First Business

December 09, 2011

Human Resources: manufacture talent

Faced with an acute talent shortage, employers continue to re-assess how to “manufacture” the talent they need to prosper. For millions of job seekers, this is a frustrating conundrum. Job seekers want to work and have capabilities, but employers are becoming increasingly specific about the skills they want for employment. ManpowerGroup’s 2011 Talent Shortage Survey revealed that 52 percent of U.S. employers are having difficulty filling mission-critical positions, up from 14 percent in 2010. The top three jobs identified as the most challenging to fill include skilled trades, sales representatives and engineers. The survey indicated that “old” skill requirements are not meeting the new job demands. To illustrate, the former criterion for hiring a sales representative included assertiveness, a thorough knowledge of product or service, a competitive nature and determination to achieve goals. Now, contrast these with the “new” sales representative competency requirements:

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