If a recent research study by ManpowerGroup is anything to go by, talent shortages worldwide are currently at their highest level since 2007, primarily due to the demand in the IT sector. 40% of the employers world-over currently feel a challenge in finding skilled candidates to fill positions.
What is the study?
The 11th-annual Talent Shortage Survey by ManpowerGroup, surveyed 42,300 employers across 43 countries and discovered that difficulty in recruiting employees with IT skills has risen sharply in the last year.
What were the results?
- Talent shortage has been highest since 2007 levels, and globally 40% employers say they are facing difficulty filling open positions. The number was highest for Japan at 86%, whereas it was the lowest for China at 10%. In India, 48% of the respondents reported difficulty in filling position.
- Developers, programmers, database administrators and IT leaders and managers are being scouted in a feverish pursuit all over the world, as the IT sector jumped from ninth place (last year) to second (this year) in the ‘most difficult to fill’ positions list.
- The Top 5 positions, globally, that are ‘most difficult to fill’: Skilled Traders, IT Personnel, Sales Representatives, Engineers, Technicians, in that order.
- The following were the most popular reasons as to why the positions were hard to fill: Lack of available applicants/no applicants (24%), Lack of hard skills/technical competencies (19%), Lack of experience (19%), Looking for more pay than is offered (14%), Lack of soft skills/workplace competencies (11%).
- As a result, a lot of employers (over 50%) were performing internal training, to train and develop existing employees to fill open positions. This figure stood at 20% last year.
- Other solutions deployed by employers are: recruiting outside the talent pool (36%), exploring alternative sourcing strategies (28%), providing additional benefits and perks to recruits (27%), and paying a higher salary package to candidates (26%).
- Presently, 6 of the 9 largest global economies are facing a talent shortage. USA has witnessed the sharpest rise in hiring difficulty, with 32% in 2015 to 45% in 2016.
What do the results show?
The survey shows that IT sector is facing an increasing crunch of skilled and experienced workers, and as a result, several organisations are beginning to train employees internally. This trend is likely to get a boost in the future, as Chris Layden, Managing Director of Experis, ManpowerGroup’s professional resourcing and project-based solutions brand says, “Our survey reflects a changing landscape, in terms of demand employers are seeing and the concentration we're putting on the IT profession in general...When you look at the post-recession period of the last seven years, it's not a surprise—as revenues and profits declined, training budgets took a hit... (Now) employers are [training] because they need to. They are starting to see the faster path to up-skilling is driving it internally." However, it is important that organisations that realise and act on this today will be able to have an edge over the competition and be able to successfully deal with the present and future shortages of talent.
Recruiters are increasingly feeling the heat, and finding it hard to fill positions. World-wide, this difficulty level has touched highs of the last decade, and with several disruptions and trends presently only beginning to manifest themselves, it doesn’t seem like things are about to get easy anytime soon. Add to that the slow revival of the world economy, and effects of global events like Brexit or the US Elections on the job market, and one can assume that the picture won’t be easy anytime soon.
Employers need to be crafty to fill their talent shortages, and explore otherwise challenging or cost-intensive options. These include, but are not limited to, training in-house, offering higher salary or perks, or develop alternate strategies to recruit. The understanding that the very basic nature of recruitment is undergoing a change needs to seep in quickly, because today top talent analyses and reviews organisations as well. Thus, attracting candidates by effectively communication culture, expectations, and profiles, might tilt the scales. The global job market is gloomy, and employers and recruiters will find it progressively difficult to fill positions, if they continue to rely only on traditional methods.