Skills Shortage Could Mean Opportunity for Small Businesses

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Despite persistently high unemployment, there’s a shortage of skills for some critical positions, and that could mean opportunity for a small business that has the ability to train and mentor employees.

Some 41% of employers have trouble filling jobs, according to a ManPower group survey, which called the current hiring environment the toughest in five years. Lack of skills or experience seems to be the biggest reason for the problem.

Not surprisingly, 37% of those surveyed have boosted training programs as a result of the skills shortage, and 18% have hired based on aptitude when skills were lacking.

The message for small businesses is clear: Unless you want to pay more for highly sought-after skills, you might want to consider starting your own training and mentoring program.

If someone has the aptitude, say a promising young man or woman just out of college, and you have the ability to train and mentor them, you might just be able to get a great employee for less than the market rate. The benefits could be many: more money to your bottom line, a greater network of contacts, and you might even get some satisfaction from launching or rejuvenating someone’s career.

Adapted from Companies Fail to Address Employee Skills Gap at Baseline Magazine.