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HR group calls for ‘national conversation’ with employers on skills gap

September 17, 2018

The Society for Human Resource Management, the US association for HR professionals with 285,000 members, called for all employers to join a national conversation about closing the skills gap.

“The economy is hot, unemployment is low, and the skills gap is wide,” said SHRM President and CEO Johnny Taylor, Jr.

"We have an aging demographic,” said Kevin Walling, chief human resource officer of The Hershey Co. “We have a skill shortage that is not in tune with the current needs of a digital industry. Without taking proactive action in how we’re developing the next generation of the workforce, we will be at risk.”

Research from SHRM indicates that eight out of 10 HR professional report that high-demand and soft skills are in short supply. The health and social assistance and manufacturing industries report the highest levels of recruiting difficulty; for instance, 46% of respondents indicated that the most difficult-to-recruit-for positions are in the high-skilled medical job categories.

SHRM research has also found smaller organizations — those with one to 99 employees — reported having the most difficulty in filling full-time manager and skilled trade positions.

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