STEM job opportunities often vacant for extended periods of time

One of the biggest misconceptions about the current job market is that there aren't enough opportunities for skilled workers. The real question is this: Where are all the employees with requisite talents in science, technology, engineering and math, better known as STEM fields? As the economy recovers from the Great Recession, there is an increasing number of positions that need to be filled. At the same time, there's renewed interest in bringing advanced manufacturing back to the U.S., which is putting greater pressure on business owners to find the most talented individuals to fill a variety of roles.

The waiting game
However, new data from the Brookings Institute suggests many employers continue to struggle when searching for new workers. One of the key findings of a recent study is the fact that it takes companies more time to find the ideal worker for STEM-related positions. These vacancies are characterized by needing a post-graduate or professional degree that has given the applicant relevant research experience or hands-on training. These roles are posted in job forums and opportunities sites for an average of 50 days, while roles unrelated to STEM are taken down within 33 days on average. More specifically, it took between two and four months for businesses to locate a suitable employee for 255 positions out of a total of 500 that place a premium on computer skills.

Where should tech companies look?
Geography can play a significant role in either easing or exacerbating the skills gap. In places like Silicon Valley and other tech hubs, there will obviously be a greater number of applicants with relevant skills, but other locations suffer a deficit in talent. John Sumser, principal analyst at California-based HRx Analysts said as much on HR Executive Online, explaining that schools, such as the University of California at Berkeley, Stanford and others, see a large number of students matriculate with an expressed interest in exploring the STEM fields. However, if a business wishes to set up operations in another location, such as Wyoming, it's likely going to need more time and effort in seeking out qualified job seekers.

Meanwhile, Mike Panigel, senior vice president and chief human resource officer for Siemens Corporate Human Resources in the U.S. and Americas, told HREOnline that the company continues to face challenges in sourcing talent. There are more than 3,000 open positions at Siemens' locations in the U.S. that will go unfilled with the current applicants.

As a result, many STEM-based companies seek out the services of engineering recruiters to help them find the most fitting employees for the business's specific needs.