Manpower Inc. on May 20 released the results of its fifth annual Talent Shortage Survey, revealing that talent is elusive - it's everywhere yet nowhere, as talent shortages persist in many countries and industry sectors. Thirty-one percent of employers worldwide report having difficulty filling key positions within their organization - a rise of 1 percentage point from 2009, amidst a perpetual global pool of available workers.

The top hardest to fill jobs are Skilled Trades, Sales Representatives, Technicians and Engineers according to the survey of more than 35,000 employers across 36 countries. These are the same top jobs that employers have reported struggling to fill for the past four years, demonstrating that there is an ongoing global mismatch in these key areas.

"As the global economy slowly recovers, employers will remain focused on maintaining financial flexibility and doing more with less," said Jeffrey A. Joerres, Manpower Inc. chairman and CEO. "Applying the same mindset to their workforce, employers have gotten more specific about the combination of skill sets that they are looking for, not only seeking technical capabilities in a job match, but holding out for the person that possesses the additional qualities above and beyond that will help drive their organization forward. This conundrum is upsetting to the ubiquitous job seeker, who will need to take more responsibility for his/her skills development in order to find ways to remain relevant to the market."

Jobs most in demand in 2010           Jobs most in demand in 2009
  1.   Skilled Trades                   1.   Skilled Trades
  2.   Sales Representatives            2.   Sales Representatives
  3.   Technicians                      3.   Technicians
  4.   Engineers                        4.   Engineers
  5.   Accounting & Finance Staff       5.   Management/Executives
  6.   Production Operators             6.   Accounting & Finance Staff
  7.   Administrative Assistants / PAs  7.   Laborers
  8.   Management/Executives            8.   Production Operators
  9.   Drivers                          9.   Administrative Assistants / PAs
  10.  Laborers                         10.  Drivers

Manpower's Fresh Perspectives paper, "Teachable Fit: A New Approach for Easing the Talent Mismatch", also released May 20, details how employers should broaden their search for suitable talent by considering industry migrants, location migrants, role changers and workforce entrants. Companies must identify those workers who are best positioned -- thanks to their skills and their personalities -- to benefit from training and development in order to successfully tap into these talent pools and fill gaps in their capabilities.

"Employers, need to recalibrate their mindsets to consider candidates who may not have all the specific skills a job requires and identify people that are teachable," added Joerres. "Candidates may not present the perfect fit right now, but they may possess the flexibility, intellectual curiosity and personality to be able to fill the gaps in their capabilities."

Globally, Employers having the most difficulty finding the right people to fill jobs are those in Japan (76%), Brazil (64%), Argentina (53%), Singapore (53%), Poland (51%), Australia (45%), Hong Kong (44%), Mexico (43%), Peru (42%), Taiwan (41%), China (40%) and Panama (38%). Compared to 2009, employers are reporting that talent shortages are considerably less pervasive in Romania (down 26 percentage points), Taiwan (down 21 percentage points) and South Africa (down 19 percentage points).

Americas
In the Americas, the survey shows that 34 percent of the region's employers are having difficulty filling positions due to the lack of suitable talent available in their markets. This is a decrease of two percentage points when compared to the 2009 survey and is three percentage points greater than the global average.

Vacancies for technicians are the most difficult to fill in the Americas for the third year in succession. Employers are identifying secretaries, PAs and administrative assistants as the second most difficult, followed by laborers and sales representatives in third and forth positions. Employers in Brazil (64%) and Argentina (53%) are having the most difficulty finding staff, while those in the United States (14%) and Canada (21%) are having the least difficulty.

Asia Pacific
Talent shortages in Asia Pacific are ten percent higher than the global average, with 41 percent of the region's employers indicating they are having difficulty filling positions due to the lack of suitable talent in their markets. This is a nine percentage point increase when compared to the 2009 survey.

Employers having the most difficulty finding the right talent to fill jobs are those in Japan (a huge 76%), Singapore, (53%), Australia (45%) and Hong Kong (44%). The talent shortage appears to be least problematic in India (16%).

There remains a clear talent shortage of skilled sales representatives in Asia Pacific, as this job remains the most difficult to fill for the fifth year in succession.

Europe, Middle East and Africa (EMEA)
Across the 18 countries surveyed in EMEA, 23 percent of the region's employers report having difficulty filling positions due to the lack of suitable talent available in their markets. This is a two percentage point decline when compared to the 2009 survey and is eight percentage points lower than the global average.

Those having the most difficulty finding the right talent to fill jobs are in Poland (51%), Romania (36%), Austria and Switzerland (both 35%). The talent shortage appears to be least problematic in Ireland (4%), the United Kingdom (9%) and Norway (11%).

EMEA employers named skilled trades as the most difficult position to fill for the fourth year in succession, followed by sales representatives, and technicians in third place.

The complete results of Manpower's annual global talent shortage survey and Fresh Perspectives Paper "Teachable Fit: A New Approach for Easing the Talent Mismatch" can be downloaded at www.manpower.com/ResearchCenter.