America’s skilled labor shortage has been making headlines, but how bad is it? In June of this year, the Bureau of Labor Statistics reported almost 1 million job openings in both the construction and manufacturing industries, out of a total of 8.5 million openings across the economy. In this week’s Self-Made Is A Myth podcast feature, guest Geoff Dodge at Geoff Dodge Racing discussed his company’s biggest challenges in the next 3-5 years. His biggest concern is America’s current skilled labor shortage and how to navigate it. You can listen to the entire podcast in the video provided, but in today’s blog, I want to break down the current skilled labor shortage and explain how navigate this challenge!

America’s skilled labor shortage has been making headlines, but how bad is it? In June of this year, the Bureau of Labor Statistics reported almost 1 million job openings in both the construction and manufacturing industries, out of a total of 8.5 million openings across the economy. The need for skilled labor is stronger than ever and businesses are scrambling to fill positions. Businesses that can’t fill those positions will fare worse over the coming years than those that can. But, how can businesses fill these vital roles when it seems like no one is available with the right set of skills?

 

Generational Shifts in the Workforce: Exploring the Skilled Labor Shortage

This shortage can seem especially pressing when we look at the comparative job choices between the retiring workforce,Baby Boomers (59–77), and Gen X (43 –58), versus the upcoming Millennials(27–42) and Gen Z (11-26). According to the NationalAssociation of Home Builders, Baby Booms and Gen X make up almost 44% of the entire construction industry. Consequentially, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics,48% of the manufacturing industry is comprised of those between the ages of 45-65plus.

 

The retiring generations are skilled labor-oriented, while younger ones are digitally focused and interested more in retail or hospitality. According tothe Officeof National Statistics, those aged 16-24 make up 10% of the current workforce but account for close to half of some hospitality roles. Forinstance, 50% are waitresses, 48% are bar staff, and another 48% are coffeeshop workers. Likewise, 1.1 million people account for individuals in retail,and those aged between 16 to 24 account for 1 in every 8 people working inretail, or 13%.

 

InsightGlobal discusses how Millennials were the first generation to be known as“digital natives,” and rightfully so as they make up 40% of the total workforce, largely as IT workers and innovators. The shift in the desired jobs between generations is evident and unfortunately, skilled laborers are on their way out causing the current skilled labor shortage we see today.

 

How To Address The Current Skilled Labor Shortage

What I’ve found over my years of business coaching however is that it’s a lot less about what you know on paper, and rather about who you know. Existing connections can help you to find some of the best employees, even if their resume may not otherwise say as much. It takes a degree of trust to allow employees to take the skills that they already know, and apply them in new and inventive ways to the benefit of your business.

 

Many hiring managers make the grave mistake of prioritizing a potential employee’s skills on paper, versus their cultural fit within the organization. The reality of it is that almost any skill can be taught through mentorship and experience. Culture cannot. An employee who is already working with you, or is connected with someone else who is, already likely has the temperament and discipline that you’re looking for. They have a strong connection already with you and your business. UMassGlobal suggests that 30% of job seekers leave within the first 90 days of starting and external hires are more likely to be laid off or fired within the first two years. The stats speak for themselves, it is financially and more efficient to hire internally.

 

The skilled labor shortage statistics speak for themselves.You are unlikely to fill the gaps in your operation through traditional hiring practices. There simply aren’t enough people with the “on paper” skillsets to fill existing holes in the American workforce. It’s going to take an active choice to do something different to bring about success.

 

Are you ready to take the necessary steps to improve your business’s success during these challenging times?

 We can help you to identify the networks and connections that you already possess to fill the positions that you need. If you’re serious about gr owing andexpanding your business through skilled labor, we can share how we will help you do it in a free consultation.

 

Click here to Book your FREE consultation today and let’s get the right people on your team!