Skills Shortages, Noncompetitive Pay Cause Recruiting Woes in 2016

Robin Harpe, SHRM-SCP, is hunting for those elusive purple
—the job seekers who have all the right skills, education
and experience to fill positions for the industrial clients that her recruiting
firm in Atlanta serves.

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“Jobs are plentiful, but we still have two main
issues,” Harpe said. “Either the candidates aren’t qualified, or
they’re qualified and they’re willing to relocate but the companies aren’t
coming to the table with the right offers.”

And so it has gone for many HR professionals in 2016. Job
creation has been steady throughout the year, but skills shortages continue to
pose problems, and some employers are perhaps still hesitant to raise
compensation to levels that may be considered more favorable by job seekers.

Here are some observations about HR professionals’
challenges, according to findings from talent acquisition-centered surveys
published in 2016 from the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM):

–Recruiting difficulty in the manufacturing and service
sectors was lower in several months in 2016 compared with the previous year,
according to SHRM’s Leading Indicators of National Employment (LINE) report.
However, this is not necessarily because companies opened up their wallets to
snare job seekers. During nine months in 2016, fewer service organizations
increased their new-hire compensation compared with the previous year,
according to LINE.

–Of the 68 percent of organizations that reported difficulty
hiring for full-time positions, half of HR professionals (50 percent) cited the
fact that candidates do not have the needed work experience, according to The New
Talent Landscape: Recruiting Difficulty and Skills Shortages
, a SHRM
survey from June. However, another 34 percent said their organization’s
salaries were not competitive for the market, and 23 percent said candidates
rejected their compensation package.

–The vast majority of respondents to an October SHRM/Mercer
survey on entry-level applicant job skills
 ranked dependability
and reliability (97 percent), integrity (87 percent), and respect (84 percent)
as qualities that were very or extremely important in entry-level job

–Nearly 3 out of 5 HR professionals (58 percent) had some
level of faith in the labor market and expected job growth in the second half
of 2016, according to SHRM’s Jobs
Outlook Survey
. From that same survey, more than 4 out of 5
respondents (83 percent) had positive views of their organization’s financial
health (51 percent called it “good,” and 32 percent classified it as

–Although less than 3 out of 10 organizations (27 percent)
were hiring for HR positions, a majority of HR professionals (88 percent) had
some level of confidence that they could land a new position, if needed,
according to SHRM’s HR Jobs Pulse
 for the summer of 2016.

–Compared with five years ago, more organizations are
offering monetary bonus benefits such as employee referral bonuses,
spot/bonus awards, sign-on bonuses for executives and nonexecutives, and
retention bonuses for nonexecutives, according to SHRM’s 2016 Employee
 survey released in June. Telecommuting benefits have
seen a threefold increase over the past two decades, from 20 percent in 1996 to
60 percent in 2016, according to the survey.

–Nearly 9 out of 10 U.S. employees (88 percent) reported
overall satisfaction with their current job, marking the highest level of
satisfaction over the last decade, according to SHRM’s 2016 Employee
Job Satisfaction and Engagement
 report, released in April. The
leading job satisfaction contributors included respectful treatment of all
employees at all levels, compensation/pay, benefits and job security.

–The average percentage of internally filled positions was
26 percent, according to results from Talent
Acquisition: Recruitment and Selection
, a SHRM report released in
April. Government organizations are more likely to fill open positions with
internal candidates than privately owned for-profit organizations, the survey

looking to the future, HR professionals should be prepared to embrace more
number-crunching when it comes to talent acquisition strategies. Nearly 3 out
of 5 organizations (59 percent) expect to increase the number of positions
requiring data analysis skills over the next five years, according to Jobs of the
Future: Data Analysis Skills
, a SHRM report released in November.
The most common functional areas for data analysis positions are accounting and
finance (71 percent), human resources (54 percent), and business and administration
(50 percent), the survey determined.

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