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Talent Shortage? Relocation Can Help Bridge the Gap

Manpower Group’s  7th annual Talent Shortage Survey through me for a loop. I’m surprised that even at a time when unemployment is at an all-time high, we still have a talent shortage in the U.S. Apparently, a talent shortage is different from unemployed. I am certainly not insinuating that the unemployed are not a talented group of people but, according to this survey, the U.S. ranks among the top five countries experiencing a talent drought. 

Historically, here’s what the percentage of employers in the U.S. reporting having trouble filling jobs in the last six years looks like:

Relocation Talent Shortage









This was shocking to me and I think it poses a lot of questions about recruitment and retention. Especially in regards to what companies will do as the Baby Boomers continue to retire, and what role, if any, relocation has to play in the future talent equation.  Below are some additional stats.

The top of list of the most difficult types of jobs are:

  1. Skilled Trades Workers
  2. Engineers
  3. Information Technology Workers
  4. Sales Representatives
  5. Accounting and Finance Staff
  6. Drivers
  7. Mechanics
  8. Nurses
  9. Machinists/Machine Operators

The reasons given for difficulty filling jobs were:

U.S. Reasons for Talent Shortage








Global Reasons for Talent Shortage








The top strategies to address talent shortages include:

Strategies for Talent Shortage









Clearly, U.S. companies feel that the answers lay in retention and training. And, while it’s great to have these stats, I can say, anecdotally, that this is the way I see it too.  Per my last blog post, relocation activity is up which is consistent with any business’ efforts to retain talent and/or train on new skills. Given that it’s becoming more difficult to find skilled trade workers, engineers and the like, relocating employees  instead of hiring new at destination is a better alternative. I’d also add that temporary assignments, abroad or otherwise, will continue to increase as companies move employees around for training opportunities. I also believe we will see more inpat assignees as companies expand their recruiting pools in emerging markets.

This particular survey puts focus on the Americas and the U.S. in particular, but I plan to follow up with more global data.

In the interim, I would love to hear your thoughts.

Are you concerned about a talent shortage in your own business? If so, how do you plan to address the talent gap? Please share below.

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VP, Client Services

VP of Business Development Northeast Region


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