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NAIFA Members Serve Main Street

Skills Gap Plays Key Role in Hiring Difficulties

Nearly half of financial- services companies are struggling to fill certain positions, but the reasons behind their recruiting challenges are nuanced, according to a new survey by MoneyJobs.com, CareerBuilder’s job site for finance and accounting professionals.

Forty-seven percent of financial-services firms have open positions for which they can’t find qualified candidates, the survey notes, and 49 percent cite a skills deficit as a reason for vacancies.

But among those concerned about a skills gap, several causes are seen as driving factors, including:

  • Gaps in expectations around wages: 37 percent
  • Job requirements that are above entry-level: 33 percent
  • Job requirements that are too specific: 32 percent
  • New and shifting technologies: 30 percent
  • Education gaps in particular areas: 29 percent

“Talent mismatches in finance and accounting are common and always changing. A potential solution is to target high-potential job seekers who may not meet the full experience requirements and bring them up to speed through training and development programs,” says Kevin Knapp, chief financial officer at CareerBuilder. “Compensation is a part of the equation, as well. The more in-demand a skill-set becomes, the more difficult it becomes for employers to attract talent at below-market rates. It is essential recruiters have access to supply and demand and compensation data for their region to ensure their strategies match current market realities.”

Boosting compensation is often the simplest way to enhance a pool of skilled candidates, according to the survey. Currently, only 19 percent of financial-services employers think their organizations offer “extremely or very” competitive pay. Forty-two percent said they would consider increasing compensation for tough-to-fill roles, and a third (32 percent) said they would not. Twenty-six percent said they’ve already increased compensation. Additionally, 38 percent feel they can pay employees less due to the high unemployment rate--a view that could actually deter truly in-demand workers from accepting roles.

The nationwide survey was conducted by Harris Poll on behalf of MoneyJobs between October 17, 2013, and November 6, 2013, among 190 hiring and human resources managers in the financial-services industry.


By Ayo Mseka




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