22 June 2015

Good people are still hard to find: ManpowerGroup

Source: ManpowerGroup infographic.

Globally, the top five talents that rarest are skilled trade positions (especially chefs, bakers, butchers, mechanics and electricians), sales representatives, engineers (mechanical, electrical and civil), technicians and drivers (particularly of heavy vehicles), says the US-based workforce expert ManpowerGroup.

In Singapore, the picture is quite different. With the exception of engineers which are also in the top five positions that are toughest to fill, the others are: accounting and finance talent, sales representatives, secretaries (including receptionists and administrative assistants), and marketing, public relations and communications specialists.

The findings are part of ManpowerGroup's annual Talent Shortage Survey (TSS), for which 41,700 hiring managers in 42 countries and territories were surveyed. Linda Teo, ManpowerGroup Singapore’s Country Manager says that of the 234 respondents in Singapore, 40% said that these are the positions hardest to fill. She attributed the shortage to “widespread restructuring that is sending tremors across sectors, with shocks being added from a tightening labour market”.

"At the same time, employers do not seem to show an urgency to put into place strategies not just to tackle the talent shortage but to stay ahead of the curve to find individuals to meet their business needs,” Teo said.

“Today, merely recruiting and placing candidates will not yield results. Employers need to encourage a learning culture among their employees and to get them to chart their own careers.”

Employers also need to explore untapped talent pools such as youth and older workers, and look to enhancing benefits, she said.

According to the TSS, key reasons for organisations’ difficulty in filling jobs include:
  • Lack of available applicants – 35%
  • Lack of technical competencies (hard skills) – 34%
  • Lack of experience – 22% 
  • Lack of workplace competencies (soft skills) – 17%, and 
  • Looking for more pay than is offered – 13% 
The most likely consequences of a talent shortage are a reduced ability to serve clients (42%) and reduced competitiveness and productivity (42%). In addition, 30% expect an increase in employee turnover and 26% anticipate lower employee engagement and morale.

In Asia Pacific, nearly half of all employers report talent shortages (48%). Apart from Japan, where 83% of employers are facing challenges, lack of talent is also a concern in Hong Kong (65%) and Taiwan (57%). However, talent inadequacies are least likely to be a concern for mainland Chinese employers (24%) given the country’s huge population.

Source: ManpowerGroup infographic.

On the flipside, a global career survey of employees released in April by Right Management, the global career experts within the ManpowerGroup, signal a disconnect between employee aspirations and the performance demands of employers worldwide.

The Global Career Aspiration Survey finds that only one in 10 of employees defines career success as high performance and productivity. Nearly half - 45% - of respondents rank work-life balance as their No.1 career aspiration, and the top definition of workplace success is "enjoyment and happiness".

Teo said: “Understanding employee career motivations and aspirations is key to creating a high performance culture that motivates individuals to do their best work. When people have ongoing career conversations with their managers, they experience effective career development and are more likely to be engaged, motivated and ready to take on new challenges.”

The Global Career Aspiration Survey was commissioned by Right Management in Q4 2014 to better understand career motivations and how perceptions are shifting in the workplace. The survey included results from 1,225 respondents in countries such as Canada, the US, Australia, India and Singapore.