Staffing firm the ManpowerGroup recently released its Talent Shortage report for 2018, with data collected from nearly 40 000 employers across six industry sectors in 43 countries and territories.

The report reveals that in South Africa large companies (250+ employees) have the most difficulty filling positions; followed by medium (50-249 employees), micro (less than 10 employees) and small (10-49 employees) companies. Approximately 54% of large companies say that they are battling to fill roles, while just 25% of small companies are facing talent shortages.

Lack of experience (29%), applicants that lack the required hard skills (18%), and applicants expecting higher pay than offered (14%) were named as the three top drivers of talent shortages in South Africa. Skilled trades followed by Management/Executive and Sales Representatives were named as the hardest roles to fill.

According to the report, more employers than ever are struggling to fill open jobs — 45% globally say they can’t find the skills they need, up from 40% in 2017 and the highest in over a decade. For large firms (250+ employees) this statistic is even higher, with 67% reporting talent shortages in 2018.

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“While artificial intelligence is fast-expanding what can be automated, technology is redefining rather than replacing in-demand roles,” ManpowerGroup said. “Skilled trades – electricians, welders, mechanics and more – as well as sales representatives, engineers, drivers and technicians have ranked among the top five hardest roles to fill for the past 10 years. Most of the top 10 in-demand roles today require post-secondary training and not always a full university degree. In the digital age, employment will not always require a college degree, but will rely heavily on continual skills development as even the most traditional roles are augmented with new technology.”

The 10 hardest jobs to fill in South Africa, according to ManpowerGroup: