ALBANY, N.Y. (NEWS10)— A new survey of area employers is giving us the latest outlook for the Capital Region job market. Alaant Workforce Solutions has released its spring hiring index and the data shows employees are coming back to the office.

Nearly half of employers, 47%, said they have returned to regular in-office schedules. Employers are hiring and 60% expect workforce growth to continue into 2021. But there is a significant challenge—four out of five employers say they can’t find qualified candidates.

“There is a significant skills gap and that’s everything from technology skills, to digital literacy skills, and a combination of soft skills. So employers have very particular job descriptions that they like to fill and Alaant, for many years, has been working with them to try to come up with creative alternatives that will allow them to dig into different candidate pools. Maybe, perhaps, encourage more training on the job, hiring more entry-level graduates, even high school, students in vocational programs. It is the number one thing that we continue to struggle with,” said Miriam Dushane, Managing Partner of Alaant Workforce Solutions.  

Dushane says if applicants meet 50% to 70% of the qualifications for a job, they should apply. Those hoping for a remote-only position, will find they’re getting harder to find. Only 36% of employers say they’re actively considering remote workers, down from 57% last fall.