Recruiting Challenges Getting Tougher in High-Tech Sector, SHRM Says

    According to a survey by the Society for Human Resource Management, it’s getting significantly harder for organizations in the high-tech sector to find the qualified workers they need.

    The SHRM survey, the results of which were released last month, found that nearly three-quarters (73 percent) of the organizations surveyed found it somewhat or very difficult to recruit qualified candidates in 2011. By comparison, in 2010 less than half (47 percent) of the organizations said they were experiencing difficulty to that degree. The survey also found that among the high-tech industry organizations that are currently hiring full-time staff, 71 percent reported having difficulty recruiting for specific open jobs. Here are some of the other findings that I found particularly interesting:

    What types of jobs are the most difficult to fill in the high-tech industry?

    Engineers (95 percent)

    High-skilled technical, including technicians and programmers (88 percent)

    Sales representatives (79 percent)

    Managers and executives (78 percent)

    Customer service representatives (47 percent).

    Has your organization hired any workers from outside the U.S. in an attempt to fill key jobs that are difficult to fill?

    Yes (50 percent)

    No (44 percent)

    No, but we are considering it (6 percent)

    No, but we have plans to do so in the next 12 months (1 percent)

    In general, what basic skills/knowledge gaps do job applicants have in the high-tech industry?

    Writing in English (grammar, spelling, etc.) (40 percent)

    English language (spoken) (37 percent)

    Mathematics (computation) (28 percent)

    Science (27 percent)

    Reading comprehension (in English) (16 percent)

    Technical (computer, engineering, mechanical, etc.) (16 percent)

    Foreign languages (7 percent)

    Government/economics (6 percent)

    Humanities/arts (1 percent)

    History/geography (0 percent)

    Other (7 percent)

    In general, what applied skill gaps do job applicants have in the high-tech industry?

    Critical thinking/problem solving (48 percent)

    Information technology application (47 percent)

    Leadership (36 percent)

    Teamwork/collaboration (35 percent)

    Professionalism/work ethic (34 percent)

    Oral communications (32 percent)

    Written communications (32 percent)

    Creativity/innovation (27 percent)

    Diversity (22 percent)

    Lifelong learning/self-direction (18 percent)

    Ethics/social responsibility (14 percent)

    Other (6 percent)

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