Specialist talent hard to find

DESPITE a slight softening in the labour market, finding staff with the right skills continues to be a challenge for employers, with skilled trades and engineers the hardest positions to fill.
Specialist talent hard to find Specialist talent hard to find Specialist talent hard to find Specialist talent hard to find Specialist talent hard to find

In its 8th annual Talent Shortage survey, Manpower Group reported that 45% of employers in Australia were experiencing difficulty in finding staff with the required skills, down from 50% last year.

This compares to 35% of employers worldwide reporting the same struggle, the highest level since before the global economic crisis.

Meanwhile, the percentage of hiring managers in Australia who indicated talent shortages were having a significant impact on their abilities to serve clients and stakeholders grew from 47% last year to 58%.

The survey included feedback from about 2250 hiring managers across Australia, with respondents reporting that the most difficult job to fill was skilled trade, followed by engineers then sales representatives, all in line with last year's top in demand jobs.

Employers also reported difficulty with the availability of management/executive staff, while accountant and finance staff and IT staff topped the list.

Doctors and other non-nursing health professionals and labourers pushed drivers and chefs off last year's top in-demand jobs, while technicians and machine operators remained on the list.

Manpower Australia & New Zealand managing director Lincoln Crawley said the fact that almost one in two employers were struggling to fill roles was surprising given the negative news about the economy.

"These results tell us that beyond the headlines, the picture is more complex," he said.

"It reflects the complexity of the employment landscape and what we call the talent mismatch, where the skills available aren't the same as the ones needed by employers."

The top three reasons why employers were having difficulty filling jobs were lack of available applicants followed by lack of technical competencies and lack of experience.

Despite acknowledging the impact the talent shortage was having on their business, 18% of employers in Australia aren't changing course to identify new ways to address the skills shortage.

However, 20% of respondents were adopting strategies which included talent sourcing solutions while 46% were implementing people practices, which included providing additional training and development.

Crawley said the issue of talent shortages was endemic in the modern jobs market.

"No matter how prosperous or perilous the environment, the right talent is always difficult to find," he said.

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