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Mind The Gap

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by Paul Ford

The latest ManpowerGroup report on the shortage of talent has shown that over half the employers surveyed are experiencing difficulties in bridging the gap between role and candidate. And no part of the world is unaffected. However, the difference between geographies is startling. Globally, the average is 54%, which is significant in itself, but commercial powerhouses such as the United States and Japan are impacted to a far greater degree at 69% and 88% respectively, finding themselves in an unenviable group of nations finding the most difficulty in filling positions. Their fellow travellers in trouble include Romania (86%), Greece (77%), Taiwan (77%), Poland (70%), Germany (64%) and  India (63%).

On the reverse, the countries having the least problems in recruiting the right people are China (16%), Ireland (27%) and perhaps surprisingly, the United Kingdom at 23%.

So what kind of roles are proving the real problems? Well, whether you’re in London, the Loire valley or Lubbock, Texas, the hardest roles to fill are for the skilled trades such as electricians or mechanics and generally that picture is repeated world-wide. In the UK, healthcare isn’t far behind, a position fuelled by the uncertainties of Brexit since the referendum in 2016. The US has issues with filling IT roles. Driving and Logistics are a problem in France.

So how do employers attract the right talent given the current markets? As ever, give them what they want. But what is that?  The survey indicates that it varies according to location and more importantly these days, with a more diverse working demographic, age. Generation Z, those aged below 25, are mainly pay and career opportunity driven. Millennials between 25 and 34 are looking for more flexibility, though that’s more women than men. The 35-54 Generation X, both male and female alike, are attempting to get the work/life balance right with remote working and parental leave becoming key. Boomers aged 55 plus are looking for a good salary, challenging work and flexibility but hold who they work for and with as being important too.

The gap can be bridged. But it’ll take more than cash these days.