Picture a simple pulley system. When one side goes up, the other goes down. The relationship between unemployment numbers, and the difficulty employers have filling jobs should, it seems, also follow this sort of logic.
But recent trends reveal that this is just not necessarily true. In fact, a recent study from Manpower Group reveals that, despite unemployment trends indicating higher numbers of workers available for work, employers continue to report difficulty finding the talent their organizations need. Over a third of businesses surveyed by Manpower Group cited the inability to meet talent needs as a barrier to their business goals.
This seems as counterintuitive as a simple pulley whose load moves in the same direction as the force applied to the pulley. A force pulls down, the load on the pulley moves up. Similarly, more people available for work, means companies have their pick of workers to choose from, right?
One factor likely at play here is that the economy is improving, though it may be more gradual than we’d all like. As economic trends generally improve, some employers have begun to hire new talent, or re-hire workers that were laid off when the recession was at its worst. This, of course, would affect the pool of remaining talent from which companies can choose.
But here are some added insights from the Manpower Study:
- A lack of available candidates with the right technical expertise and employable skills
continues to frustrate employers;
- People who have in-demand skills are becoming more and more selective as they evaluate
their employment options;
- The top five jobs that employers are having trouble filling are: Engineers, Technicians, Sales Representatives, Skilled Trade Workers and Production Operators.
There are two ways that these tensions will likely continue to affect the job market:
- Organizations will need to develop more effective recruitment and retention efforts
- Companies will have to re-evaluate their talent development strategies
Given this disconnect between a growing talent pool and a shortage of qualified candidates, companies are wise to build strategic links between their business goals, their hiring, talent management, and coaching.
And this is logic doesn’t defy physics: companies with more developed recruiting efforts, along with worker retention and training programs, are less likely to be susceptible to the challenges of talent shortages that seem an integral part of the new normal.
Sharon Daniels is CEO of AchieveGlobal in Tampa, Florida