Staffing firm the ManpowerGroup has released its Talent Shortage report for 2018, showing the difficulties faced around employment.
The research is based on a survey of 39,195 employers across six industry sectors in 43 countries and territories.
According to the report, more employers than ever are struggling to fill open jobs — 45% globally say they can’t find the skills they need, up from 40% in 2017 and the highest in over a decade.
For large firms (250+ employees) this statistic is even higher, with 67% reporting talent shortages in 2018.
“While artificial intelligence is fast-expanding what can be automated, technology is redefining rather than replacing in-demand roles,” ManpowerGroup said.
“Skilled trades – electricians, welders, mechanics and more – as well as sales representatives, engineers, drivers and technicians have ranked among the top five hardest roles to fill for the past 10 years.
“Most of the top 10 in-demand roles today require post-secondary training and not always a full university degree.”
Mid-skilled roles like these and others represent 40% of all jobs across the OECD and demand for them is growing.
“In the digital age, employment will not always require a college degree, but will rely heavily on continual skills development as even the most traditional roles are augmented with new technology.”
Looking at South Africa, the data shows that large companies (250+ employees) have the most difficulty filling positions; followed by medium (50-249 employees), micro (less than 10 employees) and small (10-49 employees) companies.
Approximately 54% of large companies say that they are battling to fill roles while just 25% of small companies are facing talent shortages.
Lack of experience (29%), applicants which lack the required hard skills (18%) and applicants expecting higher pay than offered (14%) were named as the three top drivers of talent shortages in South Africa.
Skilled Trades followed by Management/Executive and Sales Representatives were named as the hardest roles to fill.
To deal with this skills shortage, the ManpowerGroup said that there are four main areas that companies should be focusing on for talent acquisition.
“Winning in the digital age demands faster, more targeted approaches than ever before,” the ManpowerGroup said.
To keep pace with the skills revolution an effective talent strategy should comprise a mix of four key elements:
- Build: Invest in learning and development to grow your talent pipeline.
- Buy: Go to external market to find the best talent that cannot be built in-house in the timeframe required.
- Borrow: Cultivate communities of talent outside the organization, including part-time, freelance, contract and temporary workers to complement existing skills.
- Bridge: Help people move on and move up to new roles inside or outside the organization.