Wake County Economic Development, the City of Raleigh, and Capital Area Workforce Development Board recently partnered to survey 15 counties surrounding the Triangle to identify areas of growth and skills needs in our region. This survey was conducted by one of our partners, RTI International, and its distribution and efforts were supported by close to 50 local organizations.
On February 13, the results of this survey on Triangle hiring trends were shared along with solutions that currently exist, challenges that need to be met, and opportunities that exist to create stronger partnerships in the area.
Overview of Triangle Hiring:
- Continued Business Growth: 73% of companies surveyed expect to grow within the next three years. Industries that were most likely to grow in this region include construction and skilled trades, life sciences, and IT, software, and analytics. Many of the companies that expect to grow are small businesses with fewer than 100 employees, but expected growth was maintained across company sizes. Business growth is not limited to lower level positions; companies are looking to add supervisors, managers, and other skilled positions to their business.
- Quality of Talent: Across the region, businesses rate the talent in our region as above average – 3.14 out of 5 stars. Businesses in STEM tend to rank talent as a 3.4 or higher, demonstrating a higher satisfaction than other industries in the talent they have. Businesses in the hospitality or construction industries demonstrated a lower satisfaction rating regarding their talent pool.
- Education Requirements: Close to half of all businesses reported wanting talent that had a college degree. Other industries, like manufacturing and construction, emphasized a greater importance in having professional certifications or an apprenticeship instead of a four-year degree.
- Tools and Resources for Sourcing Talent: The number one resource for most businesses in locating talent is networking and internal referrals. While networking and referrals remain a strong tool for businesses to hire employees, it is not as effective for businesses who place a high emphasis on the importance of diversity in their employees, as internal employees tend to refer friends or connections who are like themselves regarding age, gender, race, and personal interests.
- Valued Soft Skills: The top three valued soft skills that businesses reported as lacking in their talent pool include taking initiative, critical thinking, and self-discipline.
- Hiring Challenges: Major hiring challenges in our region include 1) a rapidly growing industry need that is outpacing the supply of talent in that field, 2) an interest gap in manufacturing or skilled labor, where there are fewer people interested in entering that field, 3) employers seeking skills that the talent pool simply does not possess, 4) businesses want educators to make their courses relevant, but educators do not always have the necessary industry skills to do so effectively, and 5) the talent pool for mid-tier positions have a lack of professional experience for the roles that need to be filled.
- Apprenticeships/Internships: Businesses regularly express the importance of their talent pool having experience in an apprenticeship or internship, however, most businesses do not plan to or do not currently have an apprenticeship or internship program in place.
Triangle hiring continues to grow and there is a high demand for qualified talent. The Triangle is a great place for career growth and there are ample opportunities for job seekers to find new roles, and according to this report, is also a great region to obtain talent, specifically in STEM fields.
Nevertheless, businesses need to begin to take ownership of providing training and resources to their prospective and current employees, both while they are employed and through partnering with schools and colleges in the area. Providing opportunities for apprenticeships, internships, or contract roles will give workers a chance to develop the soft and technical skills so coveted by local businesses.
At Greene Resources, we are always looking for new ways to connect job seekers with employers to create purposeful, impactful, and long-term careers. If you’re looking for creative solutions to your hiring challenges, we would love to discuss them with you to see how we can help your business, and our region, grow and thrive.