Global Talent Shortages Reach 15-Year-High As Workforce Transformation Reshapes In-Demand Skills
Bratislava, June,14 2021 – ManpowerGroup has published the results of Talent Shortage 2021 survey. The survey aims to find out which jobs are the most difficult for employers to fill and which hard / soft skills are most important for companies.
„The pandemic only accelerated the need to take the world of work to a new level. Due to the regrouping of life priorities, employees want to change the existing situation. They are seeking new growth opportunities, new work-life blend, they want to earn a livable wage, and focus on new priorities. As for employers, focusing on employee retention matters, it costs about 25% more to hire vs. retain,ˇ states Zuzana Rumiz, General Manager of ManpowerGroup Slovensko.
- Talent Shortage in Slovakia has reached a record level, throughout the history of the Survey.
- 68% of employers in Slovakia are having difficulty filling jobs. 22% of Slovak companies report that they have no problems filling vacancies and 10% of companies are not sure about this issue.
- ManpowerGroup Slovakia has been participating in the global ManpowerGroup Talent Shortage survey since 2012. In that year, only 17% of Slovak companies reported difficulties in filling vacancies.
- In Slovakia, smaller companies (10 to 49 employees) are most affected by the lack of talents. 78% of them report that they cannot find enough suitable candidates in the long run.
- More than half of large companies (with over 250 employees), as well as micro-enterprises with less than 10 employees, report difficulties in filling jobs ( 61%).
- In medium-sized companies (50 to 249 employees), 71% of firms are facing the talent shortage.
“The COVID-19 pandemic has had a significant impact on employment. Companies with the lowest level of flexibility as well as workplace-based positions are facing the biggest problems in filling vacancies right now,” says Zuzana Rumiz.
- Nearly 7 in 10 (69%) employers globally report difficulty hiring, the highest than at any point since ManpowerGroup first asked about talent shortage in 2006 (40%).
- European employers are experiencing the most difficulty with the most prominent skill gaps in France (88%), Romania (86%), Italy (85%), Switzerland (83%), Belgium (83%) and Turkey (83%).
- Lowest reported in China (28%), U.S. (32%), India (43%) and South Africa (46%).
- In these unpredictable times, one thing is certain – this crisis should be a catalyst for a new future of work, that is more flexible, more diverse and more wellbeing-oriented than we could ever have imagined.
Explore In-demand Roles
Skills required for the most in-demand roles continue to evolve rapidly. See which positions are the hardest to fill in Slovakia.
Job profiles of employees who are most difficult to find were divided into eight basic groups. They are ranked according to the share of companies reporting problems with filling these positions:
- Operations / Logistics (43 %)
- Manufacturing / Production (36 %)
- Sales / Marketing (8 %)
- IT/ Data (8 %)
- Administration / Office Support (7 %)
- HR (3 %)
- Front Office / Customer Facing (2 %)
- Other (4 %)
10% of the surveyed companies did not comment on the question and 5% stated that they have no problem filling the above-mentioned job positions.
- There is a particular shortage of people with technical education at all levels in the market. Highly qualified IT specialists, doctors, or certified specialists such as welders, technicians, mechanics, drivers, accountants, as well as unskilled jobs, such as fitters, production operators, storekeepers or staff for the accommodation and catering sector recovering from the intervention of pandemic – all these positions belong to the most difficult ones to be filled.
- In the digital age, a university degree will not be decisive. The emphasis will shift to practical skills, e.g. digital skills, that will need to be constantly developed. Even the most traditional jobs are changing with advancing new technologies, and this trend will continue.
Accelerating Importance for Soft Skills
Pandemic has temporarily affected the demand for some skills, but in the long run has accelerated the ongoing structural changes in the labor market. For example, the declining interest of people in working in the manufacturing sector, the increasing speed with which companies change their processes through new technologies – robotics and software automation – all require a large number of workers to be retrained in a short time. These changes have further strengthened the emphasis that companies place on the soft skills of employees.
In times of rapid transformation and uncertainty, these are more important than ever in workers and in leaders:
- Accountability, reliability and discipline (44 %)
- Resilience, stress tolerance and adaptability (29 %)
- Reasoning, problem-solving (20 %)
- Creativity, originality (19 %)
- Collaboration & teamwork (17 %)
- Initiative taking (16 %)
- Critical thinking & analysis (15 %)
- Active learning & curiosity (11 %)
- Leadership and social influence (11 %)
23% of Slovak companies stated that they do not lack any of the above-mentioned soft skills in Slovak candidates when looking for new talents or are unable to comment on this issue.
Remote / Hybrid Myth… Flexibility for the Few not the Many
- 81 % of Slovak employers will require at least 50% of their workforce to be based in the workplace all/ most of the time, due to the type of roles they’re in (manufacturing, etc.).Compared to the previous quarter, when 61% of employers expressed this opinion, this is an increase of 20%.
- Yet most are working to build new kinds of flexibility into roles traditionally seen as inflexible:
- 35% of employers said they plan to incorporate flexible start and finish times,
- 30% plan on offering a mix of remote working and workplace-based working,
- 32% reported flexible/condensed hours,
- 9% plan to offer possibility of job sharing,
- 9% will give a choice of locations to work from and
- 37% will not offer any of these flexibility options.
Mind the Gap: What Employers are Planning Compared to What Workers Want
Workers are united in what they want for the future – to keep their job, stay healthy, learn and keep developing skills, and to not go back to the old way of working. Yet look closer and an even greater bifurcation within the workforce looks likely. Those with in-demand skills can call the salary shots, work remotely, avoid the commute, and stay safe at home. Those with declining skills are required to commute to work onsite, and subject to even greater exposure.
After health concerns, the top worry for workers is going back to the way things were – losing their newfound flexibility and being required to be back in the workplace daily (Future for Workers By Workers).
- 9 in 10 workers say simply keeping their job is most important.
- Keeping their job is a top priority for workers in all countries and sectors (91%) with the exception of IT workers who value flexibility most
- 8 in 10 want to better work-life balance in the future
- 43% believe this marks the end of full time 8-16
Let’s Take This Opportunity to go back to the future of work and create more opportunities for the many, not the few.
In a tech-enabled world, people are in demand. Skills needs are changing faster than ever. As we predicted five years ago, talent is calling the shots and the future of work and the future for workers needs to change.
Employers not only need to shift their demands closer to match the supply, but they must also meet the needs and desires of an increasingly in-demand workforce. They need to attract, engage and retain the best talent while others are trying to do the same.
The research points to employers needing to adopt a People First approach and to reimagine a future of work that works for organizations and individuals alike – prioritizing health, wellbeing, and caring responsibilities.
What Employers Should be Thinking About
As we transition to Back to Work/the new normal, these are some of the key areas of focus that organizations will need to consider.
- Ask Why. Why Return? Tasks we thought could never be done remotely have transformed overnight – closing the books, payroll, customer service and even information security – so now is a good time to be asking why return in order to be planful and fair. What do managers need to lead remotely? How can workers be more productive at home? Help managers understand individuals’ needs to avoid assumptions and prevent unconscious biases in playing out.
- Skills are Evolving – Prepare for that Reality The skills employers need in the future will be different to the past. Encourage all of the workforce to reskill and engage in continuous learning, not just those who would have upskilled anyway. Encourage remote learning and support workers to reclaim their commute with curated learning opportunities aligned to the skills your business needs.
- Flexibility & Balance for the Many, Not the Few Offering employees the opportunity to work remote isn’t the only way to enable people to work flexibly and balance work and home. For roles that need to be done in the workplace offer staggered start and finish times, more flexible scheduling, and understand the priorities people have to balance in order to get their work done.
- Physical & Emotional Wellbeing = New Health & SafetyFeelings of isolation, stress, fear and anxiety will be a COVID-19 legacy, and so too will be our reflections on the value of health, wellbeing, family and community. Prioritize emotional wellbeing with the same importance as physical and organizational measures like temperature taking and social distancing, to ensure people are confident, healthy and productive.
- Build Resilience – In People & the Organization Companies need to build trust, listen to people, and respond to their needs and help workers prioritize and recharge. The initial adrenalin of workers needs to shift to resilience for the long term and employers must lead this charge. When stress is on the rise and the number one concern on the minds of many workers is losing their jobs, strong remote leadership, transparent frequent communication, and a culture that is fit for the hybrid work /home workplace and accessible wellbeing support is key.
ABOUT THIS SURVEY
Infocorp carried out quantitative research with 19,046 employers across all industry sectors in 42 countries and territories: Argentina, Australia, Austria, Belgium, Brazil, Bulgaria, Canada, China, Colombia, Costa Rica, Croatia, Czech Republic, France, Germany, Greece, Guatemala, Hong Kong, Hungary, India, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Japan, Mexico, Netherlands, Norway, Panama, Peru, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Singapore, Slovakia, Slovenia, South Africa, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Taiwan, Turkey, UK and USA.
Complete global as well as local Survey results can be found at