Nearly four out of 10 employers currently have open positions that they can't find qualified candidates to fill. And it's taking a toll on businesses as well as their employees, a new survey shows. Employers with job vacancies report a loss in revenue and a lowered quality of work due to current employees being overworked.

With unfilled positions often translating into longer hours for existing staff, a third of employers said job vacancies cause lower morale and 17 percent pointed to higher turnover within their organizations, according to a survey of 1,648 U.S. hiring managers and HR professionals and 2,036 job- seekers sponsored by CareerBuilder, an online career site.

One-third of employersreported a lower quality of work and 23 percent reported a loss of revenue as a result of this talent crunch.

[Significant Skills Gap Revealed Between U.S. Jobs and Workers]

To secure talent for hard-to-fill positions, half of employers of all sizes are planning to hire and train workers who don't have experience in their particular industry or field. Thirty-one percent are planning to cross-train current employees while 19 percent are targeting talent from competitors.  Nearly two-thirds are willing to stretch incentives, such as offering flexible hours (25 percent), higher salary (22 percent) and remote work options (15 percent).

Forty-one percent of companies reported they currently have programs in place to help alleviate the skills gap, including on-the-job training, mentoring, sending employees back to school and other efforts. 

For employers who are looking to retrain workers for their organizations, they're likely to find willing participants.  Most U.S. job-seekers — 77 percent — said they would be willing to take a job in a different field than the one in which they currently work.  More than half (54 percent) would be open to relocating to a new city or state. 

"If we want to see more positive movement in the U.S. market, we have to do a better job of realigning the skills of our labor force with positions that are in high demand," said Matt Ferguson, CEO of CareerBuilder.  "Prolonged vacancies can result in lower quality work, lower sales and morale, and can cause a delay in creating other related positions within the organization.  Fortunately, we see more companies taking matters into their own hands and putting programs in place to retrain and transition workers into their industries and fields."

Reach BusinessNewsDaily senior writer Ned Smith at nsmith@techmedianetwork.com. Follow him on Twitter @nedbsmith.We're also on Facebook & Google+.

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