Why businesses should tackle the American skills gap

It may be time for businesses to loosen up their hiring expectations, so they can close the skills gap.

It may be time for businesses to loosen up their hiring expectations, so they can close the skills gap.

As business owners wait for the first, 2014 job report from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, companies are trying to answer their biggest concern: how do we close the skills gap?

Last year, the economy showed many signs of growth, including one of the lowest unemployment rates the United States has seen since the last recession, but many experts believe the 6.7 percent figure doesn't explain the entire story.

Many recruiters who are looking to increase their payroll in 2014 are unable to find the "right" fit for the company, leaving one-third of Americans out of work for at least six months, Inc. Magazine reported.

"My HR and recruiting teams are working diligently to attract candidates with the right blend of leadership, cultural fit, and technical knowledge," Inc. contributor Tony DiBenedetto wrote. "For every potential good fit they find, there are several more applicants who are employable but lack the specific skill sets."

DiBenedetto added that this problem goes beyond the technology sector, and that businesses of all sizes notice the applicant pool within the HR software fails to find the "best" candidates. He proposes implementing a collaborative training and recruiting program among local colleges, government and organizations, but this effort may not be feasible in every state.

Similarly, we have talked about these problems before. Human resources departments are looking too closely into education and professional histories, which can ultimately contribute to the country's unemployment rate. Instead, businesses can identify job seekers with the most potential with their HR software solutions and implement a training procedure that works best for your staff.