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The Facts about the Shortage of Skilled Workers

Nov 29, 2019 1:53:48 PM

This term causes stomach pains for recruiters: the shortage of skilled workers. It is becoming more and more difficult to attract and successfully recruit suitable employees. But what exactly is this all about? What are the reasons and what are the effects? In this article, we show you all the relevant facts about the shortage of skilled workers and provide you with solutions.

Shortage of Skilled Workers, Facts

All Facts about the Shortage of Skilled Workers

The shortage of skilled workers has been on everyone's lips for some time and will continue to be one of the greatest challenges of our time. Companies and their recruiters are confronted with this frightening concept and experience on a daily basis that it is becoming more and more difficult to recruit suitable specialists for their company. The first step in the right direction is to deal with the facts. We have summarized these for you in the following - and of course we will also provide you with solutions.


The Reasons

There are multiple reasons for the shortage of skilled workers and the current situation on the employment market. These are the most influential triggers:

  • One of the main reasons is the demographic change. While many workers (baby boomers) are retiring, few new workers are joining the workforce due to low birth rates. For example, the working population will fall by 3.9 million by 2030 and by 10.2 million by 2060.
  • Moreover, the labour market has changed. While the unemployment rate was around 11.2% in 2005, it is now 3.1% in Germany. As a result, most candidates are currently in permanent employment, are not actively looking for a job and do not actively apply to companies. This is also reflected in practical experience: a study showed that 29% of companies cannot fill a position because there is a shortage of applicants.
  • Another role is played by digitalization, which is changing the world of work. On the one hand, various new skills and qualifications are required. For example, a study shows that 27% of employers are unable to fill a position because applicants lack the necessary skills (hard and soft skills). 20% feel that applicants lack the necessary experience to fill a vacancy. On the other hand, many jobs are being replaced by digital solutions.


The Impact of the Shortage of Skilled Workers

What are the effects of the shortage of skilled workers and which sectors and areas are most affected? Here are the facts:

  • You have probably already felt the effects of the shortage of skilled workers - and you are not alone. A study showed that around 92% of the companies interviewed were affected by the shortage of skilled workers. A total of 42% of the respondents considered the topic to be urgent or existential.
  • The losses in Germany's economic performance are estimated at around 30 billion euros due to the shortage of skilled workers (and the resulting vacancies).
  • Among other things, small and medium-sized enterprises are severely affected. Four out of five medium-sized companies describe it as difficult to very difficult to find suitable employees. Among these, the number of small and medium-sized enterprises facing major problems has increased from 16% (2015) to 27% (2018) in a short period of time. In total, the loss of turnover in medium-sized companies amounts to 53.4 billion euros.
  • According to a study, the areas and sectors most severely affected are IT, production occupations, consulting & sales, engineers, health & care as well as metal and electrical engineering. The search for employees in the IT sector stands out clearly. A total of 29% of the companies surveyed are looking for new employees in this area.


Current measures for the shortage of skilled workers

One thing is quite clear: the shortage of skilled workers has spared only a few companies. The affected companies deal with this problem in very different ways:

According to a study, 54% of companies have increased the number of employees for recruiting in the last 3 years. Another survey shows that employers are expanding their development and training opportunities (54%), adapting their requirements (36%), offering additional benefits (33%), recruiting outside regular pools (33%) or trying out other work models (30%).

Shockingly, only every third company that does not see itself affected by the shortage of skilled workers is engaged in strategic personnel planning and is thus arming itself for the future. However, even those companies that are affected do not make an effort to do so: only one in two companies in this sector is engaged in strategic personnel planning.


The Solution

There are numerous ways of counteracting the shortage of skilled workers. In general, new ways and measures need to be found to deal with the situation. We would like to give you these three basic building blocks along the way:

  • Rethinking. Do not see the shortage of skilled workers as such, but rather as a competition for skilled workers. Yes, there are fewer skilled workers - but there are! And you want to recruit them successfully in the competition. So ask yourself: Who is your target group? How do you reach them and how do you convince them? What are your competitors? Why should a candidate want to work for your company?
  • Recruiting Marketing. The days of "Post & Pray" (i.e. placing job advertisements online and waiting for applications) are over. It's time for new methods - Recruiting Marketing! This opens up many possibilities: From actively approaching candidates (sourcing) to building relationships with candidates (talent pool) as well as analytically evaluating the methods used, there are numerous methods to keep up with the competition for suitable employees.
  • Support. When implementing your measures, it makes sense to take a suitable software as your assistance. For example, you don't have to torment your database to analyze your data (and successes): A software can do this for you and show you, for example, which channels work particularly well for job advertisements. There are numerous other functions that a software can provide today: From applicant management to sourcing and talent pooling, there are many ways in which you can benefit.


Regardless of whether you have already taken measures, are about to implement them or are planning them. Our software supports you in recruiting marketing with all relevant functions. We would be happy to show you how this can look in practice. Request a free demo now!

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