Employers are experiencing the most acute talent shortage since 2007, with IT Staff ranking among the top in-demand roles globally, second only to Skilled Trades. This is according to the 2016 Talent Shortage Survey, released today by ManpowerGroup.
IT has jumped seven places in the global ranking since last year, the greatest change of any sector measured, pointing to strong demand for tech skills across the global economy. Demand is strongest in Asia Pacific, where IT roles now rank as the top most difficult to fill for the first time in a decade, but has grown steadily across all other regions as well.
The talent shortage is driven, in part, by changes to skills requirements with employers increasingly needing more specialized skillsets. Nearly one in five report that applicants do not have the relevant experience required, while another one in five employers list lack of technical skills as the root of the problem.
“These findings mirror what we are seeing in our own business: there is a growing market for IT skills across a wide range of industries,” said Sean Costello, Senior Vice President of Experis North America, the professional resourcing and solutions arm of ManpowerGroup.
“In the U.S., data shows the most sought-after IT workers are project managers, business analysts, and Java and .Net developers. It’s clear that while technology is creating new opportunities and new ways of working, the workforce is still catching up with changing skills needs. In this environment, continued learning and skills development have never been more important.”
Of the 42,300 employers surveyed, the hardest jobs to fill remain Skilled Trade Workers for the fifth consecutive year. Sales Representatives, Engineers, Technicians and Drivers all slip one ranking, third to sixth respectively, and Office Support Staff falls two places to the tenth position.
Production and Machine Operations also become harder roles to fill as they move from tenth to ninth when compared with 2015.
Global Top 10 Roles Facing Talent Shortage
“Upskilling our global workforce is critical to ensure organizations have the skills they need to accelerate performance and everyone has access to the opportunities on offer,” said Jonas Prising, ManpowerGroup Chairman and CEO.
“The best organisations know this, which is why we’ve seen a marked rise in the number of businesses focusing on training and development to fill talent gaps. We expect to see this number grow. That’s why we support companies and individuals to nurture learnability – the desire and ability to learn new skills to be employable for the long-term.”
Almost half of Asian employers (46%) report hiring difficulties, down two percentage points year-over-year. Japan, Taiwan and Hong Kong reported the most challenges. Just 10% of Chinese employers report difficulty, the lowest of all countries surveyed, and a steep fall from the 24% reported in 2015.
For the first time in 11 years of the Talent Shortage Survey employers are reporting the most difficulty filling IT Staff roles – up from 5th position in 2015.