HR Strategy

Most C-suite & HR leaders believe the skills gap hurts their businesses

HR leaders expect increased competition to recruit and retain employees with hard-to-find skills.
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Jay-Z may have 99 problems, but so does HR, and according to a new report, many center around a single theme: skills.

Whether in relation to a skills shortage, upskilling, reskilling, or skills-based hiring, skills was a recurring theme in Randstad’s 2024 Talent Trends report.

The report surveyed 1,076 C-suite and human capital leaders across 21 global markets and found that 72% believe the skills gap will cause business problems this year, up 8% from 2023. Furthermore, talent leaders expect increased competition for hard-to-find skills (34%) and scarcity of specialty skills (32%) to be among their top challenges this year. These issues aren’t new, thanks to the growing demand for technology skills across sectors, the Financial Times reported last year.

Additionally, 80% of companies are shifting to a skills-based hiring model, and plan to place more emphasis on skill development in the coming year. For many employers, that’s meant removing traditional success markers, like years of experience or degree requirements, from their hiring process.

Some respondents (30%) also said they’re relying on AI to help identify employees’ skill sets. HR leaders may need to focus more on talent intelligence moving forward, relying on AI to help identify skills or create career paths for employees, which could help employee satisfaction, according to the report.

Francesca Campalani, global head of experience and innovation at Randstad, recommends that organizations deploy a learning and development strategy to set themselves up for success. “Use talent intelligence to understand the skills your organization needs today and will need in the future to prioritize skilling resources that will be key to successful transformation,” Campalani said.

Finally, almost one-half (48%) of respondents plan to improve or expand their DE&I initiatives over the coming year, with 37% crediting skills-based hiring as a top DE&I practices. “The skills-based approach values individual strengths and potential, which leads to a more diverse workforce,” the report asserts.

Looks like the skills headache won’t be going anywhere.

Quick-to-read HR news & insights

From recruiting and retention to company culture and the latest in HR tech, HR Brew delivers up-to-date industry news and tips to help HR pros stay nimble in today’s fast-changing business environment.