As economic activity continues to pick up, the need for "soft skills" is becoming increasingly important for the US workforce.
With each industry comes a certain set of skills that workers must learn in order to become competent members of their company. Whether it's a trade such as welding or the knowledge of a certain software, these competencies are essential to business operations. However, a recent report indicates that these are not necessarily the most important skills for a productive workforce.
A new report from Adecco USA indicates that on the whole, 44 percent of respondents said that soft skills, like communication and collaboration, were the most in demand and difficult to find.
"It's interesting to see how the definition of the skills gap has evolved from being so heavily focused on technical and computer skills to 'soft' skills related to communication and creativity," said the Senior Vice President at Adecco Staffing US, Janette Marx.
The report indicates that the manufacturing industry suffers the most from the skills gap with 30 percent of respondents indicating this to be the case. These findings come as activity in the field has hit its highest levels in the last 2 1/2 years, according to an industry report from the Institute for Supply Management dating back to April of 2011.
Because some of the available workforce lack these skills for employment, many companies have turned to manufacturing staffing to fill their labor needs instead of taking on full-time hires who are not prepared.
While 89 percent of companies believe that in-house training programs could help address these issues, 42 percent believe that the greatest barrier to doing so is the cost of development.
One way to ensure that employees have the right skills is through the use of performance-based labor solutions. These alternatives to temporary staffing provide on-site training from the solution provider, thereby allowing companies to receive trained workers without having to implement such a program.