This summer hiring managers and human resources personnel, together with Independent Recruiters, are feeling the squeeze. Midsummer was once the season for long walks in the sand, sunsets at the cottage or lazy days on the boat, but in 2018, the talent war has not paused to draw a breath.
With the Bureau of Labor Statistics reporting a 2.3% jobless rate for managers/professional workers, it’s little wonder.
Globally, employers continue to struggle to find workers with the right skills. According to ManpowerGroup’s 2018 Talent Shortage Survey, almost half of US employers (46%) said they can’t find the candidates with the skills they need, up from 32% in 2015. Many of the toughest positions to fill are categories of special interest to Phoenix Partners and its clientele, including Engineers (#3), IT (#6), and White Collar professionals (#8).
In the survey, more than a third of employers reported that they are being more flexible about the education or experience requirements for their open positions. ManpowerGroup’s survey included 39,195 employers across 43 countries and territories.
Recommendations to combat this shortage include giving consideration to candidates with “adjacent” skills and to shift company cultures toward being “builders of talent, not consumers of work.” That’s because many of the most highly qualified candidates are reluctant to make a move right now.
“This is the tightest candidate market I’ve seen is a long time,” said Kay Durkin, founder of Phoenix Partners and technical recruiting specialist for 30 years.
“Normally, summer quiets down in terms of hiring. This summer, all bets are off. People need talent but the supply has slowed.”
One aspect affecting passive candidates is wariness about making a change during times of economic uncertainty. Normally, high-level technical talent is motivated to move up for positions that offer new challenges, opportunities or an improvement in corporate culture. Yet current wariness over how trade protectionism might affect global markets and whether a recession looms is making potential candidates reluctant to give up their tenure for a new role at a new company.
“I’m hearing a great deal of uncertainty among candidates I approach right now. No one wants to be the last new hire if the economy begins to shrink,” said Durkin. “Hiring managers are doing everything in their power to hold onto their people.”
The Computer Economics’ 2018/2019 IT Spending and Staffing Benchmarks Report says that IT staffing is flat at the median (46% of companies plan to increase headcount, versus 49% last year), but tech roles requiring higher-level skills are showing increasing demand. Examples include project managers, data analysts and IT security professionals. As cloud applications and cloud infrastructure consume a larger percentage of IT spending, there is also a need for IT staff with skills in procurement and vendor management.
Are you struggling to find high-level technical talent? Talk to Phoenix Partners.