The Rising Demand for Qualified Personnel

There is an irony in the workplace: unemployment is growing but at the same time companies say they are finding it ever more difficult to find the right people for openings. This challenge faced by companies is a global issue, and appears to be particularly high in specialist jobs.

This is according to a recent report by the global employment agency, Manpower. The US-based firm with global presence interviewed 40,000 employers in 39 countries during the first quarter of this year for the study.

The report says that while two thirds of employers it had talked to said they did not have any trouble filling in positions, a third said they have, and this is a three-percent increase over last year.

And just how difficult it can be varies from country to country, with 80-percent of Japanese employers saying it is difficult finding the right person, followed by India where two thirds of the employers claimed the same.

In Canada, 29-percent of employers say they have difficulty finding the right people. On the other end of the spectrum, just four percent of Polish employers found it difficult to find the right people.

What is also noteworthy is that the two countries with the highest increase in employer difficulty in finding the correct employees come from the two different parts of the world – with the fast developing India topping with a rise from 16 percent in 2010 to 67 percent in 2011, while the US, the more mature economy going through a tough economic time, seeing it rising from 14-percent to 52 percent during the same period.

The Shortage of Technicians

Whether it is a fast-developing country or a mature economy, the sector that is the most challenging in terms of finding the appropriate employees is the same – technicians.

But there has been movement in this area: between 2008-2010, skilled trades workers topped the list, but this year this sector was pushed to the second place. Interestingly, the world is finding it difficult even to find labourers, who were the fifth most difficult sector, while secretaries, administrative assistants and other support staff were on the bottom of the top-ten list.

Few or No Applications

The reasons for the difficulty in finding the right people vary, with more than a quarter of the employers claiming the lack of experience to be the top reason. Interestingly, lack of sufficient applicants or no applicant at all comes a close second, cited by 24-percent of the employers.

Inadequate knowledge of the business or lack of adequate formal education is cited by 15-percent of the employers.

Obviously, the current status is a challenge not just to employers but also to countries as they compete in a globalized world.

No Initiative to Retain Staff

Yet, surprisingly, companies are not doing much to change the situation, either. Among the strategies undertaken by the companies to find best employees, training and development for existing staff is the mode employed by 21-ercent of the employers while 13-percent of them are resorting to going beyond the immediate region to hire staff.

Just eight percent of the employers are investing in developing strategies to retain staff in jobs where hiring is difficult.

And only six percent of the employers are talking to educational institutions to develop curriculum that will eventually help hire qualified personnel.

The full report can be found here.


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  1. The problem is that Canadian companies are stuffed with under-qualified employees getting their positions by networking. … and suddenly they realize that even a dozen people unable to solve a problem. After that the manager figure out that a new employee is needed with a bunch of skills. They write a job posting with so many skills that even Einstein would fail to have them:-) After that there are applicants who have the 60-70% of skills. The employer is surprising why the applicant have no all the skills which were posted in there job description. Anyway they organize an interview with a couple of applicant. The manager than realize that the applicant is more knowledgeable that himself of herself even if the applicant have no all the skill which were requested. But a smart employee is dangerous for his/her position so it’s more wise not to employ him/her. So the time is going and finally somebody offer his/her buddy to the manager as the best for the position. Everybody is happy. After a couple of month they realize that they are still unable to solve the original problem, so they have to employ somebody:-)

    And it’s happen time to time and nobody want a real change because thousands of people would loose his/her job and should do what he really knows. Why it could happen? Because there is no real competition in the economy. If you do not believe it, just see the ISP service prices and qualities in a big city in the US, UK or Australia. You will be surprised!

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