Skills Shortage in the U.S. Keeps Widening

Patrick Barnard
Group Managing Editor, TMCnet

Skills Shortage in the U.S. Keeps Widening

I’m hearing, with increasing frequency, that there is a serious “skills shortage” in the U.S. labor pool -- especially when it comes to people who possess good IT skills combined with other skill sets.

Depending on what sources you refer to, one gets the idea that company IT departments in the U.S. are too slimmed down -- and furthermore that there’s not enough “real talent” to go around.

Thus companies are increasingly turning to managed services (including software solutions delivered via the Software-as-a-Service model) and support automation systems to handle some (or most) of their IT needs. In other words, they’re farming out more of their IT needs to third parties for lack of being able to find, attract and retain decent in-house talent.

This “skills shortage” is also why recruiting has become so tough in the call center industry: You need people who not only possess good interaction skills, or “people skills,” but who are also relatively tech savvy. Further call center managers have to hope they can find these “multi-skilled” people in the lower strata of the salary scale.

The really interesting thing here, though, is how the definition of what we consider to be “qualified people” has changed. Today, people not only need to possess traditional skills (in the case of call center, basic customer service skills), they also need decent IT skills in order to be viable in today’s labor pool.

This fascinating topic is explored in detail in a recent report from Gartner. To learn more about the report, check out Susan Campbell’s article on TMCnet.

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