Graph depicting the global talent shortage at a 12-Year high.

Global Talent Shortage at 12-Year High

With a strengthening global economy, employers are more optimistic about hiring. Yet emerging technology and changing skills needs are leaving employers with unfilled roles, threatening productivity, efficiency and future growth. These combined factors have pushed talent shortages to their highest level since 2006.

Watch to Find Out More About the Global Talent Shortage

 

View Talent Shortages Around the World

No country is immune to the skills gap, but the level of difficulty employers have filling roles varies. View the map to see where the talent shortages are most acute and where employers have the least trouble filling roles.

A map of the countries and territories facing difficulty in hiring.
A chart highlighting countries with the greatest increase and greatest decrease in hiring difficulty.
A chart showing the annual increase and decrease in hiring sorted by country

Talent Shortage by Company Size

Large companies (250+ employees) have twice as much difficulty filling roles as micro firms (less than 10 employees). Mid-sized organizations (50-249) are feeling the pinch too, with well over half struggling to attract the skills they need. Small employers (10-49 employees) are doing slightly better, with about a third reporting skills shortages.

A bar graph depicting the global talent shortage by company size.

Which Roles Are Most Difficult to Fill?

For the 6th consecutive year, skilled trades positions are the hardest to fill globally. Though artificial intelligence is fast-expanding what can be automated, technology is redefining rather than replacing in-demand roles.

Skilled trades, sales reps, engineers, drivers and technicians consistently rank among the hardest roles to fill.

Skilled trades including electricians, welders, and mechanics.
Sales representatives including B2B, B2C, and contact center.
Engineers including chemical, electrical, civil, and mechanical.
Drivers including truck, delivery, construction, and mass transit.
Technicians including quality controllers and technical staff.
IT including cybersecurity experts, network administrators, and technical support.
Accounting and finance including certified accountants, auditors, and financial analysts.
2018_TSS_Site_Charts-Global-RoleTile8-2x-1
Office support including administrative assistants, PAs, and receptionists.
Manufacturing including production and machine operators.

Top Drivers of Talent Shortage

Nearly a third of employers say the main reason they can’t fill roles is a lack of applicants, while 27% say candidates lack the necessary hard or soft skills. A lack of applicants, experience and hard skills are the top drivers of talent shortages. As companies go digital and roles transform, finding candidates with the right blend of technical skills and human strengths, such as communication, collaboration and problem solving, is more important than ever.

A chart showing the top drivers of the talent shortage including lack of applicants, lack of experience, and applicants lacking required hard skills.
Color key
  •  Lack of applicants
  •  Lack of experience
  •  Applicants lack required hard skills
  •  Applicants lack required soft skills
  •  Applicants expect higher pay than offered
  •  Applicants expecting better benefits than offered
  •  An issue specific to my organization
  •  Other/don’t know

Leveraging the Talent Shortage Research

Winning in the digital age demands faster, more targeted approaches than ever before. To keep pace in today’s Skills Revolution an effective talent strategy should comprise a blend of four key elements: build, buy, borrow and bridge.

Build
BUILD: One of four key elements needed for an effective talent strategy to keep pace in today’s Skills Revolution.

INVEST IN LEARNING AND DEVELOPMENT TO GROW YOUR TALENT PIPELINE

Buy
BUY: One of four key elements needed for an effective talent strategy to keep pace in today’s Skills Revolution.

GO TO MARKET TO ATTRACT TALENT THAT CANNOT BE BUILT IN-HOUSE

Borrow
BORROW: One of four key elements needed for an effective talent strategy to keep pace in today’s Skills Revolution.

CULTIVATE COMMUNITIES OF TALENT OUTSIDE THE ORGANIZATION

Bridge
BRIDGE: One of four key elements needed for an effective talent strategy to keep pace in today’s Skills Revolution.

HELP PEOPLE MOVE ON AND MOVE UP TO NEW ROLES INSIDE OR OUTSIDE THE ORGANIZATION

What Does Success Look Like?

Learn how ManpowerGroup has helped organizations from around the world address their toughest talent shortage challenges.

Cover image for case study North America: A Unique Combination Delivers a Successful Volume Recruiting Strategy

North America: A Unique Combination Delivers a Successful Volume Recruiting Strategy

One of the world’s largest food and beverage companies was struggling to fill several thousand roles in a short period of time.

Download PDF

Cover image for case study New Zealand: End-to-End Support Enables IT Firm to Source Hard-to-Find Talent

New Zealand: End-to-End Support Enables IT Firm to Source Hard-to-Find Talent

A leading provider of IT products and services experienced challenges recruiting highly specialized talent.

Download PDF

MPG_CS_DL_Template_North America

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Let’s Discuss Your Talent
Shortage Challenges

An organization’s unique challenges around talent shortage requires a personalized approach. As workforce experts, ManpowerGroup finds work for millions of people every year across 80 countries, helping hundreds of thousands of companies attract, assess, develop, and retain skilled workers.

Find out how we can help your organization find and retain the best talent in this digital age.

Contact us

A group of office workers discuss the global talent shortage.