment, encouraging exercise, establishing an open door policy and offering mental health tools.
  • Focus on continued education. Talk to nurses about career ladders, and encourage them to take classes in areas they’d like to grow. Establish a mentorship program and encourage team members to seek each other out for advice. Encourage team bonding and the formation of solid, trusting relationships– colleagues are an important source of support at work.

For more advice on filling your nursing skills gap, check out these blog posts:


The Workforce’s Billion Dollar Problem: Unskilled Workers

April 13th, 2017 Comments off
skills gap

We’ve all heard of the skills gap by now: Companies have lots of open positions but can’t find enough workers with the skills they need. But did you know these unfilled positions come at a high cost? According to a new CareerBuilder survey, nearly 60 percent of U.S. employers (56 percent) have job openings that stay vacant for 12 weeks or longer. The average cost HR managers say they incur for having extended job vacancies is more than $800,000 annually.

According to the survey, 68 percent of employers who said they were increasing their number of full-time, permanent employees in the first quarter (Jan.1-March 31, 2017) currently have open positions for which they cannot find qualified candidates. This is consistent across company sizes with larger companies – which tend to have more job openings in general:

  • 1-50 employees: 49 percent
  • 51-250 employees: 74 percent
  • 251-500 employees: 72 percent
  • 501+ employees: 71 percent


More Than Money is Being Lost

Two in 3 employers (67 percent) say they are concerned about the growing skills gap, and with good reason. More than half (55 percent) say they have seen a negative impact on their business due to extended job vacancies with a sizable proportion of these employers pointing to productivity issues, an increase in voluntary turnover and revenue loss:

  • Productivity loss: 45 percent
  • Higher employee turnover: 40 percent
  • Lower morale: 39 percent
  • Lower quality work: 37 percent
  • Inability to grow business: 29 percent
  • Revenue loss: 26 percent


What You Can Do

Bridging the skills gap can have an exponentially positive impact on workers, businesses and the greater community. The most sustainable and thriving communities are those with good jobs. That’s why businesses should take an active role in cultivating the talents of today’s and tomorrow’s generations of workers – and these three steps can make an impact.

Start early: The skills gap in the U.S. is in large part an information gap — many young people are unaware of jobs that are in high-demand, pay well and are aligned with what they’re passionate about. Businesses need to do a better job of informing students of fast-growing fields, so they can discover career options that not only provide job security, but pay well. Get in front of students at an early age.

To this end, CareerBuilder and our economists at Economic Modeling Specialists Intl. (EMSI) created Find Your Calling, a free website to help students discover career and education options based on data from more than 100 employment resources. Visitors on the website start with a simple, interactive personality test for careers. The student is then presented with careers that match their interests with details ranging from job growth projections, salary ranges and businesses that are hiring to college programs they can apply to today.

Create the perfect candidate: Businesses should also invest in reskilling the current workforce to create the perfect hire, instead of waiting for one to come along. The good news is half of U.S. companies are already taking action. Fifty-four percent said they have trained workers who have no experience in their industry or field and hired them. Forty-six percent of employers have hired a low-skill worker and trained him/her for a higher-skill job within the last two years.

To help with this, last year Capella Learning Solutions and CareerBuilder launched an initiative called RightSkill, which enables workers to upskill and reskill for in-demand jobs within 60 days or less. The program, which is currently free for candidates, teaches competencies online based on real-time data and guidance from employers.

Join forces with educators: Partnerships between universities, corporate training organizations and corporations isn’t new. Companies like IBM have been teaming up with universities since the early days of computer science education more than 70 years ago. But, as the debate over the skills gap accelerates, collaborations between educational facilities and businesses should become more sophisticated and evolve to meet shifting economic, marketplace and educational needs. As the next-generation partnerships are anointed, you can help guide the formation of curriculum so the workforce of the future can keep up with rapid technological changes.

Find out how to use workforce analytics to build your talent strategy

How to Close the Skills Gap in the Manufacturing Industry

March 13th, 2017 Comments off
manufacturing skills gap

We all know examples of employers who have recruiting difficulties – you may be experiencing such difficulties yourself. To find out how prevalent these recruitment difficulties are, economists have surveyed a representative sample of manufacturing establishments. They asked plant managers to answer questions about recruitment and the skills they are seeking in a worker.

A Quarter of Manufacturing Establishments Have Hiring Difficulties

On average, establishments were able to fill positions within one and a half months. Therefore, one sign of hiring difficulties is having an unfilled vacancy for three months or more. Twenty-four percent of establishments had at least one vacancy unfilled for three months or more.

Requiring Advanced Levels of Math and Reading Skills Predicts Hiring Difficulties

As one could expect, requiring higher levels of skills can make it harder to hire. Establishments that require advanced math and reading skills increase their chance of having a vacancy that goes unfilled for three months or more by 10 percent. Surprisingly, requiring advanced computer skills does not lead to greater recruitment difficulties.

Requiring Unique Skills Also Predicts Hiring Difficulties

Some manufacturing plants require unique skills that other plants in the area do not require. These plants have an 8 percent higher chance of seeing an unfilled vacancy for three months or more.

How to Identify Workers with the Right Skills

In order to find qualified workers, hiring managers or recruiters could use CareerBuilder Search. The database uses semantic search to apply related terms – including skills, keywords and job titles – to each term searched. Using this search technology allows users to uncover talent with unique skills that traditional keyword searches may miss. Also, employers can hire workers with similar skills and train them to learn the unique skills demanded by the plant. Hiring managers should also consider relocation packages to make it easier for people with the right skills to move to their area.

Learn how to find quality candidates faster with CareerBuilder Search

Ioana Marinescu is an assistant professor in economics at the University of Chicago Harris School of Public Policy. Her research focuses on understanding labor markets. She has been collaborating on data and research projects with CareerBuilder and she is especially interested in how to get the right people to work in the right jobs. You can follow her on twitter @mioana and check out her research on her website, marinescu.eu.

Help Narrow the Skills Gap: Host a #FindYourCallingDay This March

February 3rd, 2017 Comments off

Companies are struggling to find workers to fill in-demand positions. Students are struggling to determine their best career options. How can both employers and students work together to narrow the skills gap while helping the future generation find meaningful careers?

The answer is through the second annual Find Your Calling Month created by CareerBuilder and Emsi, a special month when students across the U.S. come together and use the Find Your Calling assessment to discover careers they love and plan the necessary education.

How Do I Get Involved?

In order for Find Your Calling Month to be a success, we are asking you to host a #FindYourCallingDay event in March at your place of business, your children’s school, or another similar location.

During the one- to two- hour event, you’ll speak with students about the importance of discovering the careers they love through programs like Find Your Calling. Then, you’ll invite students to take the Find Your Calling questionnaire, explore relevant careers and identify schools with programs that align with their interests.

What Do I Do Next?

Learn more or simply sign up now to host a #FindYourCallingDay event in your area. We’ll supply you with everything you need to execute the event, from presentations to fliers to videos.

With your help, we can change the futures of our future generation.

Robot-Proof Jobs and the Skills Gap of the Future

May 10th, 2016 Comments off
Robot-Proof Jobs and the Skills Gap of the Future

In March 2016, Google’s Alpha Go program beat one of the best Go players in the world, Lee Sedol. Google’s program performance is based on its ability to learn without being explicitly told what to do. Programs like Alpha Go will continue to become more and more common, and, at some point, will likely be able to replace workers in many jobs.

Right now, some of the positions most researched by employers include administrative assistant and business development manager. Will these positions still exist in 10 to 20 years, or will they be replaced by computers and robots? Researchers Carl Frey and Michael Osborne tackled this question in a 2013 working paper. To predict which occupations are most susceptible to computerization, they build on the assessment of technology experts. Overall, 47 percent of total U.S. employment is at risk of being erased by computers and robots in the next 10 to 20 years.

The largest occupation group at risk of computerization: office and administrative support jobs

Office and administrative support jobs are at risk of computerization because the occupation’s tasks are not very complex and can be fairly easily automated. In addition, some of the tasks previously done by office workers are already largely automated. In most cases, online calendars like Google Calendar (and other more complex meeting planning websites) make the need for a scheduling assistant obsolete. So, among the most researched jobs today, jobs like administrative assistant will likely disappear.

The largest occupation group protected from computerization risk: education, legal, community service, arts and media

Many of these jobs, such as that of a lawyer, require both creativity and social intelligence. While the work of the paralegal, for example, is likely to be soon automated through text search algorithms, the work of the lawyer is in no immediate danger. Indeed, lawyers must construct a creative legal case and deal with other people like the clients, the judge, and the other party’s lawyers. Among enterprise jobs, business development manager is an example of a job that is hot today and is likely to remain so: The business acumen and the people skill of the manager are unlikely to be replaced by computers.

The skills gap of the future: creative and social intelligence

In the current state of technology, computers do worst at tasks that require creative and social intelligence. In the future, then, it’s likely that workers without creative and social skills will be most at risk of losing out to computers and robots — while those jobs that require critical thinking and creative/social intelligence will continue to thrive.


How in-demand are candidates for the positions you’re hiring for? Get the latest labor supply and demand data withTalentstream Supply & Demand.

4 Ways to Rethink the Skills Gap

March 23rd, 2016 Comments off
4 ways to rethink the skills gap

The skills gap. It’s something we talked about a lot last year, and something the workforce is continuing to battle in 2016. We recently did a study among hiring managers at LaSalle Network, in which 44 percent of respondents cited the skills gap as the biggest obstacle they expect to face this year. The latest ASA Skills Gap Index identified 73 occupations as “hard to fill” for the fourth quarter of 2015.

But here’s the reality. Times change. Industries change. Roles change. It’s not a bad thing; it means society is progressing. So rather than worrying about the skills gap and leaving positions open for months or even years at a time because you can’t find qualified candidates, consider taking a different approach.

Here are four ways to rethink your approach to the skills gap this year:

Hire for culture fit.

Companies with great cultures have happy and engaged employees and see less turnover than companies who don’t. Instead of focusing solely on technical skills, focus on hiring candidates who fit the culture. They’re the ones who will be your brand advocates, expand the business and support the people around them. When you’re meeting with a candidate, ask yourself: Do you enjoy talking with them? Will they get along with others in the company? Do they share the same values and beliefs as the organization? Remember, hard skills can always be taught — but you can’t teach someone to want to work hard.

Look for people who want to grow.

Just because someone has a sales background doesn’t necessarily mean they aren’t right for a PR role. What matters is how hard they’re willing to work and how badly they want it. Are they reading about the industry? Are they coming into the interview prepared with ideas on how they can help grow business? The person with no prior experience who’s ready to dive in, learn, contribute, and gain skills they are lacking will likely be more successful than the person with five years of experience who thinks they know it all by now and aren’t willing to learn.

Offer contract roles.

If you have a candidate you’re uncertain about because they lack certain technical skills, give them a three-month test run. That way, you can see how quickly they pick things up and adapt. Are they learning new programs or software? Are they taking classes or getting certifications to become better in their field? If they do well and exceed expectations, they could be ready to take the role on full time. If not, you part ways and avoid the cost of a permanent hire.

Gauge emotional intelligence.

Emotionally intelligent people have strong communication skills and work well together. They’re empathetic and have the ability to build long-term relationships with co-workers and clients. A candidate may not know how to do all technical aspects of the role they’re applying for, but can they represent the company well and attract new business? Do they have a good sense of right vs. wrong? Emotionally intelligent people can gauge and handle uncomfortable situations that may come up at the office or with a client, and that’s a skill all companies should want employees to have.


Want to learn more about the 2016 staffing trends and how they affect you? Download CareerBuilder’s Q1 2016 CareerBuilder Staffing & Recruiting Guidebook for exclusive industry research and expert recommendations for overcoming your biggest staffing challenges.


ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Tom Gimbel is the Founder and CEO of LaSalle Network, a staffing and recruiting firm headquartered in Chicago. Gimbel is an expert on organizational development, securing a job and hiring successfully. He’s been featured on CNBC, The Today Show, Fox Business Network, Wall Street Journal, Entrepreneur Magazine, Fast Company, Inc. Magazine, Fortune Small Business and Crain’s Chicago Business.

A Better Way to Tackle the Skills Gap

October 27th, 2015 Comments off
A better way to deal with the skills gap

The skills gap has been at the forefront of the HR debate, especially when dealing with some highly specialized positions. Skills formation starts with students choosing their field of study. To help close the skills gap, it would be useful for students to look at employers’ needs when choosing majors and certificates. But is that really what’s happening?

A number of research studies have investigated how students choose their majors. Here are their main findings:

  • Labor market prospects play a significant role in determining students’ major choice.
  • Students’ ranking of the labor market prospects of broad majors is broadly accurate. For example, this means students know that science majors tend to earn more than humanities majors.
  • Students tend to underestimate the labor market prospects of most majors.
  • More disadvantaged students underestimate the labor market prospects of degrees more often, and they make larger errors.


What does this suggest for HR recruiting strategies?

If you can afford to work for the long term, you should consider approaching students at local universities and colleges who may be interested in your field of recruitment. Perhaps you could organize information sessions. Because students often underestimate the monetary returns to particular majors, you can help them by informing them about typical entry-level salaries in your field. Furthermore, concentrating on more disadvantaged students may be especially helpful because they often have less access to information to start with. In order to choose which universities or colleges to target, data from EMSI College Analyst shows you the educational institutions that are the most likely to train for your field of interest.

Of course, informational campaigns with students can take some time to pan out, since students still need to take classes before they can graduate with a relevant degree. In the short run, if you have difficulties recruiting, you may consider increasing compensation. Indeed, my research based on CareerBuilder data shows that higher compensation attracts more and better applicants.


Locate your target talent with the click of a button with EMSI College Analyst. Find out more here.

How to Train Vets to Succeed in Civilian Jobs

October 23rd, 2015 Comments off
Training Veterans

Editor’s note: This is part two of a two-part series exploring how health care companies are finding creative, effective ways to address the skills gap.  

The experience, qualities and skills that our military veterans possess make them of great value to employers. Yet many former service members struggle to transition from the military to civilian jobs.

Leah Nicholls, talent acquisition manager and veteran liaison, Epic Health Services

Leah Nicholls, talent acquisition manager and veteran liaison, Epic Health Services

At the same time, health care organizations are struggling to find talent with the right combination of hard and soft skills to fill their open positions. Recognizing the value veterans can bring to organizations like theirs, Epic Health Services runs a Veteran Recruiting Program, led by Leah Nicholls, talent acquisition manager and veteran liaison, to provide specialized training to help military veterans achieve success in their civilian careers.

We interviewed Nicholls to learn more about the program and how it’s not only making an impact on the lives of veterans, but on Epic Health Services as well.

CB: Tell me about your role as a veteran liaison at Epic Health Services.
LN: My role as a Veteran Liaison is to first and foremost provide resources and support to our veterans within the organization and to make sure that they are being retained through proper backing as needed. I am also in charge of our veteran recruiting program, EVE, or Epic Veteran Employment. I find, screen and recruit veterans and their close family members such as spouses and children into our company to provide jobs and a stable, safe, friendly work environment where they are appreciated and well taken care of. Lastly, I participate in any event, planning or program that benefits veterans and their transition. Epic Health Services as a whole is dedicated to our military service members and their families, past and present, and we are involved in all levels to make sure that they know the appreciation and gratitude we have for their actions and sacrifice.

CB: How is your program benefiting veterans?
LN: We are trying to get rid of stigmas and the bad raps that some service members have within the civilian sector. We want them to have a sense of normalcy and again express our deepest gratitude for all that they have done. This is not about meeting quotas or the tax write offs, because if it was we would just throw numbers out and I’d just be a “veteran recruiter” for our organization. We pride ourselves on the fact that we help people, because we genuinely care and are in fact invested in our employees. We want to make sure that not only are we offering our veteran community and their families job opportunities but also the care that comes with a transition, help for specific issues and overall support for our employees as a whole.

CB: What are some of the skills veterans possess that you find to be of great value to your organization?
LN: Some of the skills that we find to be very useful within the civilian sector – and specifically with our organization being in the home health industry – are selfless service, willing to go above and beyond, integrity, honor, commitment and sacrifice. Discipline is also a huge factor, since the military instills these core values within service members, and we are actively seeking out similar traits in our employees, so the match is a no brainer for us. Our slogan is, “Seeking Smart, Nice, Driven Talent” and the military sure knows how to make smart, nice, driven people.

It’s not hard to train on our process, software or anything as far as the job goes. It is hard to teach those ideals; why not find the people who already possess them and have proven that they uphold those standards? Hiring veterans is not a tough decision on our part; we know what we are looking for and we have found a group of people that holds the same ethics we do in most aspects of our work.

CB: What are the preliminary results you have seen to date related to the program?
LN: At the beginning of this year, I did not imagine this program taking off quite as quickly as it did. I had no idea that we as a company would have grown and allowed such a delicate thing to blossom as much as it has. I made notes, took constructive criticism and over the past few months began developing a nationwide platform that allows me to plug into various states and capitals, and provide the proper sustenance for our military members. In the first stages we were just networking and seeking out different assets to help us get started, and now we are involved in 20 states’ worth of our network.

CB: What were the key factors to getting this program implemented?
LN: Some of the key factors that were put into place to help us launch EVE were first and foremost coming up with a veteran to head up the project. That individual being myself, I took the knowledge I had from my own service and transition to the civilian sector and put it to use. Using my experience has helped mold things like our new military-specific marketing materials, the website change that has a tab for the military recruiting efforts, and building relationships with other veteran liaisons in different companies.

CB: What information did you provide to those who approved the program?
LN: I originally put together a PowerPoint for my own leadership within my current department to which it was then forwarded up to our senior executive leaders who endorsed and blessed me with the opportunity to move forward. I worked closely with our marketing director, Rachel Russell, and our CEO, Chris Roussos, who helped me to begin interacting and developing different processes, materials and ways of communication to launch and take off with it. I just had a vision that I brought to them with multiple ideas and scenarios; it turned into a ladder for a program that revolutionized our business and the way some of our employees past and current think, sending us to the top. Overall, I would say that even the “bumps” along the way have been nothing but successful in helping us build this, and each bump proved to be a stepping stone for our ladder to success.

CB: How do you see this program evolving over the next five years?
LN: I see this program taking off and not stopping. I see it picking up speed and winning over everyone. One thing I tell all of my candidates as a recruiter and what I mention to anyone I meet in dealings with Epic: “We are taking over the world with exceptional care and service, and we want leaders with us who share the vision of making that happen.” We are not slowing down – we are only continuing to make and clear headway for more. We have hired 300 vets since we started, and next year we are going to hire 800. The only way is up in my eyes, and I am grateful that I get to be a part of the dream that will impact our service members, their families and our community for the better.


Finding a Cure for the Health Care Skills Gap

October 20th, 2015 Comments off
Health care skills gap part 1

Editor’s note: This is part one of a two-part series exploring how health care companies are finding creative, effective ways to address the skills gap.  

skills gap

Tony Pentangelo, executive vice president of managed services, Parallon Workforce Solutions

Hospitals across the U.S. are facing an all-too-common recruitment roadblock: They’re struggling to find qualified nurses to fill their open positions. Yet the problem isn’t a shortage of applications from licensed nurses; it’s that these nurses don’t yet have the clinical experience the hospitals are seeking in a candidate.

Knowing this was a pressing issue that needed to be solved, Parallon Workforce Solutions created StaRN – Specialty Training Apprenticeship for Registered Nurses – a program designed to tackle this skills gap head on. We recently interviewed Tony Pentangelo, executive vice president of managed services, to learn more about this award-winning program.

CB: Tell us about how the StaRN program started. What was the major pain point the creation of the program addressed?
TP: The StaRN program started in the southeast Florida market. At that time, there was an interesting dynamic there in that many hospitals were competing for specialty trained nurses and offering significant financial incentives to entice nurses to their organizations. At the same time, there were many new licensed nurses in the market that were unable to get work in hospitals, simply because they didn’t have the clinical experience and the hospitals couldn’t commit the time and resources needed to get them ready to work. The StaRN program helps bridge that skills gap and prepares newly licensed nurses to be productive on the job on day one.

CB: What does the StaRN program entail?
TP: The program is designed for newly licensed nurses – so these are people that have just graduated and passed their NCLEX Exam. The training is 13 weeks long, and during the first six to seven weeks [the length varies depending on what units they’re going to], the program is based on the AACN’s core curriculum, which is the essentials of critical care orientation. Then, our educators meet with the client facilities to customize the additional content based on their individual hospital requirements – but every program contains the ECCO Module, BLS certification, ALS certification, stroke scale certification and EKG certification. In addition, there is a fair amount of skills training with experienced nurses, and simulations covering four to five different clinical scenarios each day.

In summary, the first six or seven weeks is a combination of home study, classroom, skills and simulation. And once they complete that successfully, they will rotate to the hospital that they are going to be working in and spend the remaining number of weeks in a clinical preceptorship – one-on-one with a facility preceptor at the hospital.

CB: How did you gain buy-in across the organization in order to launch the program? What type of information was provided to the decision makers?
TP: Our east Florida division had significant success with StaRN, and the program began to garner some attention and support in other markets. The Parallon team revamped the EFL curriculum and presented the concept to the various clinical, operational and human resource leaders across the company. Today, the program is highly regarded and gaining national momentum.

CB: What impact has the StaRN program had on your organization overall?
TP: The StaRN program has resulted in an improvement in vacancy rates by providing better prepared nurses to work in the facility. The nurses are much more confident and are better able to deal with the challenges of a new graduate nurse. Facilities that have implemented the program have seen a significant improvement in vacancy rates and 0-12 month turnover. In addition, in those markets where graduates of the program are replacing contract labor FTEs, they are experiencing more than $100,000 in savings over the two-year commitment period of the nurse.

CB: What are the plans for the program going forward? What does StaRN look like in five years?
TP: StaRN will continue to expand geographically for all of our current specialty areas including Med-Surg, Telemetry and Critical Care. We are also developing an ED specific program that will be available in early 2016. From there, we have had interest from clients in Operating Room, Mother/Baby and Behavioral Health. I would see us adding additional specialties to further enhance our unit-specific content and coverage.

CB: What advice do you have for other organizations looking to implement similar programs to strengthen their candidate pipeline?
TP: Focus on quality, and evaluate your content and delivery methodology. The newly licensed nurses have expectations of their training that are important to understand and meet. If you can’t design a program that satisfies all your constituencies, identify a partner that can help build a turnkey program with you.

CB: Anything else you’d like to share?
TP: We always talk about the Catch-22 of not being able to hire new graduates en masse because the hospitals can’t afford to train them.

The advantage of this type of training is that, although they don’t have on-the-floor nursing experience, they’re still going through clinical situations and simulations that mirror real life. That gets them some additional skill that they wouldn’t ordinarily have, even if they may be working in the unit for a year, because they don’t see those types of patients all of the time.

Do We Really Have a Skills Gap?

August 28th, 2015 Comments off
Why we really have a skills gap

Throughout the month of August, our resident talent advisors have been discussing issues around the biggest recruiting issues right now and getting you ready for CareerBuilder’s Empower 2015. Subscribe to Talent Advisor to stay on top of the latest blog posts and discussions, and find out more about Empower 2015 here.

I loved studying economics at college. It opened a door for me to a world I’d never once considered. Before, prices just existed, resources just happened — and how they came together was simply a beautiful consequence of this wonderful world that I was starting to explore. The introduction of the forces of supply and demand was like some Hogwartian magic.

The labour market is no different to any other type of market in that the powers of supply and demand exist. Unfortunately, our labour market is broken, and this is one of the biggest challenges that the field of human resources has to face over the next decade. Our obsession with looking inside and not out has meant that we’ve allowed the problem to become bigger than it needs to be.

The real “skills gap”

We talk about a “skills gap,” but that gap didn’t just suddenly happen. It is the product of our lack of care and attention, our inability to influence policy makers, and our disregard for our supply chain. Fingers point around, looking for someone to take the blame — when the reality is we should have been noticing this trend sometime back in the early ’90s.

Imagine two spinning plates. One is 10 times the size of the other, but the motor rotating them both is operating at the same speed. You’re standing on the edge of the larger plate and required to leap and land at a specific point on the smaller one. That’s our labour market, and that’s why we think we have a skills gap.

The larger wheel working in longer cycles is our education system. It’s pushing out resources based on extremely unresponsive policy making and a fixed idea of the end of the production line. The smaller wheel is our business needs, operating at increasingly faster speeds and with less predictable needs. Many of the skills we require today, we hadn’t even thought of five years ago.

And yet we expect the markets to predict that and deliver.

Stepping up to the (spinning) plate

Market economics predicts the pull of demand will inform supply, but the increasingly different speeds of the cycles makes this impossible. Supply will not re-correct, which means demand has to — and this is where our challenge lies.

The forces of the past will tell you there is a new war for talent and that you need to go into the trenches to defeat your competitors. I’m telling you that this is only solved by changing what you want and looking to build capability internally. The skills gap can only be solved by organisations recruiting differently and developing the skills we need ourselves. The ones that do will be able to innovate, create and grow, they’ll gain competitive advantage – through human resources.


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How Data Can Drive the Next Generation of Employment

August 14th, 2015 Comments off
how big data can transform education and empower employment

The great economic crisis of our day, a crisis of theory as well as practice, is a crisis of information.”
 –George Gilder, “Knowledge and Power”


Every year, millions of kids graduate high school and pursue college, or a job — or both. And that’s when the sinking feeling hits.

What career do I want? What education do I need? Will pursuing my dreams leave me with tons of debt? Will I get stuck in a job I hate just so I can keep the lights on?”

We’ve grown numb to the problem because it seems inevitable: Choosing the right career and education is flat-out overwhelming and that’s just the way it is. But does it have to be? Since when did this land of opportunity have to be a giant ocean that drowns us?

Houston, we have an information gap

Here’s the actual problem. There is a serious lack of actionable information to help students make career and education decisions. You can pick up your phone and Google just about anything (Should I carry an umbrella today? Where’s the best local sushi? How do I get downtown?), yet Americans still struggle to find reliable information to help them determine (1) the good careers that suit their interests and (2) the education that will help them get there.

Before fixing anything, let’s make an important distinction. Everyone has heard of the skills gap: Workers can’t find work, employers can’t find qualified employees, and the problem seems to begin even before college, as students leave high school without the right knowledge, ambitions, or expectations.

But this so-called skills gap, more often than not, is really an information gap. There are plenty of jobs and there’s plenty of talent; the trouble is connecting the two. All the noise kicked up by our sprawling economy (where some metropolitan areas are larger than entire nations, economically speaking) creates a deafening arena where tuning into the career path that’s calling one’s name can be maddening. Jobs! Schools! Degrees! So many options! High schoolers can’t sort, filter or work with this labor market data in any reasonable way.

Data isn’t the enemy

But data doesn’t have to be dumbfounding. It should actually be empowering. Using it is a matter of organization and application. In fact, thousands of businesses, higher education institutions, and public sector workforce and economic development professionals have used labor market data to make crucial decisions for talent strategies, program planning and economic growth. The solution lies in turning data into helpful information that students can easily find, comprehend, and use to make better decisions.

What if we could tell the 17-year-old senior that there are 20 local career opportunities that match her personality and would let her use her talents? What if we could show her the colleges and universities offering the education and training she needs to pursue her dream career? What if we could turn all this noise into meaningful information to help young people understand the opportunities that actually interest them — before they commit to college?

What would that do to the economy?

This is the solution we at CareerBuilder are working on in Find Your Calling — a new initiative that takes advantage of the huge amount of labor market data to change the way young people find the education they need to prosper in the careers they love.

Watch the video to see more about how Find Your Calling works.


Throughout the month of August, our resident talent advisors are discussing issues around the biggest recruiting issues right now and getting you ready for CareerBuilder’s Empower 2015. Subscribe to Talent Advisor to stay on top of the latest blog posts and discussions, and get your ticket to see Rob and other thought leaders speak about the future of employment at Empower 2015.


Sales Jobs Have Grown 12.7% in the Last 5 Years

January 19th, 2015 Comments off
CareerBuilder's Talent Factor

If you were to name an occupation that’s hot right now, you’d probably say something STEM-related (science, technology, engineering and math). Chances are, sales wouldn’t be the first, second or even third occupation that comes to mind. While it may not be a new field or have the allure that some of the more emerging fields do, the sales function is highly necessary to our economy’s stability and growth.

Consider these stats:
  • U.S. sales jobs have grown by 12.7 percent from 2009 to 2014.
  • Since the start of 2013, there have been roughly four average monthly hires in sales occupations for every unique job posting.
  • While some areas of sales have seen strong hiring (e.g., real estate), other areas of sales (e.g., wholesale and manufacturing) have seen job postings largely outnumber hires, showing a potential skills gap in these two occupations.
  • Certain sales workers can command high salaries, especially if they have specific technical knowledge. For instance, sales engineers have a median hourly wage of $45.53.



With an increased focus on the rise in STEM jobs and the skills gap tied to these roles, some may not realize that sales workers are also in high demand, and it’s not always easy to find qualified workers to fill these jobs, especially technical ones.

If you’re having trouble recruiting sales workers to fill specialty positions, consider looking for candidates with transferable skills and re-training them to match your needs.

For more information on the quiet but steady growth in sales employment, click here. to learn more about bridging the sales skills gap, click here.