Global Talent Shortages Expected to Continue Into 2016

August 17, 2015 – Thirty-two percent of U.S. employers report difficulties filling job vacancies due to talent shortages, according to  the new Talent Shortage Survey by ManpowerGroup. This marks an eight percent decline from 2014.

Globally, the percentage of employers experiencing difficulties continued to rise, increasing from 36 percent in 2014 to 38 percent in 2015. The survey polled 41,748 employers in 42 countries and territories. Among U.S. employers, 48 percent acknowledge that talent shortages have a medium to high impact on their business, but few are putting talent strategies in place to address the problem. One in five U.S. employers (a full 20 percent) report they are not pursuing strategies to overcome talent shortages, despite the negative impact on their business. This is up from 12 months ago when 13 percent of U.S. employers reported they were not pursuing strategies to overcome talent shortages.

“Talent shortages are real and are not going away,” said Kip Wright, senior vice president, Manpower North America. “Despite impacts to competitiveness and productivity, our research shows fewer employers are trying to solve the problem through better talent strategies. As the struggle to find the right talent continues, and candidates with in-demand skills get the upper hand, employers will be under pressure to position themselves as ‘talent destinations’ to attract the best workers that will drive their business forward.”

For the sixth consecutive year, skilled trade vacancies are the hardest to fill positions in the U.S., and for the fourth consecutive year, skilled trade roles are the hardest to fill globally. Also on the list of hardest to fill jobs in the U.S. are those in a variety of sectors, including education, healthcare, and financial services.

Forty-three percent of U.S. employers say talent shortages are having a negative impact on their ability to meet client needs. Consequences include: reduced competitiveness and productivity (41 percent), increased employee turnover (32 percent), higher compensation costs (32 percent) and reduced employee engagement/morale (32 percent).

When asked why they are struggling to fill certain jobs, employers cite a lack of applicants (33 percent), lack of experience (19 percent), and lack of technical competencies or hard skills (17 percent). Technical competencies employers seek include industry-specific professional qualifications (seven percent) and trade certifications (seven percent). Hiring managers report the most severe talent shortage is in Japan (83 percent). Around two in three employers report difficulty filling jobs in both Peru (68 percent) and Hong Kong (65 percent), while talent shortages are an issue for 61 percent of employers in both Brazil and Romania.

Across all 42 countries and territories as a whole, employers reported that skilled trades vacancies are the hardest to fill, as was the case in each of the previous three years. However, the second hardest job to fill has changed from 2014, with sales representative roles rising up the list from fourth, meaning that the engineer category slips from second to third and the technician category from third to fourth this year.

“Executive recruiters are reporting record performance numbers to us for the first half of the year,” said Scott A. Scanlon, founding chairman and CEO of Greenwich-based Hunt Scanlon Media. “American companies, in particular, are feeling more financially secure and they are therefore setting up a competitive hiring environment that has created heady times for recruiters.” Hunt Scanlon expects to see continued strength in mid- to senior- level hiring rates heading well into 2016.

Contributed by Dale M. Zupsansky, Managing Editor, Hunt Scanlon Media

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