This year 68% of human resource managers surveyed reported difficulty in hiring qualified employees, compared to just 50% two years ago.
“HR professionals from all industries report a highly competitive market for talent, with recruiting difficulty reaching levels not seen in years,” says Jen Schramm, manager of workforce trends and forecasting program for the Society of Human Resource Management, which conducted the poll.
“They also report both basic and applied skills shortages among job candidates,” she adds. “This is putting more emphasis on both the need for investing in employee training and education and in working in partnership with other leaders in business, education and government to improve the talent pipeline in their communities.”
More than half of those surveyed reported some level of basic skills/knowledge deficits among job applicants, and 84% said applicants are lacking when it comes to applied skills.
The SHRM survey also found that smaller organizations (those with 1 to 99 employees) reported having the most difficulty in filling full-time manager and skilled trade positions.
Reasons for this difficulty include a small number of applicants, candidates without the needed work experience, competition from other employers, candidates’ lack of technical skills and the local market not producing enough qualified candidates.
Leveraging social media was the most common strategy used for dealing with recruiting difficulty. However, the strategy that was reported to be the most effective was training existing employees to take on hard-to-fill roles.
Almost one-third of respondents reported that their organizations had no training budgets. And, 11% say their training budgets decreased in the last year.
However, some organizations seem to be getting the message that there is a need for training, with 39% of respondents reporting that their organizations had increased their training budgets in the last 12 months, and 50% said budgets had stayed the same.