ManpowerGroup Talent Survey 2016/2017

ManpowerGroup surveyed more than 41,700 hiring managers in 42 countries to identify the proportion of employers having difficulty filling positions, which jobs are difficult to fill, and why. Employers were also asked about the impact talent shortages have on their organizations and what steps they are taking to address them.

41,700 employers were asked:

  • How much difficulty are you having filling jobs due to lack of available talent?
  • Compared to last year at this time, how much difficulty are you having filling jobs?
  • What is the one job you are typically having the most difficulty filling?
  • What level of impact does this talent shortage have on your ability to meet client needs?
  • How are talent shortages/skills gaps impacting your organization?
  • Why are you having difficulty filling this specific job?
  • What strategies are you pursuing to overcome these difficulties?

Beyond the Averages

The number of global employers reporting talent shortages in 2016 peaks at a eight-year high of 40%. Beyond the averages, 86% and 73% of employers in Japan and Taiwan respectively are struggling to fill jobs, compared to only 10% of Chinese employers.

The Talent That's Hard to Find

Skilled Trades positions are the jobs employers globally have the greatest difficulty filling for the five consecutive year, with IT Staff rising to second place. Last year's second and third-placed jobs, Sales Representatives and  Engineers slip back to third and fourth respectively. The biggest climber in the global top 10 this year is IT Staff, moving from 9th to second position.

Business Impact

The proportion of employers who say talent shortages impact their ability to serve client needs remains at the same level as 2014 (54%) reinforcing that not enough is changing to address talent shortages globally. More than one in five global employers is still not pursuing strategies to tackle talent shortages.

This report includes global, regional and country level data. For more details on talent shortages around the world, including an interactive data explorer tool, infographic, insight and blogs, visit