According to a recent survey by Manpower Staffing, there are 10 jobs that are in demand but still hard to fill. Fourteen percent of employers surveyed reported difficulty filling the following positions in their industry.
- Skilled Laborers (including carpenters, plumbers, electricians and other tradesmen)
- Sales Representatives
- Truck Drivers
- Restaurant and Hotel Staff
- Doctors and other non-nursing professionals
- Customer Service Representatives
It's not that there is a shortage of people in the labor market that match these professional titles, but rather that employers are finding a mismatch between talent and skills. Sometimes they can't find the right people in the right geography or they can't source the professional with the right mix of functional and technical skills. For example, there may be multiple engineering positions available in a part of the country where engineers are scarce. There may be many sales reps looking for work, but it is harder to find those that have the technical or product knowledge necessary to hit the ground running. The same goes for customer-service reps and even executives.
It appears that employers are looking for exact matches, yet few exact matches exist. So how do you make yourself appear like more of a match to an employer with in-demand jobs? Here are a few ideas.
- Get flexible. If you see a great opportunity with a company in a different geography, think about what it would take to get you to move. Or ponder how the job might be done remotely and prove to the hiring manager that location is not an issue.
- Get educated. If your profession has evolved and you haven't kept your skills up to date, now's the time to consider doing so. If you are currently unemployed, you may be able to obtain a training voucher through the Department of Labor. Or you may be able to trim costs by taking classes through an area community college or distance-learning program.
- Get curious. Check out the Bureau of Labor Statistics to see what industries and professions are trending upward. Go online and do research on companies that employ people with your skill set to uncover where the gap may be between what you have and what they are looking for. Take a trip to your local library to see what resources they have for finding out information about local employers and their needs.
- Get connected. In order to get the pulse on a particular company or industry hiring trend, you need to be talking with people who are insiders to that industry. If you are a salesperson trying to break into pharmaceutical sales, find someone connected to that industry. It doesn't have to be a direct insider; it could be someone peripheral to the industry. In this example, a doctor or pharmacist might be able to give you some valuable information or leads.
- Get real. It's harder to get noticed in an industry where you don't have a track record. It doesn't happen overnight. It takes time and perseverance, but breaking into a new field or industry does happen.