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Europe — Talent shortages persist in many countries and industry sectors

20 May 2010
Staffing services group Manpower Inc. has today released the results of its fifth annual Talent Shortage Survey, revealing that talent is elusive, it's everywhere yet nowhere, as talent shortages persist in many countries and industry sectors.

31% of employers worldwide report having difficulty filling key positions within their organisation, a rise of one percentage point from 2009, amidst a perpetual global pool of available workers.

The top hardest to fill jobs are skilled trades, sales representatives, technicians and engineers according to the survey of more than 35,000 employers across 36 countries. These are the same top jobs that employers have reported struggling to fill for the past four years, demonstrating that there is an ongoing global mismatch in these key areas.

Jeffrey A. Joerres, Manpower Inc. Chairman and CEO, said "as the global economy slowly recovers, employers will remain focused on maintaining financial flexibility and doing more with less. Applying the same mindset to their workforce, employers have got more specific about the combination of skill sets that they are looking for, not only seeking technical capabilities in a job match, but holding out for the person that possesses the additional qualities above and beyond that will help drive their organisation forward. This conundrum is upsetting to the ubiquitous job seeker, who will need to take more responsibility for his/her skills development in order to find ways to remain relevant to the market."

Across the 18 countries surveyed in Europe, the Middle East and Africa (EMEA), 23% of the region's employers report having difficulty filling positions due to the lack of suitable talent available in their markets. This is a two percentage point decline when compared to the 2009 survey and is eight percentage points lower than the global average.

Those having the most difficulty finding the right talent to fill jobs are in Poland (51%), Romania (36%), Austria and Switzerland (both 35%). The talent shortage appears to be least problematic in Ireland (4%), the United Kingdom (9%) and Norway (11%).

EMEA employers named skilled trades as the most difficult position to fill for the fourth year in succession, followed by sales representatives, and technicians in third place.

The complete results of Manpower's annual global talent shortage survey and Fresh Perspectives Paper Teachable Fit: A New Approach for Easing the Talent Mismatch can be downloaded here