CXO

How HR managers are handling the talent shortage problem

As the talent gap widens, new data from Upwork reveals that HR managers are filling the gap with more flexible employees and retraining current employees.

A Tuesday report issued by freelancing website Upwork revealed the challenges HR managers face in a changing workplace. As talent becomes harder to find and the amount of open positions grows, HR managers are evolving their work strategies—utilizing flexible talent and investing in re-skilling initiatives, according to the report.

Within the past year, three times as many HR managers reported that hiring had gotten harder than those who reported it becoming easier. Many of those credited this to a widening skills gap, and 62% cited that this was a key reason for embracing a "flexible workforce."

The report also touched on the growing number of available positions. According to the report, 96% of those surveyed last year had open positions, and 66% plan to continue to increase their headcount in 2018. These numbers are expected to increase an average of 19%.

SEE: IT Hiring Kit: Programmer (Tech Pro Research)

The study revealed that the type of skills required are becoming more and more specialized, and many HR managers surveyed believe that this is rapidly changing the future of work. Some 78% are reported to agree that skills will continue to become more specialized. The report showed that 61% of those surveyed predict that the majority of jobs done today won't exist within the next 10 years.

With these changes, 69% of HR managers surveyed said that their companies will need to invest time into "re-skilling" their workers to prepare for the ever-changing work environment.

Some 91% of those surveyed reported that they'd begun adopting more agile talent strategies. HR managers noted that they are utilizing more flexible talent such as freelancers, temps, and agency workers. The amount of those who are using flexible talent is up 71% from last year. Respondents also estimated that nearly three times as much work will be done by flexible talent in the next 10 years. Additionally, 72% believe that dynamic and agile team strategies will become the norm. As noted above, it is worth mentioning that Upwork is a platform for freelance work.

The survey found that freelancers will be utilized more because they are "often equipped with specific skill sets team require." Some 59% of HR managers said they utilized freelance workers last year. Of these, 57% expected to utilize more freelance workers within the next 10 years.

The technology industry is notorious for its recent uptick in open positions, and the difficulty associated with hiring professionals in that industry. HR managers in tech might consider re-skilling efforts and freelance workers as a means to alleviate some of the pressure at their organization.

The big takeaways for tech leaders:
  • Upwork reports that HR managers can close the talent gap by hiring freelance workers with a broad set of skills.
  • Upwork's study noted that many HR managers are looking to re-skilling to address the new specialized skills needed for many jobs.

Also see

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Image: iStockphoto/AndreyPopov

About Laurel Deppen

Laurel Deppen is the 2018 summer Editorial Intern for TechRepublic. She is a student at Western Kentucky University.

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