Help still wanted, global talent crunch persists

Thu May 28, 2009 8:19am EDT
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By Nick Zieminski

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Global employers still have trouble finding the right people for open positions, even as candidate resumes pile up amid recession.

A global talent crunch has eased slightly, but is set to worsen in coming years because of demographic trends, according to an annual survey by global employment services company Manpower Inc.

Worldwide, 30 percent of employers reported trouble filling positions because of the lack of suitable talent, down slightly from 31 percent who said so a year ago, according to Manpower, which polled 39,000 employers in 33 countries.

While many more people are looking for work, they often lack the skills, or experience, that employers need.

"Work is getting more complex, employers are looking for more specific skills, so there is more of a mismatch between supply and demand," said Mara Swan, Manpower's executive vice president for global strategy and talent.

The trend points to a looming shortage of skilled workers -- or "talent shortage" -- that will emerge once economies recover, according to Manpower. The working population is aging in both developed and emerging economies, while lower birth rates point to a dwindling supply of workers in coming decades.

Employers need to be ready.

"(The recession) gives a false feeling that this is not something we need to spend time on," Swan said. "As employers, it may be making us a little lazy, because it makes us think it's not going to happen."   Continued...

<p>A man reads job offers posted at a job fair in Moscow May 26, 2009. REUTERS/Denis Sinyakov</p>