Hiring: Narrowing U.S. Talent Gap Bucks Global Trend, Survey Finds

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By Jenny David

June 25—One in three U.S. employers is finding it hard to hire qualified employees in 2015, down from 40 percent in 2014, according to ManpowerGroup's 10th annual Talent Shortage Survey.

The improvement bucks the global trend, where the number of employers who reported a skill deficit gap continued to rise, from 36 percent in 2014 to 38 percent in 2015.

‘Talent Shortages . . . Are Not Going Away'

Among U.S. employers surveyed, 48 percent acknowledged that talent shortages have a medium to high impact on their businesses, giving the following as the principal business consequences of the gap in skills:

•  reduced competitiveness and productivity (reported by 41 percent of respondents),

•  increased employee turnover (32 percent),

•  higher compensation costs (32 percent) and

•  reduced employee engagement/morale (32 percent).

 

“Talent shortages are real and are not going away,” Kip Wright, senior vice president of Manpower North America, said in a May 18 statement. “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.”

When asked why they are struggling to fill certain jobs, employers cited a lack of applicants (33 percent) and of experience (19 percent) or technical competencies/hard skills (17 percent) among available candidates. Only 13 percent said insufficient salary was an obstacle to qualified hiring.

Hiring Easier in Europe

Globally, ManpowerGroup found that European countries typically have the least trouble finding capable staff. Only 10 to 18 percent of employers in Ireland, the U.K., Spain, the Netherlands and the Czech Republic reported hiring problems, while countries like Romania, Brazil, Hong Kong and Peru reported a skill deficit of 60-70 percent and Japan, placing last, an 83 percent gap.

Not unlike the U.S., skilled trade positions, followed by sales representatives, then engineers, technicians and drivers were the hardest jobs to fill globally, the survey found.

Employers outside the U.S. also reported considerably more difficulty recruiting drivers and production/machine operators in 2015 than in 2014. In the other direction, unmet demand for sales managers slipped out of the international top 10 in 2015.

To contact the reporter on this story: Jenny David in Jerusalem at correspondents@bna.com

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Rick Vollmar at rvollmar@bna.com

The full ManpowerGroup survey is available at http://www.manpowergroup.com/wps/wcm/connect/408f7067-ba9c-4c98-b0ec-dca74403a802/2015_Talent_Shortage_Survey-lo_res.pdf?MOD=AJPERES&ContentCache=NONE .