This Week's Herman Trend Alert

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  The Herman Trend Alert

May 25, 2011

Global Talent Shortages Intensify

In spite of persistently high unemployment levels, employers around the world are having increasing difficulty recruiting the people they need. Just last week, ManpowerGroup released the results of its sixth-annual Talent Shortage Survey.

The survey included almost 40,000 employers across 39 countries and territories. Globally, 34 percent of employers say they are having difficulty filling positions. The three most challenging occupations are Technicians, Sales Representatives, and Skilled Trades. The reasons most often cited are lack of experience, lack of available applicants and lack of technical skills. In the US, there is the added reason that candidates looking for more pay than is offered.

Employers are having the most difficulty finding the right people to fill jobs in Japan (80 percent), India (67 percent), and Brazil (57 percent). In the US, 52 percent of employers are experiencing difficulty filling mission-critical positions within their organizations.

In India, the percentage of employers indicating difficulty filling positions jumped a whopping 51 percentage points; the second most significant increase was a 38 percent increase in the US.

A frightening 57 percent of employers report the talent shortage has an impact on key stakeholders”. Moreover, about three-quarters of employers globally cite a lack of experience, skills, or knowledge as the primary reason for their difficulty recruiting. However, only one in five employers is concentrating on training and development to fill the gap.

A mere 6 percent of employers is working more closely with educational institutions to create curriculums that close knowledge gaps. This small percentage represents a major missed opportunity for employers, especially now when many colleges and universities are seeking this partnership.

Jonas Prising, ManpowerGroup’s president of the Americas said it best: “It is imperative that these stakeholders work together to address the supply-and-demand imbalance in the labor market in a systematic, agile, and sustainable way.

We are already seeing a renewed focus on employee engagement and retention. Another development: more employers will broaden their people searches to include talented people in other locales, both domestic and foreign. Finally, we will see more employers augmenting their training departments in their tardy attempts to respond to these shortages. Better late than never.


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