Friday, March 16, 2012

Top 10 global skills shortages

Financial, IT and ‘green’ energy and construction skills are topping the list of skills in greatest demand in the global job market, according to recruitment specialist Hays.

"Talent shortages are a global problem," said Christine Wright, Managing Director of Hays in Japan. "We operate in 31 countries and these skills are the ones that our clients globally say are in most demand. For anyone considering their career options in our globalised economy, these are the skills to focus on.

Soft skills, such as languages, organisation, relationship building and team leadership, were particularly sought after, and made candidates who possessed them highly attractive to prospective employers.

Top 10 skills shortages


  1. Languages: English has become the lingua franca for business. For those whose first language is English, being able to speak a second or third language with any ability is prized.
  2. People and communications: This includes being able to work efficiently as part of a team, build relationships and present to clients and senior management.
  3. Team management and leadership: A lack of these skills exists across the board.
  4. Organisational skills: These are highly valued. Employers want staff capable of organising their day efficiently to make the greatest possible contribution to the business.
  5. Financial and budgetary: An increasing number of organisations are looking for greater financial and budgetary awareness, but in many countries there is a shortage of local candidates with these skills.
  6. IT: Specific IT skills that are in short supply globally include knowledge of JAVA, .NET and C++, as well as IT skills specific to individual industries.
  7. Green skills: This is a fairly new area, but a growing one, with particular demand in the green energy and construction sectors across all regions.
  8. Procurement and negotiation: As businesses seek to cut costs and make savings, demand is soaring for skilled professionals capable of making these savings and getting the best deals.
  9. Research and development (R&D): Technology, consumer goods, industrial and life science companies all foresee severe R&D skill shortages.
  10. Healthcare: As people live longer, the requirement for healthcare grows. But the lack of healthcare professionals poses a considerable threat for the global economy over the next 20 to 50 years.
Skill shortages in NZ the top challenge
According to a new Deloitte survey, skills shortages are the single largest challenge facing NZ businesses. Deloitte's Richard kleinert says the problem is "universally consistent across all sectors and business sizes, and poses a significant challenge for the country".

The survey, which  canvassed some 300 respondents across a broad range of economic sectors, found concern over skills was highest in the IT industry (55% of respondents reported it the top challenge), financial services (39%) and professional services (35%).

What next?