Today's Hardest-to-Fill Jobs

CareerBuilder.com

All of us are talented in our own ways -- musically, academically, socially, and even physically. The question is, are you talented professionally?

According to a recent survey by recruitment firm Manpower Inc., the answer is no. The survey says 41 percent of U.S. employers are struggling to find qualified job candidates because of a lack of available talent. This is a slight dip from the 2006 study, when 44 percent of employers reported challenges filling open positions.

Sales representatives topped the list of hardest-to-fill jobs for the second straight year as companies depend on experienced sales staff to drive future growth. Teachers and mechanics replaced engineers and nurses/health care workers in the second and third-place positions this year.

Here is a list of the 10 hardest-to-fill jobs, based on lack of talent, as reported by U.S. employers to Manpower:

1. Sales Representative

2. Teacher

3. Mechanic

4. Technician

5. Management/Executive

6. Truck Driver

7. Driver/Delivery

8. Accountant

9. Laborer

10. Machine Operator

"With the variety of positions employers are struggling to fill, it seems like job seekers should have little trouble finding work," says Jonas Prising, president of Manpower North America. "Yet on a daily basis we hear from clients who can't find the right people for open positions and candidates who are struggling to get hired."

Now, that doesn't make sense. Why are job seekers struggling to find work if there are so many employers who need people?

"Skills just aren't matching the jobs," says Melanie Holmes, vice president of corporate affairs for Manpower North America.

"People are still looking for work and employers are still filling jobs, but the skills are a mismatch."

With that in mind, what can individuals do to position themselves for careers amidst the talent crunch?

People need to recognize his or her current skill set may not be sufficient enough to carry them through the working world, Holmes says. Once individuals are aware of that, they need to be proactive in adapting to the changes.

"The world of work is changing, jobs are changing; things just change," Holmes says. "If we don't keep up, we'll be left behind, no doubt about it."

On the flip side, as employers face the difficulty of hiring the right people, what can they do to position themselves against the talent crunch? Holmes says many companies are changing their methods of hiring and retention.

" Employers are seeing more and more rejected job offers, creating a healthy competition as companies vie for top talent. As a result of this, employers are revising policies and enhancing benefits in areas as common as flexible scheduling to non-traditional offerings like take-home meals and onsite yoga classes," Holmes says.

" We anticipate more and increasingly creative cultural changes as companies take the steps necessary to distinguish themselves in the eyes of employees."

With demographics in the workers' favor, they have the upper hand over employers - if they have the required skills.

"As people retire and birthrates don't keep up with don't keep up with the aging workforce, employers are the ones who will experience more shortages," Holmes says.

Holmes offers the following tips on how you can keep your skill set up to par:

  • Talk with professional recruiters.
  • Join a professional association and compare its expertise to what employers are seeking. This will help keep you ahead of what is going on in your area.
  • Don't leave out the employer - specifically ask your supervisor or manager if he or she anticipates changes on the horizon.
  • Seek out employers who believe in training.
  • Research what the community colleges and vocational schools offer.
  • Look at professional association workshops.
  • Watch for other training opportunities and seminars that might be in your community.



Copyright 2007 CareerBuilder.com.

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October 11 2011 at 4:07 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Jo Lawrence

I agree about the Teachers. The Teachers in the state of LA are being layed off at all levels even the college level due to budget cut backs. So NOW is not a good time to be hunting a a job to be a Teacher in LA.

I have a cousin in TX that was elated that his contract got renewed. My sister in MO got her contract renewed. My neice in OK got her contract renewed. My cousin in NM got her contract renewed.

A friend of mine was layed off from working at Lone Star Steel and he got a job as a Teacher in Dallas - during mid-semester. He has worked as a Teacher in several parts of Texas (his first love) but he was unable to get a job in our local area so he moved his family. They bought a house last year and they are now going to have to put it on the market -- that is another story.

May 19 2009 at 6:03 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Tammy

just seen your ad,and would like to hear more.Thanks

May 02 2009 at 8:44 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Gary H

Teaching jobs k-12 are non-existant in California. Every school district is laying-off teacher's. A few teacher's will survive the newest layoff's, but newly graduated certificated teacher's face a bleak situation. All schools producing teacher's in California should place a moratorium on graduating certificated teacher's for at least one year and possibly two to three years. The expectation of teaching in California is over for the forseeable future!

April 22 2009 at 3:04 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
LRP

I'm so glad that they took Nursing off of this list due to the fact that I have been displaced as an RN by Medical Assistants. They medical field is looking for intensive care and emergency room nurses because of lack of real medical care and follow up. People show up at ERs because of lack of routine preventive health maintenance. They are in critical care units because of the major screw ups on the units by the green nosed new graduate nurses who for lack of training skills don't know their asses from their elbows. You all know that you can get a nursing degree online don't you. I have been a Med-Surg nurse for 30yrs. with a bachelor's for 20+ and I can only get work in Long term care or Hospice as a perdiem. No health benefits for more than 10yrs. because they don't want to pay health benefits. Most nurses are highered and discharged after 90 days if highered full-time. It's a musical chair scenario. Does anyone care if their Nurse gets sick? I worked damn hard to improve someone's health to send them home after surgery for more than 15yrs. For the last 15yrs. the medical field has cut so many corners the patients have a higher rate of infection than ever before. My advice is that people look to keep themselves well and stay out of hospitals for every little thing. Doctors are not God. God gives us our answers if we ask. I am healthy, in shape and look 15yrs younger than my counterparts. All of that to say that there are no jobs,it appears, in any field that would substantiate a decent living anymore. It's a SAD DAY IN AMERICA.

April 03 2009 at 10:04 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
MIKE

Am a tax preparer and did the work for 25 teachers in Forida and NY. The Florida teachers started last year and earned $60,00, the NY teachers earned $79,000. That doesn't sound to me like chump change.

March 08 2009 at 5:08 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
jt44mag

well maybe its because most hiring managers can't evaluate prospective applicants based on their ability to LEARN new skills ...INSTEAD just relying on resumes that don't show whatever degree they want ..!!..HOW MANY JOBS HAVE YOU BEEN IN ..WHERE YOU JUST WALKED IN THE DOOR AFTER BEING HIRED THAT YOU JUST WENT TO WORK WITH NO ORIENTATION OR PERIOD WHERE YOU LEARNED WHAT THE NEW JOB REQUIREMENTS WERE OR HOW THE COMPANY OPERATED, ..THE COMPANIES INTERNAL DATABASE AND THE SPECIFICS OF YOUR PATICULAR JOB ..????..THERE ARE OBVIOUSLY MINIMUM LEVEL REQUIREMENTS TO EVERY JOB BUT TOO MANY HIRING MANAGERS WOULD BE BETTER OFF HIRING SOMEONE INTERNALLY WHO KNOWS THEIR COMPANY ANFD GIVE THAT PERSON THE CHANCE TO ADVANCE THAN WASTING TIME ON AN UNKNOWN HIRE THAT MIGHT HAVE BETTER CREDENTIALS...BUT JUST JUMPS FROM COMPANY TO COMPANY ....A WASTE OF TIME AND RESOURCES TO CONSTANTLY BRING IN OUTSIDERS THAT USE YOUR COMPANY AS A PERSONAL STEPPING STONE ...!!!...j.t..

March 08 2009 at 3:03 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Shirley

For the ones with over 15 years of experience not only are you "over qualified' but also TOO OLD in the employers eyes. Keep an eye on the company and see how young the person is that is hired. Also I found that if you look around the company pay attention to the age of who your next fellow employees will be as well as the age of the interviewer.

As far as teaching - those that specialize in math and science is what they are looking for. But they are also looking for those who can speak spanish.

Outside of the fact that people are choosing to have fewer children those that are being born in the hispanic community are growing. This also has to do with the number of teachers being hired.

Here in Utah most jobs require that you speak spanish. It's okay if you don't speak or even understand english.

I filed an application with a major national hospital and they refused to even interview me because no hablo espanol. If I did I would have been interviewed. This however is not considered discrimination thanks to the government. They decided that speaking spanish is a learned skill whereas speaking english is not. It's okay for a company to hire someone who only speaks spanish - but if english is their only language they don't have to hire them.

Soon we will need to have signs that read "We speak english" Now we have signs that read " Hablamos Espanol"

March 08 2009 at 2:17 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
gerald crosby

I am not a survey believer, because mostly thet lie so I dont beleive them. They want you to here what they want you to hear, and not what the public has to say. The surveys go directly to the same old people that get envolved. They need to reach out to the real people that are making this country run, not the same old folks that think they know how to run things. you want change get out on the street and really see what is going on in America, then write your survey, you might find out something about America and what she thinks and needs

March 08 2009 at 2:12 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Anonymous

Over the years, I gained experience in 3 different business sectors (just in case the economy turned for the worse) and earned my Masters Degree. I sent over 200 resumes on the "dot com" sites. I think I got 3 calls back. I've come to the conclusion that you need to know someone to get a good job. The "dot com" sites are mainly used by companies in order to cover their tushys and allow individuals an equal opportunity to apply. I was recently hired for a "revolving door" job with a company that I applied to a year ago. So, in my spare time I continue to look on "dot com" sites for jobs that no person could possibly possess the qualifications required. In combination, you need like 100 years experience, 50 licenses and significant computer experience that only an IT guy would have (ie. teacher). I recommend, take what you can get and start/continue to network because I'm sure many of us already possess the skills to do a kick @$$ job!

March 08 2009 at 2:12 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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