The Incredible Demand for Skilled Talent in the United States

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Forty-six percent of U.S. employers report having a difficult time filling jobs, according to the ManpowerGroup 2018 Talent Shortage Survey.  The survey was of more than 2,000 U.S. employers. At a time when there are more jobs than skilled workers in many states, businesses are finding it challenging to fill open positions. Of particularly high demand are skilled trade workers, sales representatives and drivers.

Most of the jobs where demand is growing are those of mid-skilled roles such as electricians, welders and mechanics that require training and not always a four-year degree. More than 50 percent of the companies surveyed are investing in learning platforms and development tools to build their future talent, up 7% from 2016. Nineteen percent of employers are also changing their current work models, including offering flexible work arrangements.

Although we enjoy record low unemployment, there are millions of workers on the edge of the U.S. labor market. Companies are bringing in laborers who have been sidelined to fill talent gaps and 40% are looking at different types of talent for skills including boomerang retirees, long-term unemployed or returning parents and part-timers.

“We continue to see increasing demand for skilled workers across all sectors of the U.S. economy from transport and trade to manufacturing and sales,” said Becky Frankiewicz, President of ManpowerGroup North America. “Employers cannot find the people they need with the right blend of technical skills and human strengths and the problem won’t fix itself. It’s time for a new approach to attract, recruit and retain talent. Employers need to buy skills where necessary, borrow from external sources and help people with adjacent skills bridge from one role to another. Above all, we need to be builders of talent, rather than consumers of work to create a workforce with the skills companies and individuals need to thrive today and tomorrow.”

Global talent shortages are at the highest level in 12 years. ManpowerGroup calls for new solutions to the growing talent problem: Build, Buy, Borrow, Bridge:

  • BUILD. Invest in development and learning to grow the talent pipeline and upskill the existing and potential workforce.
  • BUY. In a tight labor market, go to the external market to find the best talent that cannot be built in-house in the timeframe required to fill immediate openings.
  • BORROW. Cultivate communities of talent inside and outside the organization including part-time, freelance, contract and temporary workers to complement existing workforce.
  • BRIDGE. Help people move on and move up to new roles inside or outside the organization.

According to a statement, ManpowerGroup, the leading global workforce solutions company, helps organizations transform in a fast-changing world of work by sourcing, assessing, developing and managing the talent that enables them to win. We develop innovative solutions for over 400,000 clients and connect 3+ million people to meaningful, sustainable work across a wide range of industries and skills. Our expert family of brands – Manpower, Experis, Right Management and ManpowerGroup Solutions – creates substantially more value for candidates and clients across 80 countries and territories and has done so for 70 years. In 2018, ManpowerGroup was named one of the World’s Most Ethical Companies for the eighth consecutive year and one of Fortune’s Most Admired Companies, confirming our position as the most trusted and admired brand in the industry.


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