Jhe global talent shortage caused by the pandemic is currently at its highest level in 16 years and shows no signs of rapidly abating. Changing demographics, rising early retirements and falling birth rates mean it’s harder than ever to find the right person for the job. Nearly 75% of employers struggle to fill vacancies, but some areas have a small edge over others. A recent Manpower survey looked at the state of the labor market and what lies ahead.
Speaking to 40,000 employers worldwide, Manpower found that in the United States, tech-skilled jobs have the most difficulty attracting talent. Some 31% of companies with openings in this space are struggling to fill positions. We could be around the corner, though. Employers are reporting their most optimistic hiring intentions in more than 21 years, according to Manpower. And some areas are more optimistic than others.
The Manpower survey identified five areas that were most in demand globally:
- IT and data
- Sales and Marketing
- Operations and logistics
- Manufacture and production
- Customer relationship and front office
In the United States, tech skills are what employers are looking for, with 31% of employers reporting difficulty filling these positions. Large companies (with 250 or more employees) reported the strongest hiring intentions.
The hardest jobs to fill are those that typically lack the high salaries associated with tech jobs: education, healthcare, social work, government, information technology, telecommunications, communications and media, banking, finance, insurance, and real estate.
“While it’s encouraging to see that employers are intent on hiring workers, it’s increasingly difficult for them to find the talent they need,” said Jonas Prising, president and CEO of ManpowerGroup. “In addition to the skills gap challenge, employers face wage inflation and competition for workers as many change industries altogether to better suit their lifestyles.”
Beyond the technology skills almost always in demand, employers are also looking for a range of soft skills among workers. Among employers, 28% say they struggle to find candidates who demonstrate responsibility and self-discipline, qualities that are increasingly important as remote working becomes the norm for many companies.
The main soft skills requested by Manpower are:
- Reliability and self-discipline
- Resilience and adaptability
- Reasoning and problem solving
- Creativity and originality
- Critical thinking and analysis.
As the global workforce begins to recover from the pandemic, it is doing so in uncharted territory. Demand for skills is at record highs, but the market recovery varies widely across countries, amplifying supply chain and health issues.
There is, however, good news for companies looking to fill vacancies. Among the 40 countries studied by Manpower. 28 say they have improved their hiring prospects over the past quarter. Year over year, employment prospects have improved in 36 of these markets. The survey predicts a 33% improvement in global net employment in the third quarter.
However, not all regions of the world are the same. The best job prospects, he said, were in Mexico, Brazil and India. Greece, Taiwan and Japan were the weakest.
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