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ManpowerGroup Reveals Real Extent Of The Talent Gap

ManpowerGroup Reveals Real Extent Of The Talent Gap

Perennial Global Talent Shortage Negatively Impacts Companies’ Performance: ManpowerGroup Annual Talent Shortage Survey Finds More Employers Globally Cannot Fill Key Jobs than Since Start of the Recession

ManpowerGroup Recommends Solutions as More than One in Five Companies Still Not Addressing Issue

ManpowerGroup the world leader in innovative workforce solutions, revealed today that the global talent shortage is intensifying, negatively impacting companies’ performance. Thirty five percent of employers of nearly 40,000 surveyed globally report difficulties in finding staff with the right skills – the highest shortage since the start of the recession.  Of those, over half (54 percent) of employers believe this will have a high or medium impact on their ability to meet client needs. This is an increase from 42 percent in 2012.

“Our survey reveals a collective awakening of employers to the impact of talent shortages to their business,” said Jeffrey A. Joerres, ManpowerGroup Chairman and CEO. “Globally employers are reporting the highest talent shortages in five years, and our results show that although many companies recognize the impact these shortages will have on their clients and bottom line, more than one in five are struggling to address the issue. The good news is solutions do exist, and HR leaders have the power and expertise to reshape their company’s future. Those who act now to put in place new strategies to attract and retain talent will be those who successfully navigate this uncertain environment.”

The research reveals that talent shortage is endemic across the world – but most acute in Japan (85 percent of employers), Brazil (68 percent) India (61 percent), Turkey (58 percent) and Hong Kong (58 percent). Employers in Ireland (three percent), Spain (three percent), South Africa (six percent), and the Netherlands and Czech Republic (nine percent) are the least likely to face shortages.

The research shows that globally the roles most difficult to fill are Skilled Trades Workers, Engineers and Sales Representatives – unchanged from last year.  Employers are reporting that Accounting and Finance and Management/Executive positions are also increasingly hard to fill.

Despite acknowledging the impact talent shortages have on their business, a significant 22 percent of employers are not changing course to identify new ways to address these shortages. ManpowerGroup today also launched a new insight paper, The Great Talent Shortage Awakening: Actions to Take for a Sustainable Workforce, which examines several strategies HR leaders can pursue to fuel their organization’s competitiveness for years to come. These include identifying and attracting untapped talent, creating a culture of talent development, implementing a Teachable Fit framework to “manufacture” talent aligned with business needs, and improving collaboration with education institutions to ensure graduates are work ready.

Hardest Jobs to Fill

The hardest jobs to fill globally are Skilled Trades Workers, Engineers and Sales Representatives. Skilled Trades and Engineers continue to top the list globally due to demand outstripping supply. Meanwhile, Sales Representatives’ continued presence in the top 10 is a result of companies continuing to seek out experienced sales people who can help drive revenue growth.


Jobs most in demand in 2013

Jobs most in demand in 2012

1. Skilled Trades Workers

1. Skilled Trades Workers

2. Engineers

2. Engineers

3. Sales Representatives

3. Sales Representatives

4. Technicians

4. Technicians

5. Accounting & Finance Staff

5. IT Staff

6. Management/Executives

6. Accounting & Finance Staff

7. IT Staff

7. Drivers

8. Drivers

8. Management/Executives

9. Secretaries, PAs, Administrative Assistants & Office Support Staff

10. Laborers

9. Laborers

10. Secretaries, PAs, Administrative       Assistants & Office Support Staff


In the Americas 39 percent of employers report hiring challenges, with one in three employers in the US, Mexico and Costa Rica struggling to fill vacancies in Brazil, that increases to a staggering 68 percent.

“Finding the right talent to meet business needs remains a critical challenge to employers in the Americas those businesses which indicate talent shortages as having a significant impact on their abilities to serve stakeholders have grown significantly from 41 percent in 2012 to 52 percent in 2013,” said Jonas Prising, ManpowerGroup President. “Employers in the region are awakening to the impact of shortages, but many are struggling to take action. The region has some of the youngest populations globally. Utilizing technology to connect with young people, and building talent acquisition strategies based around where young people are today, will hand organizations a competitive advantage.”

Technicians are the role employers struggle most to fill – a position these roles have held every year since 2008 with the exception of 2012 when Engineers topped the poll. Technicians top the list of most hard to fill roles in six of the 10 countries surveyed in this region.

Asia Pacific

For the first time in the series of eight annual Talent Shortage Surveys, more than half (51 percent) of Asia Pacific employers report difficulties filling vacancies.

“Since our annual Talent Shortage Survey began, the results have reflected the evolution of the region’s talent requirements,” said Darryl Green, ManpowerGroup President. “As economies become more sophisticated and local businesses grow, business leaders are looking to develop their future leaders with Management/Executives moving up from seventh to fourth in the list of the region’s most hard to fill vacancies. To alleviate this challenge employers must act now to develop the local talent that will lead their business, for example through ensuring they develop the right cultural profile for their organization to attract talented individuals that are aligned to the company’s values.”

Employers having the most difficulty finding the right talent to fill jobs are those in Japan (85 percent), India (61 percent) and Hong Kong (57 percent). The talent shortage is least problematic in China (35 percent).


Continued economic uncertainty in Europe has led to fewer employers in the region reporting talent shortages than their counterparts in Asia and the Americas. Despite continued high unemployment in much of the region, more than one in four European employers (26 percent) struggle to fill jobs due to talent shortages, with Skilled Trades the most difficult position to fill for the eighth year in succession.

“The fact that employers in Europe still report talent shortages when youth unemployment remains one of Europe’s biggest challenges is a call to action for businesses, education and governments to collaborate to solve this mismatch,” added Prising. “Companies and education providers must collaborate effectively on post-crisis curricula, targeted skill development and skills matching.” 

European employers are increasingly worried that the shortage of talent will impact their ability to meet the needs of their clients: 29 percent say there will be no impact - down from 39 percent in 2012.


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