Project time tracking

Measures against skills shortage for companies! ✓

Find out which decisive measures really help to overcome the shortage of skilled labour. From effective project time recording to modernising the recruiting process - this is how you stay competitive.
Measures against skills shortage for companies! ✓

The shortage of skilled labour has become one of the biggest challenges for companies in Germany. In technology-intensive industries in particular, it is becoming increasingly difficult to find and retain qualified specialists. At the same time, modern working methods and project workflows require efficient time management. This is where software solutions for Project time tracking come into play. In the following article, we look at how these solutions can help companies to cope with the shortage of skilled workers.

Table of contents - What you can expect:

Consequences of the shortage of skilled labour
Measures against skills shortage
Overcoming the shortage of skilled labour with project time recording
Skilled labour strategy of the federal government

Causes & effects of the shortage of skilled workers in Germany

Perhaps you have already noticed it in your company: The shortage of skilled workers has become a serious hurdle for companies in Germany. If you are based in one of the technology-intensive industries, such as IT, engineering or healthcare, you know how difficult it is to find (and keep) qualified staff. Several factors contribute to these challenges:

Demographic change

Germans are getting older and older, but not enough young people are coming along. Of course, this is also reflected in the world of work. The boomer generation will soon be retiring, resulting in a shrinking labour pool. Fewer and fewer young people are available for the German labour market or they are going abroad. The perspective has also changed. Whereas older generations identified themselves and their success more strongly through their job, the current trend is increasingly focussing on leisure and flexibility - keyword: 4-day week. Younger people no longer see any advantage in going to work full-time. Why? Because work is no longer as important in their lives as it was for previous generations.

Technological progress

The rapid development of new technologies requires a highly qualified workforce with specific expertise. Nationwide, there is an increasing demand for skilled labour in areas such as artificial intelligence, big data, cybersecurity and digital transformation. The lack of qualified specialists in these areas can have a significant impact on the innovative strength and competitiveness of companies. True to the motto: If you don't move with the times, you have to move with the times. go.

Global competition

Companies in Germany face global competition for talented specialists. Everyone wants to attract the best in their field to their company. Attractive offers from companies in other countries and the opportunity to work internationally (so-called Workation), attract potential applicants. This increases the pressure on German companies to offer innovative incentives and attractive working conditions to attract and retain talented professionals in the long term.

Work-life balance: interest in less work

It is not only young people who are increasingly paying attention to a balanced Work-life balance. Many older people also want to retire earlier and are even prepared to accept lower salaries. Currently, one in five people are opting for early retirement, while younger people are looking for shorter working weeks. This leads to a gap in work that would have to be filled by other employees - but these are often not available.

Consequences: What are the effects of the skills shortage?

The shortage of skilled workers has serious consequences for the economy: "Companies are barely able to grow and value creation is slowed down by around 90 billion euros, or around 2.5 per cent of gross domestic product," says the deputy chairman of the DIHK Managing Director Achim Dercks. Small companies in particular are suffering as they have less budget to make their workplaces more attractive. Skilled workers benefit from rising wages, but not every company can increase salaries indefinitely. It is therefore urgently necessary for every company to develop a strategy to remain competitive, as even simple jobs are increasingly going unfilled.

Measures to combat skills shortages: What can you do in your company?

The shortage of skilled labour poses enormous challenges for companies and is slowing down the growth of many businesses. In particular smaller companies have difficulties holding their own on the labour market. Targeted measures are required to remain competitive and close the gaps in the workforce. Here you can find out which strategies you can implement in your company.

Use software for project time recording

Accurate project time recording is crucial to overcoming the shortage of skilled labour. It enables optimal utilisation of resources, increases productivity and creates transparency. Through accurate Recording of working hours companies can identify bottlenecks, optimise processes and ensure fair billing. The use of software solutions for project time recording such as ZEP offers decisive advantages over manual methods.

Modernise your recruiting

As Albert Einstein once said: "The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results." In a labour market, companies must actively compete for employees. This means rethinking the application process and making it leaner and more applicant-centred. Use modern communication channels and offer flexible options such as video calls to stand out from other employers and be attractive to potential employees.

Improve employee retention

In a tight labour market, it is crucial to keep skilled workers in the company, as every vacancy incurs high costs. Strong employee loyalty reduces the willingness to change jobs and increases motivation and productivity. Factors such as appreciative leadership, good opportunities to contribute, a positive working atmosphere and a good work-life balance play a key role here. Optimise these aspects to strengthen the loyalty of your employees and prevent the brain drain.

Promote talent

Talented people are not only outstanding specialists, but also potential managers. Many companies overlook the dormant potential of their employees and prefer to look for candidates externally when necessary. A strategic talent programme helps to identify and specifically promote internal talent in order to prepare them for new positions. The programme focuses on the skills required for the respective area of activity.

Digitise your company

Modern technologies can significantly reduce the need for skilled labour by Digitise processesautomate and streamline processes. One example from the consulting industry is the implementation of AI-supported analysis tools. These tools can analyse large amounts of data to identify patterns and trends that previously had to be processed manually by many specialists. By automating such analyses, companies can focus their experts on more demanding tasks and at the same time develop more efficient solutions for their customers.

Scrutinise business processes

In order to reduce staffing pressure in times of a shortage of skilled labour, companies should critically examine their business processes. One example from the IT sector is the automation of routine tasks through the use of robotic process automation (RPA). Instead of burdening employees with repetitive and time-consuming tasks, these can be automated using RPA tools. This leaves more time for strategic and value-adding activities, while increasing efficiency and optimising staffing requirements. Such customisations help companies to respond more flexibly to staff shortages and improve overall performance.

Skilled labour strategy of the federal government: these are the 5 fields of action

Demographic change, decarbonisation and digitalisation pose major challenges for our society and are leading to far-reaching changes in the world of work. Successfully shaping these transformation processes is crucial to securing the country's future innovative strength, competitiveness and prosperity.

The new Skilled labour strategy of the federal government was developed in 2023 in collaboration with employers, trade unions, federal states, municipal umbrella organisations and the Federal Employment Agency and focuses on ensuring a sufficient number of qualified specialists at all levels in order to actively tackle the upcoming changes.

1. contemporary training 🎓

Alongside academic education, vocational training is crucial for the next generation of skilled workers in Germany. Dual vocational training offers young people practical qualifications and career opportunities. Companies secure their future skilled workers through this needs-orientated training. The Federal Government and social partners are committed to modernising and increasing the attractiveness of training occupations, particularly in the context of the digital and ecological transformation and in healthcare and education occupations.

2. targeted further training 📕

In view of the rapid structural change and the need to secure future skilled labour, continuing vocational training plays a central role. Companies are primarily responsible for the continuing education of their employees, whereby small and medium-sized companies in particular are supported in expanding their continuing education programmes in line with demand. The Federal Government is promoting these measures as part of a national continuing education strategy to strengthen the culture of continuing education in Germany.

3. increase labour force participation 📈

Labour force participation in Germany has increased significantly over the last two decades, particularly among women, older people, people with a migration background and people with severe disabilities. Despite having one of the highest labour force participation rates for women in Europe, many women still work part-time, often due to family commitments. The Federal Government aims to further increase labour market participation and improve the compatibility of work and family life through targeted measures such as reforming the tax and transfer system and promoting full-time employment and more flexible working time models.

4. improvement in the quality of work 🪷

Ensuring a high quality of work as well as healthy and attractive working conditions is crucial to retaining skilled workers in the long term and promoting their performance. Companies and public administrations must fulfil their Duty of care as an employer and are therefore increasingly focussing on an employee-oriented work culture that also meets the requirements of a modern working environment.

5. modernise immigration & reduce emigration 👣

The German federal government is endeavouring to further develop immigration policy in order to promote the integration of skilled workers from the EU and third countries and reduce emigration. The aim is to create long-term prospects for immigrant skilled workers and their families in Germany through improved framework conditions, simplified recognition procedures and targeted support measures.


The shortage of skilled labour poses enormous challenges for companies in Germany, particularly in technology-intensive sectors such as IT, engineering and healthcare. Causes such as demographic change, rapid technological development and global competition for talent are exacerbating this problem.

Targeted measures such as precise project time recording, modernised recruiting, improved employee retention, talent development, digitalisation of processes and the review of business processes are crucial to successfully countering this bottleneck.

At the same time, the federal government's new skilled labour strategy focuses on modern training, targeted further training, increasing labour market participation, improving the quality of work and a modern immigration policy. Only through these integrated approaches can companies remain competitive and operate successfully in the long term.


How great is the shortage of skilled labour?

The shortage of skilled labour poses a considerable challenge for companies in Germany and impairs the competitiveness and growth of many industries. According to estimates, value creation is reduced by around 90 billion euros a year, which corresponds to around 2.5 per cent of gross domestic product.

Which areas are affected by the shortage of skilled labour?

Technology-intensive sectors such as IT, engineering, healthcare and professions that require highly qualified specialists as part of the digital transformation and technological progress are particularly affected. The lack of experts in areas such as artificial intelligence, big data and cybersecurity is having a significant impact on companies' innovative strength and performance.

Tanja Hartmann CEP

Tanja Hartmann

Content Marketing Manager at ZEP

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