Resumes pile up, but global talent crunch persists

Written by Reuters | New York | Updated: May 31 2009, 05:29am hrs
Global employers still have trouble finding the right people for open positions, even as candidate resumes pile up amid recession.

A global talent crunch has eased slightly, but is set to worsen in coming years because of demographic trends, according to an annual survey by global employment services company Manpower Inc.

Worldwide, 30% of employers reported trouble filling positions because of the lack of suitable talent, down slightly from 31% who said so a year ago, according to Manpower, which polled 39,000 employers in 33 countries.

Work is getting more complex, employers are looking for more specific skills, so there is more of a mismatch between supply and demand, said Mara Swan, Manpowers executive vice president for global strategy and talent.

The trend points to a looming shortage of skilled workersor talent shortagethat will emerge once economies recover, according to Manpower. The working population is aging in both developed and emerging economies, while lower birth rates point to a dwindling supply of workers in coming decades.

(The recession) gives a false feeling that this is not something we need to spend time on, Swan said.

As employers, it may be making us a little lazy, because it makes us think its not going to happen. For the second year in a row, vacancies were hardest to fill in skilled trades, which include electricians, plumbers and carpenters. Sales representatives ranked second on the global list, followed by technicians, engineers and managers. Majorities of those surveyed in Romania, Taiwan, Peru and Japan reported feeling the talent shortage, and employers in Australia, Costa Rica and Poland also had problems matching people with jobs.

By contrast, their counterparts in Ireland, Spain and the United Kingdom had far less trouble filling positions. In India, 80% of employers have no difficulty matching candidates and jobs; 85% said so in China.