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January 2017

Employers Are Experiencing the Worst Talent Shortage Since 2007

According to the most recent Talent Shortage Survey conducted by ManpowerGroup, employers today are facing the greatest hiring difficulties since 2007. About 46% of U.S. employers reported having a hard time filling jobs due to the lack of available talent, and a prior survey by Vistage revealed that 35% of CEOs view staffing as the most significant business issue they face.

The talent shortage appears to be an issue of quality rather than quantity. In other words, there are plenty of individuals available to take empty positions, but too few applicants with the right skills. In fact, starting in 2015, employers and HR recruiters around the U.S. have reported that there aren’t enough candidates equipped with the specific skills they need.

“Low unemployment paired with shorter skills cycles due to the speed of technological change means employers across the United States are struggling to fill positions,” said the senior vice president of Manpower North America, Kip Wright. “We see this particularly in industries like manufacturing, construction, transportation and education.”

In the ManpowerGroup survey, one in five employers reported that applicants simply don’t have the relevant experience required for the job and/or lack the technical skills.

Another survey, released by the Pew Research Center, revealed that the majority of workers in the U.S. expect continuous training to be essential to their career success. Consistent with this finding, the Manpower survey showed that on-the-job training has increased dramatically over the past 12 months.

“When the talent isn’t available, organizations need to turn to training and developing their own people,” said Wright.

HR experts encourage employers to re-envision the hiring and recruitment process. Given the gap in skill set between available positions and Americans looking for work, they suggest that company HR recruiters work with a consulting company for talent acquisition management services.

An experienced HR consulting firm will be able to identify untapped talent pools and make sure that qualified candidates are not eliminated just because they don’t match the specific criteria for the position. They will also be able to help employers come up with more effective hiring strategies for today’s job market.