Talent Shortages Reach Highest Levels in 16 Years 

The hiring outlook remains as strong as ever, but it is being tempered by vast talent shortages not seen in nearly a generation. That is leading to difficulty filling vacancies, according to the latest ManpowerGroup Employment Outlook Survey. John Gilmore of BarkerGilmore joins us to share his thoughts on current market conditions. Let’s take a closer look.

May 26, 2022 – Hiring optimism has returned to levels not seen since the start of the pandemic with employers in 36 of 40 countries reporting stronger hiring outlooks year-over-year according to the latest ManpowerGroup Employment Outlook Survey of more than 40,000 employers. Yet that optimism is being tempered by the highest levels of global talent shortages in 16 years with 75 percent of employers reporting difficulty filling vacancies, a six percent increase compared to this time last year. Employers report technology and data skills (29 percent), are the most difficult to find, followed by skilled workers in sales and marketing (22 percent), operations and logistics (21 percent).

“While it’s encouraging to see employers have the intention to hire workers, it’s been increasingly difficult for them to find the talent they need,” said Jonas Prising, chairman and CEO of ManpowerGroup. “On top of the skills gap challenge, employers are dealing with wage inflation and competition for workers, as many are switching industries altogether to better suit their lifestyle. On the ground, we continue to see talent shortages created by the pandemic, the Ukraine conflict starting to impact the supply chain, and greater uncertainty in the economic outlook.”

Asia-Pacific employers are reporting the most difficulty filling open roles, with the biggest impacts being felt in Taiwan (88 percent), Singapore (84 percent), China (83 percent), Hong Kong (83 percent), India (83 percent), and Australia (81 percent). In the U.S., employers report their most optimistic hiring intentions in more than 21 years, driven by IT, tech, telecoms, communications and media (+59 percent), banking, finance, insurance and real estate (+45 percent), and construction (+42 percent). Businesses in the Czech Republic (49 percent), Slovakia (56 percent), and Colombia (61 percent) are struggling the least to find skilled workers.

Global Hiring Plans by Region

The U.S. (+38 percent) and Canada (+43 percent) report strong hiring levels for the third quarter. Employers in Canada report an increase in outlook compared to last quarter (+ six percent), the U.S. also shows a slight increase for the second quarter (+ three percent). Hiring managers in both countries expect hiring to be significantly stronger compared to intentions year over year, +24 percent in Canada and +nine percent in the U.S. In the U.S., employers in IT, tech, telecoms, communications and media (+59 percent), and banking, finance, insurance and real estate (+45 percent) report the strongest outlooks while those in primary production (+26 percent) report the weakest.

Within Central and South America, all eight countries report a positive employment outlook for the third quarter. Hiring intentions improved in seven countries when compared to the second quarter, weakening in one and, when compared to this time last year, improved in all eight countries. Mexico (+59 percent) reports the strongest hiring intention, followed by Brazil (+54 percent) and Colombia (+43 percent). The weakest prospects in the region are reported in Argentina (+21 percent), Peru (+32 percent), and Guatemala (+39 percent).

Within EMEA, employers report positive hiring intentions in 22 out of 23 countries during the next three months. Hiring intentions improve in 21 countries when compared with the third quarter of last year and improve in 15 when compared to the second quarter. The strongest hiring intentions are in Ireland (+42 percent), South Africa (+38 percent), and Portugal (+37 percent), and the weakest in Greece (-one percent), Poland (11 percent), and both Romania and Slovakia (+12 percent). In five U.K. industry sectors, employers report an increase in hiring intentions, and similarly, in nine of France’s industry sectors, employers report an increase.

Within APAC, in comparison to the previous quarter, hiring plans strengthened in four countries, and weakened in three countries. Strongest outlooks are in India (+51 percent), Singapore (+40 percent), and Australia (+38 percent), and the most cautious plans are reported in Taiwan (+ three percent) and Japan (+ four percent). Hong Kong (+11 percent) reports increased hiring intentions, improving eight percent compared to the second quarter, and 10 percent on the previous year. China expects hiring intentions to decrease in eight industry sectors, with banking, finance, insurance and real estate (+ four percent) reporting the only increase.

Related: Unemployment Rate Holds Steady at 3.6 Percent

“As we emerge from the pandemic, this is our collective opportunity to act with urgency, to scale bold, disruptive ideas and collaborations across business, government and education,” said Mr. Prising. “And now is the time to reshape a better, brighter future for workers – one that is more skilled, more diverse, and more wellbeing-orientated than we could ever have imagined.”

Veteran Search Consultant Weighs In

John Gilmore is co-founder and managing partner of BarkerGilmore, which specializes in building corporate legal and compliance teams. With a network of advisors and recruiters spanning the U.S., BarkerGilmore consistently places talent at leading consumer, energy, financial, healthcare, industrial, and technology companies.

Mr. Gilmore has over 30 years of executive search experience. He has developed trusted relationships with general counsel and C-suite leaders across the country. With an institutional understanding of how in-house legal and compliance departments function most effectively, Mr. Gilmore has earned a reputation as one of the top executive search consultants for general counsel and chief compliance officer placements.

Mr. Gilmore recently sat down with Hunt Scanlon Media to discuss market conditions and what he sees as the second half of the year comes into view.

John Gilmore

John, how have the events of the past two years changed how you work with clients?

The biggest change is the acceptance of video meetings to pitch to clients. With the rare exception, we are able to meet with key stakeholders via video (CHRO, CFO, CEO, etc.) rather than traveling around the country. This has led to increased time management and ability to give us more bandwidth to manage a greater number of searches. Additionally, clients complete the search firm interview process quicker and get on with the search. As far as candidate interviews, first rounds of interviews happen via video to narrow down the slate and get to second and third rounds which tend to be in-person. This is a big cost and time savings for our clients.

What do you see for the economy looking ahead?

While the future is uncertain for the economy, the demand for general counsel has never been higher and companies cannot operate effectively without the position filled. Companies are working harder to address ESG and grow their businesses. The value of having a business-minded general counsel who impacts corporate strategy is immense. Also, with the demand for diversity so high, hiring a search firm dedicated to legal and compliance is the most sure way to get to the finish line with the ideal talent.

“While the future is uncertain for the economy, the demand for general counsel has never been higher and companies cannot operate effectively without the position filled.”

Are talent shortages here to stay?

While companies are doing an excellent job with succession planning, general counsel and chief compliance officers – who meet the long list of requirements established by the CEO and board to satisfy diversity objectives and have the emotional intelligence and leadership capabilities required to succeed – will always be in limited supply.

Discuss the supply and demand curve for general counsel and compliance officers. 

As noted above – there are more general counsel opportunities available than ever before, but the pool of candidates who meet all of those objectives I mentioned is small. CEOs are reluctant to deviate from a specification and do not hire just for diversity sake. Finalists must meet a very high bar. We are getting the job done and very pleased with the volume of business; however, we are working harder and smarter than ever before.

Related: BarkerGilmore Taps Chief Compliance Officer for Sinclair Broadcast Group

Contributed by Scott A. Scanlon, Editor-in-Chief; Dale M. Zupsansky, Managing Editor; and Stephen Sawicki, Managing Editor – Hunt Scanlon Media

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