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ManpowerGroup: global talent shortages deepen

The highest proportion of global employers since before the recession cannot find the talent they need — 38% of 41,700 hiring managers in 42 countries and territories — and more than one in five employers are still not pursuing any strategy to overcome talent shortages, despite the negative impact on their business. 

"There is a bifurcation of the workforce, between those who have the skills employers need, and those who have not.  Talent shortages are a real problem hurting organizations' competitiveness from the data we've gathered and the structural changes we can see coming in the labor markets, we know the problem is only going to get worse," said Jonas Prising, ManpowerGroup CEO. "Talent is the strategic differentiator and action is needed now, so CEOs can ensure their company's talent strategy strengthens and delivers the business strategy."

Employers in Japan continue to report the greatest difficulty filling vacancies (83%), while those in Peru (68%), Hong Kong 65%), Brazil (61%) and Romania (61%) also experience high levels of talent shortages. Greek employers (59%) also report a significant uptick despite the nation's ongoing economic challenges.

More than half of global employers (54%) say talent shortages are having a serious negative impact on their ability to meet client needs. Consequences include reduced competitiveness / productivity (42%), increased employee turnover (30%) and low employee engagement / morale (26%). When asked why they are struggling to fill certain jobs, employers cite a lack of available applicants, a lack of technical skills, a lack of experience and a lack of employability or "soft" skills.   

Skilled trades positions are the jobs employers globally have the greatest difficulty filling for the fourth consecutive year, topping the list in 27 countries and territories. The second most difficult-to-fill job is sales representatives, moving up the rankings from fourth place in 2014. Driver vacancies are becoming more difficult to fill, with the category moving up the rankings from 10th in 2014 to fifth position this year.

Global Hardest Jobs to Fill in 2015

Global Hardest Jobs to Fill in 2014          

1.   Skilled Trades 

1.   Skilled Trades

2.   Sales Representatives 

2.   Engineers

3.  Engineers 

3.   Technicians

4.   Technicians 

4.   Sales Representatives

5.   Drivers 

5.   Accounting & Finance Staff

6.   Management / Executives 

6.   Management / Executive

7.  Accounting & Finance Staff 

7.   Sales Managers

8.   Office Support Staff 

8.   IT Staff

9.   IT Staff 

9.   Office Support Staff

10. Production / Machine Operators 

10. Drivers

The most-widely adopted strategies to address talent shortages are people-based practices such as providing additional training and development to staff — 39% of employers who are proactively tackling the problem are using this approach. More than one in five (22%) is exploring new talent sources. Of those implementing alternative work models (18%), the largest proportion are increasing their focus on their talent pipeline, such as identifying high-potential employees and building a succession management approach.

For more details on the talent shortages around the world, including an interactive data explorer tool, an infographic and thought leadership blogs, visit ManpowerGroup's new Talent Shortage microsite.

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