The 2014 Employer Needs Survey, published in August by North Carolina Department of Commerce found that almost 45 percent of North Carolina employers hiring for at least one position in the past year had trouble finding good candidates. The top reasons were applicants’ lack of adequate work experience, education credentials and technical skills.
The survey included nearly 800 public and private sector employers and revealed the following highlights:
- “Almost 40 percent of employers with hiring difficulties had ‘absolutely critical’ vacancies.”
- “Nearly half [of employers] use workforce development/education systems to help meet their employment/training needs.”
- A wide range of industries and occupations experienced difficulties with recruitment.
So how are employers responding to these issues? Their common solutions were increased recruiting efforts, overtime for existing workers, hiring less qualified applicants and using temporary labor outsourcing. However, the most common way employers addressed the need for skilled workers were in-house/on the job training. Also, “nearly 44 percent of all employers and 54 percent of manufacturers used some combination of educational institutions (universities and community colleges) and the workforce development system to meet their skill needs.”
Despite issues with hiring, Forbes and CNBC rank North Carolina as one of the best states for business. Also, according to one factsheet published by Thrive, North Carolina’s Economic Development Partnership, educated workforce and high worker productivity is among the top factors that contribute to North Carolina’s business ranking. Same is not true for South Carolina as their labor supply earns them spot 23 according to the Forbes’ listing of best states for business and careers.
This disparity between North Carolina’s employers and its workforce may offer unique opportunities for HR recruitment and training professionals. Limestone students pursuing bachelors in human resource management can take HR 311 Staffing and Labor Relations — a course designed to teach practical skills when it comes to recruiting, assessment of candidates and staffing evaluation.