Some Employers Still Struggling to Find Workers

May 28, 2009 ( - Some 36% of employers in the Americas struggle to find enough suitable employees in their markets despite the global economic downturn and widespread layoffs, a new study has determined.

A Manpower Inc. news release said the latest finding represents an 8% hike over the 2008 survey and 6% higher than the comparable global figure.

According to survey data, leading the list of toughest jobs to fill by U.S. employers in the Americas include Engineers, Nurses, Skilled/Manual Trades, Teachers, and Sales Representatives. Meanwhile, vacancies for technicians are the most difficult to fill in the Americas for the second year.

“Despite high levels of unemployment in many markets, this year’s talent survey suggests a mismatch between the type of individuals available for work and the specific skills that employers are looking for,” Jeffrey A. Joerres, chairman and CEO of Manpower Inc., said in the news release

“In an environment where companies are pressured to shift their mindset to think more strategically and creatively about how to do more with less, the same approach is being applied to how they manage their talent. Employers are looking for ways to accelerate their business strategy with fewer people. It’s this specificity of skills required in the individuals that employers are now seeking that is creating a sense of talent shortage amidst an overabundant pool of available workers. This conundrum is frustrating both employers and individuals,” Joerres added.

A separately released Manpower research paper suggesteda strong "employer brand" will help organizations attract and retain the best talent to achieve their growth plans.

" At a time of increasing layoffs and constrained resources, it may seem counterintuitive to invest energy and capital in devising talent strategies and especially in strengthening the employer brand," Manpower researchers wrote. "On the contrary, the need for effective employer branding has never been greater. Companies must look beyond this recession to the inevitable recovery and to the intensifying talent shortages that will follow."

Manpower concluded: "By focusing now on building their employer brands and enhancing their appeal to talented workers with scarce and vital skills, organizations can position themselves to win lasting competitive advantage in the talent marketplace."

The research paper is available here .

Manpower Inc. surveyed nearly 39,000 employers across 33 countries and territories in late January to determine the extent in which talent shortages are impacting today's labor markets.

More information about the survey is available here .

The 10 Hardest Jobs to Fill, as reported by U.S. employers for 2009, are:
1. Engineers
2. Nurses
3. Skilled/Manual Trades
4. Teachers
5. Sales Representatives
6. Technicians
7. Drivers
8. IT Staff
9. Laborers
10. Machinist/Machine Operators

The top 10 jobs that employers are having difficulty filling across the 33 countries and territories in 2009 compared to 2008 are (ranked in order):