Finding Hidden Talent
Employers worldwide are facing the most acute talent shortage since 2006, according to the latest ManpowerGroup Talent Shortage Survey. Of the nearly 40,000 employers surveyed, 45 percent are struggling to fill roles. Skilled trade workers, sales representatives, and engineers are the most difficult to find.
Employers in Japan (89 percent), Romania (81 percent), and Taiwan (78 percent) report the most difficulty filling positions as populations age, skills needs shift, and organizations struggle to find the right blend of technical skills and personal strengths.
In today’s Skills Revolution, where new skills emerge as fast as others become obsolete, 27 percent of employers say applicants lack either hard or soft skills. Employers place greater importance on transferable soft skills as roles adapt; more than half say communication skills—written and verbal—are their most valued soft skills, followed by collaboration and problem solving.
ManpowerGroup asked employers across 43 countries and territories how much difficulty they are having filling roles, which skills they are struggling to find, and what they are doing to solve talent shortages. Here’s a summary of results:
APAC. The Asia Pacific region is suffering the most from talent shortages, with five of the top 10 worst affected markets in the survey: Japan, Taiwan, Hong Kong, Singapore, and India. In Japan, the number of employers reporting difficulty continues to grow. At 89 percent, it’s currently the highest reported globally.
Americas: Argentina is suffering from the most severe talent shortage in the region at 52 percent. In Brazil, 34 percent of employers report difficulty. Mexico faces the biggest increase in hiring difficulty, jumping from 40 percent to 50 percent since 2016.
The number of U.S. employers experiencing talent shortages has grown from 32 percent in 2015 to 46 percent in 2018—just above the global average.
EMEA: Ireland (18 percent), the UK (19 percent), and the Netherlands (24 percent) are experiencing the least difficulty filling jobs. The worst affected markets in Europe are Romania at 81 percent, up 9 percentage points, and Bulgaria, up 6 percentage points since 2016.
The 4 B’s of Finding Talent
ManpowerGroup calls on companies to embrace these new solutions to the growing talent problem:
Build. Invest in learning and development to grow the talent pipeline and upskill the existing and potential workforce.
Buy. In a tight labor market, go to the external market to find the best talent that cannot be built in-house in the time required to fill immediate openings.
Borrow. Cultivate communities of talent inside and outside the organization, including part-time, freelance, contract, and temporary workers to complement the existing workforce.
Bridge. Help people move on and move up to new roles inside or outside the organization.