How to Avoid Skills Gaps in 3.9% Unemployment

skills gaps low unemployment

Do you hear that sound? It's the sound of unemployment dropping to 3.9%.

It's a level not seen since the year 2000. And it's putting employers in the hot seat.

It doesn't have to be bad news. True, the drop signals a talent (and more pointedly a skills) shortage. But for those willing to get creative, it's also an opportunity.

The Formula for Filling Skills Gaps

The simple fact is employers have skills gaps, and employees want skills. Bring those two elements together and you've got a formula for making everybody happy. But you have to do it in a calculated way. It's not enough to merely hand employees tuition assistance. Without guidance, your education program isn't going to deliver on its value.

They key is to identify the skills you need and give employees the incentive (by way of a clear job) to shoot for. In other words, you remedy your skills gap by better connecting employees with education that directly supports your organization's growth.

Creating the Right Pathways

We call these plans Education Pathways and they're helping organizations identify distinct groups of employees, and guide them toward learning that addresses specific needs identified in the organization. The end result is employees who progress toward their chosen career objectives, and organizations that fill skills gaps more quickly and generate better business outcomes. The extra added bonus is the loyalty generated by helping people build careers. In the current talent market, that's no small thing.

Everybody needs new capabilities to compete. Your employees see development as essential to their careers.

Plan it right, and you can address three birds - skills gaps, engagement, and employee retention - with one tuition program.

Written by: Alan Robins

January 15, 2020

About the Author

Alan Robins at Bright Horizons

As Director of Product Marketing, Alan drives original research and thought leadership for Bright Horizons education benefits programs, drawing on his extensive experience helping companies optimize education programs to support their Talent and HR objectives. Prior to Bright Horizons, Alan was at Gartner, a global leader in providing advisory services to technology and business executives, where he led new product teams in Europe and the US.