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The Struggle to Find the Right Employees

The Struggle to Find the Right Employees


Almost half of employers report recruitment challenges.

According to a new survey, about 46 percent of U.S. employers are having trouble finding workers.

It’s a big jump from last year, when 32 percent of respondents reported problems.

Globally, about 40 percent of companies are struggling to fill open positions, up 2 percent from 2015. The U.S. situation could be worse: About 86 percent of Japanese employers and 73 percent of Taiwanese companies are dealing with recruitment woes.

It’s the most challenging time to hire employees since before the Great Recession, reported the ManpowerGroup, which released the Talent Shortage Survey.

To help meet their personnel needs, many more companies are training existing staff to move into new roles. In 2015, about 12 percent of companies emphasized training and talent development. This year, about 48 percent do.

“The best organizations know this, which is why we’ve seen a marked rise in the number of businesses focusing on training and development to fill talent gaps,” said Jonas Prising, the chairman and CEO of the ManpowerGroup.

“We expect to see this number grow. That’s why we support companies and individuals to nurture learnability—the desire and ability to learn new skills to be employable for the long term.”

The Toughest Jobs to Fill

The ManpowerGroup contacted more than 42,000 employers in multiple countries for the Talent Shortage Survey.

Skilled trades—jobs such as carpenters, masons, plumbers and electricians—were the toughest U.S. jobs to fill, for the seventh year in a row. The rest of the top 10 included …

  1. Drivers
  2. Sales representatives
  3. Teachers
  4. Restaurant and hotel staff
  5. Accounting and finance staff
  6. Nurses
  7. Laborers
  8. Engineers
  9. Technicians

Why are these jobs so hard to fill? The top reason given by U.S. respondents was a lack of applicants (23 percent), followed by a lack of experience (18 percent), a lack of skills (16 percent) and candidates wanting to be paid more than what was offered (16 percent).

How Employers Are Facing the Problem

“Low unemployment paired with shorter skills cycles due to the speed of technological change means employers across the United States are struggling to fill positions. We see this particularly in industries like manufacturing, construction, transportation and education,” said Kip Wright, senior vice president of Manpower North America. “When the talent isn’t available, organizations need to turn to training and developing their own people—and in many cases this means first identifying the skills that will be required in increasingly digital industries, like manufacturing.”

What about the companies that don’t have time or money for training?

About 36 percent of respondents said they’re expanding their talent search beyond the traditional pool of employees. Others are trying alternative sourcing strategies (28 percent), offering extra benefits and perks (27 percent) and boosting pay (26 percent).

About one in five surveyed companies said they’re turning to outsourcing.

James Hart

Written by

James Hart is a freelance writer based in Kansas City.

Categories: HR


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