Firms increasingly finding recruiting to be difficult

Sustained job creation has been a highpoint of the economic recovery, but while still being an encouraging trend overall, it has created some additional problems for companies. A recent study found that HR professionals are increasingly finding recruiting for specific skill sets to be a daunting task, especially in regard to technical abilities. As such, any business that finds its talent searches stagnating because of difficulty in identifying qualified candidates can work with recruiting agencies to locate the best available talent.

Critical thinking high on the list, but insufficient among many applicants
In a recent survey of HR professionals by the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM), 66 percent of respondents reported they are having a difficult time recruiting talent to fill open job positions that require specific skill sets. The Ongoing Impact of the Recession - Recruiting and Skills Gaps survey found the number of organizations encountering recruiting roadblocks has increased from 52 percent in 2011.

Nearly half (48 percent) of respondents said job applicants didn't posses the requisite skills for a desired job, another 40 percent said such candidates also did not have enough work experience.

The most commonly cited skill that respondents said applicants lacked was critical thinking and problem solving, which 53 percent of respondents said current job applicants aren't sufficient in. That skill was followed by professionalism and work ethic (46 percent), written communication (41 percent) and leadership (38 percent).

Not only were applicants lacking in broad skill sets, but also crucial knowledge. Fifty-five percent of respondents said talent gaps existed in grasp of English, while 38 percent said mathematics, suggesting organizations should bolster their talent acquisition strategies by enlisting the help of accomplished technical recruiters.

"Attracting highly skilled candidates in the fields of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) presents a significant talent management challenge for employers today," said Alexander Alonso, vice president of research at SHRM. "This is magnified by the ongoing recession during which companies shifted to technologies for efficiency and now require skilled professionals to support those technologies."

Survey results also indicated engineering recruiters could be in high demand, as 86 percent of respondents said engineering-related jobs were the hardest to recruit for. Eighty-eight percent said scientists and 85 percent said technicians and programmers.