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Talent shortages highest in a decade

By March 3, 2020June 2nd, 2020No Comments

Talent shortages in the U.S. have more than tripled in a decade with 69% of employers struggling to fill positions up from just 14% in 2010, according to a ManpowerGroup survey. When employers cannot find the talent they need, they need to act differently and consider what workers want, concludes the workforce solutions company.

“As U.S. employers face the highest skills shortages in over a decade, the relationship between employer and employee is shifting,” said Becky Frankiewicz, President of ManpowerGroup North America. “Skilled workers are in control and companies need to understand people’s priorities to compete. We know from our research and the hundreds of thousands of people we put to work each year that what workers want varies by age, gender and geography, yet the biggest determinant is where someone is in their career lifecycle. Now is the time for employers to differentiate themselves and think differently about what they offer, starting with the opportunity to blend work and home and creating clear career pathways to in-demand jobs.”

The ManpowerGroup data is backed up by other workforce studies. According to the 2020 HR Practices Survey conducted by 501(c) Services, 62% of nonprofits surveyed indicate that they are having difficulty keeping their organizations staffed. Additionally, 22% indicated that employee engagement, motivation and retention is a major HR issue that needs to be addressed. Retention was the highest HR priority for nonprofits according to the survey. In fact, 82% of respondents to the 501(c) Services survey said they have a formal engagement process to help retain current employees.

“Nonprofits know there is a problem,” said Sonya Llewellyn, Director of Program Development for 501(c) Services. “For more than a decade we have seen the nonprofits we work with invest more and more time and budget towards engagement and retention. They are doing some things right like providing competitive benefits, addressing pay, and offering professional development courses. In order to remain competitive, we all have to do more.”

As organizations across all sectors transform, the top ten hardest to fill roles in the U.S. are changing fast with five new entries this year – IT, engineering, accounting and finance, construction and customer support professionals. Technology skills are now the second hardest to find, reflecting today’s new reality that all companies are IT companies. To attract the best talent across all industries, flexibility over when and where work gets done, mental and physical well-being to balance work and life and challenging work to build skills are increasingly important to workers, while competitive pay and healthcare are non-negotiable.

The ManpowerGroup survey finds that what workers want varies by geography, gender and at different stages of career cycles:

  • Gen Zs (age 18-24) are ambitious, hungry for cash and career development, yet already, women and men have differing priorities. When looking for a job, women look for competitive pay twice as much as their next priority – flexible hours – while men say a strong brand, diversity and good health insurance are most important.
  • Millennials (25-34) want more pay, flexibility and challenging work. They understand they have a career ultra-marathon ahead of them and want to achieve a One Life balance for the long run.
  • Younger Xers (35-44) start to see balance kick in. Men prioritize flexibility as much as women. They want a flexible start and finish to their day, the ability to work remotely some, if not all of the time and they want their share of parental leave.
  • Boomers (age 55-64 and 65+) are also driven by pay, challenging work and flexibility. The boss they work for and the people they work with matter a great deal too. Older workers want to pay it forward: those over 65 are also motivated by purpose.

For information on the ManpowerGroup survey visit:

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