Companies face 'crippling' talent shortage

Antony Gormley - Field

More than one-third of employers around the world are experiencing difficulty filling job positions, global employment consultancy Manpower reported on Monday.

Manpower surveyed 41,700 hiring managers across 42 countries in its annual "talent shortage" report in the first three months of 2015. It found that 38 percent of managers could not find the talent they needed-the highest proportion since the 2007 two percent higher than last year.

"Businesses across the world continue to face a crippling talent shortage," said Manpower in a new release accompanying its report.

It found the hardest jobs to fill were sales representatives and skilled trade workers such as chefs, mechanics and electricians.

"Talent shortages are a real problem hurting organizations' competitiveness; from the data we've gathered and the structural changes we can see coming in the labor markets, we know the problem is only going to get worse," said Manpower CEO Jonas Prising, in the news release.

Employers in Japan reported the greatest difficulty in filling vacancies, with 83 percent saying there were finding it challenging. Other countries suffering high levels of talent shortages were located all over the world and included Peru , Hong Kong, Brazil and Romania.

Notably, 59 percent of Greek employers said they found it hard to fill positions, despite Greece's economic straits and high levels of unemployment.

Conversely, employers in the United Kingdom and Ireland experience the least difficulty in filing vacancies, with only 14 percent and 11 percent respectively in each country struggling.

The most common reasons employers gave for experiencing difficulty was a lack of applicants (named by 35 percent of those surveyed) and applicants' lack of technical competence (cited by 34 percent).

Another reason was a lack of experience, affecting 22 percent of employers.

With youth unemployment still elevated across the world, particularly in Europe, inexperience could continue to be a challenge for hiring managers.

Even in the comparatively thriving U.S., the unemployment rate for those aged between 16 and 19 stood at 17.1 percent in April, versus 5.4 percent across all working age groups.

Read More Youth jobs picture bad and not getting much better

"Younger workers tend to face higher unemployment rates across the business cycle and suffered disproportionately during the Great Recession," Goldman Sachs economists David Mericle and Chris Mischaikow said in a report on the subject.

More than half of employers surveyed by Manpower said that talent shortage were having a "serious negative" impact on their businesses, with consequences including reduced competitiveness or productivity, higher employee turnover and low morale.

The survey was conducted by telephone, except in the U.S. where it was completed online.

Hardest jobs to fill globally in 2015: Manpower

  1. Skilled Trades
  2. Sales Representatives
  3. Engineers
  4. Technicians
  5. Drivers
  6. Management / Executives
  7. Accounting & Finance Staff
  8. Office Support Staff
  9. IT Staff
  10. Production / Machine Operators

- With contribution from CNBC's Jeff Cox

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