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Skills Gap 2014: The High Cost of Unfilled Positions

A new study looks at the financial impact of the skills gap.

What is the skills gap really costing employers? According to a new survey from CareerBuilder, employers estimate that, on average, they lose more than $14,000 for every job that stays vacant for three months or longer, and 1 in 6 companies say they lose $25,000 or more.

This is the first post in a multi-part series on The Hiring Site focused on the effects of the skills gap and what you can do to help bridge the divide. To see the entire study, view additional resources or download our comprehensive report, The Shocking Truth About the Skills Gap, visit

The survey of 1,025 employers, 1,524 job seekers and 205 academics nationwide looked at how the skills gap is affecting the U.S. labor market. Highlights from the study are below.

  • 60 percent of employers are concerned about the costs associated with delays in filling open positions.
  • 1 in 4 employers have experienced losses in revenue as a result of not being able to fill open positions.
  • Lower morale due to employees shouldering heavier workloads is among the biggest consequences of having unfilled positions. Unfinished work, delays in deliver times and declines in customer service were also high on the list.
  • Computer and mathematical occupations, followed closely by architecture and engineering occupations, are among the most difficult positions to fill.
  • When asked what is driving the skills gap, employers identified gaps in education (the educated labor supply in the U.S. is not keeping up with demand); gaps in expectations around wages (employers can’t or aren’t willing to pay market value); job requirements that are above entry requirements (roles are more complex); and new or shifting technologies that make it difficult for educational institutions to keep up.

Stepping Up: Companies Commit to Close the Skills Gap Themselves

In effort to combat these effects, many employers are taking matters into their own hands to bridge the skills gap. CareerBuilder is working with more than 50 companies to support their efforts, including the following:

  • Randstad – In addition to their Inspiring Experts campaign – which aims to motivate, inform and educate future generations of workers to make career decisions that drive employment in high-demand industries such as STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) – Randstad also coaches university students on choosing career paths, the skills needed and building effective resumes.
  • Bosch In addition to setting up The Bosch Community Fund, supports a variety of STEM and environmental education initiatives in the U.S., Bosch also partners with FIRST Robotics and A World in Motion (AWIM) programs, which aim to motivate students to pursue engineering, robotics and other technical careers.
  • MasTec, Inc. – Recognizing the unique skill sets and leadership potential U.S. service members possess, MasTec Advanced Technologies and MasTec Network Solutions offer best-in-class, in-house telecommunications skills training, along with extensive advancement and leadership opportunities for veterans through their Warriors for Wireless program.
  • CiscoCisco’s Learning@Cisco program is removing barriers to education by creating new business models, new platforms and accelerating talent development to ensure the right expertise, in the right place at the right time to. Meanwhile, Cisco Networking Academy helps hundreds of thousands of people each year gain the skills necessary to build, design and maintain computer networks.

Learn more about how companies are working to close the skills gap in the video below:

See full survey results and learn more about the financial impact of the skills gap at

Mary Lorenz

About Mary Lorenz

Mary is a copywriter for CareerBuilder, specializing in B2B marketing and corporate recruiting best practices and social media. In addition to creating copy for corporate advertising and marketing campaigns, she researches and writes about employee attraction, engagement and retention. Whenever possible, she makes references to pop culture. Sometimes, those references are even relevant. A New Orleans native, Mary now lives in Chicago, right down the street from the best sushi place in the city. It's awesome.


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