Recruitment optimism has returned to pre-pandemic levels, with employers in 42 of the 43 countries surveyed by the ManpowerGroup Employment Outlook (MEOS) reporting stronger recruitment prospects than last year.

The survey was conducted on more than 45,000 employers.

However, this optimism is mitigated by the lack of talent where almost 7 out of 10 (69%) employers worldwide report difficulty in filling positions – recording the highest percentage since the start of the survey in 2006. While in Greece the percentage reaches 80% , which constitutes a  12-year record for Greece, since the start of the research in 2008.

The COVID-19 crisis has brought about the biggest change in skills redistribution since World War II. Even the skills that were most in demand at the beginning of the crisis are different now and will be different in the future. But it’s not just the skills associated with an industry or a job title.

Several factors contribute to the lack of talent, including health and safety concerns due to the COVID-19 pandemic, childcare challenges and the need to balance work and personal life, but, the most important factor of all is the struggle to find talent with the right combination of technical and personal skills. All of these make upgrading and redefining skills imperative for success in today’s environment.

According to the ManpowerGroup Employment Prospects Survey for the third quarter of 2021, the 4 roles with the highest coverage difficulty are related to:

– Informatics / Data

– Industry / Production

– Supply Chain / Business Operations

– Sales / Marketing

Employers are looking for people who do not have exclusively the technical skills (hard skills), but the personal (soft skills), which are required for the positions. In times of rapid transformation and uncertainty, personal skills are more important than ever to employees and leaders alike. In fact, several employers have reported that they are looking for people with hard-to-find soft skills who could train or upgrade their respective technical skills. Greek employers have revealed the top 5 personal skills that are difficult to identify:

– Leadership & Social Influence (58%)

– Taking Initiatives (51%)

– Creativity & Authenticity (49%)

– Critical Thinking & Analysis (48%)

Invest in existing talent

We know that retaining people is the best economic solution in the long run, compared to the process of recruiting and training young people. The cost of recruitment is 25% higher than the cost of retention. By investing in your existing human resources, you will not only create more skilled employees for your organization, but you will save time and money, without having to hire new people in your business with the need for their training. Investing in people is an important way of keeping an organization competitive.

Skills evolve – Preparing for the new reality

One of the best ways to ensure this flexibility is to adopt Upskilling, or constantly learn new skills that can be applied to your job and take on new roles that are being created. The skills that employees will need in the future will be very different from the past. As your business is constantly changing, so is our way of working. We are constantly evolving and it is time to encourage all human resources to reorganize and engage in continuous learning. Encourage distance learning and support employees to regain their strengths with training opportunities tailored to the skills your business needs. Just as your human resources need to be adapted, so should your business.

Employee needs

Employees need education and training, but are  looking more for learning opportunities through rotational assignments, on-the-job training, and participating in projects with different groups. They are looking for a job that offers variety, expands their experience and builds skills. They want to grow and earn more. They realize that they need longer “life expectancy” in this rapidly changing world of employment. To provide challenges and opportunities for people to succeed and stay in their jobs, managers need to understand the skills, capabilities and desires of employees. With the evaluation, insight and culture of continuing education and training, they can guide individuals to triumph in a supportive environment.

Now is our chance to redesign a future that is closer to what employees want. Employees and businesses need a more flexible, digital and confident future that allows everyone to better combine work and home, allowing organizations to harness their talents. By empowering your people, you will strengthen your business.