According to the 2015 Talent Shortage Survey by the Manpower Group, in which over 41 000 employers from 42 countries participated, it was found that a whopping 38% (1 in 3) employers worldwide have difficulty filling vacancies because the right talent is not available. This percentage is 2% higher than the figures seen in the 2014 survey and the highest seen in seven years, showing that the talent crisis is only worsening with time. The percentage of employers struggling to fill jobs spikes in countries such as Japan (83%) and Peru (68%), whereas in Ireland, the percentage is very low (11%).
In South Africa, 31% of employers report a talent shortage, a number that has increased by a huge 23 percentage points from the 2014 results. These employers are struggling to
attract the right people to fill open positions, which has an impact on their profitability and ability to serve client needs.
What causes this talent shortage?
Employers surveyed cited a number of candidate-specific reasons why their open positions have not been easily filled:
- Candidates lack the necessary skills (hard and soft).
- Candidates do not possess the right business competencies
- Candidates have insufficient qualifications.
- Candidates have too little experience.
- Candidates do not have the right personality and intelligence.
- Candidates do not have a learning mindset
How are employers addressing this?
One in five companies surveyed in 2015 stated that they are not actively pursuing strategies to address the talent shortage.
However, the majority are taking steps to attract, retain and develop employees:
- 20% offer additional training and development opportunities for existing staff.
- 5% offer higher starting salaries, while an additional 5% offer enhanced benefits to attract new talent.
- 18% are utilising non-traditional forms of recruitment, such as looking for talent outside of their region.
- 8% of employers are hiring people without the concrete skills but with the potential to learn and develop.
To address the shortage of talent, many organisations develop new HR strategies. Retention of current staff is, now more than ever, of paramount importance. In addition, recruiters are being forced to change their selection criteria, with an increasing focus on choosing candidates with less experience but with a large amount of innate talent/potential.
According to HFM psychologist David Verhagen, organisations will have to broaden their horizons to meet the talent shortage head on. According to Verhagen, it is important to form a complete picture of the quality of your applicants and employees. ‘Experience is scarce and expensive! But you can rather easily and quickly utilise untapped potential. It is therefore crucial to gain objective insight into the qualities of a candidate.’