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Employers Pursuing Alternative Talent Pools for Hard-to-Fill Positions

Nearly half of employers (47 percent) say they usually or always hire candidates who have held the same job title as the position they’re hiring for, according to recent CareerBuilder study. While this approach may work well for employers looking to fill positions with worker surpluses, pursuing alternative talent pools may be the answer for in-demand roles.

Nearly four-in-ten employers currently have open positions for which they can’t find qualified candidates. Instead of waiting for the perfect hire, more companies are hiring workers from closely-related occupations who won’t require a great deal of training and can get up to speed quickly.

The following are examples of hard-to-fill jobs and occupations with compatible skills sets according to the Economic Modeling Specialists Intl. (EMSI) compatibility index:

Computer User Support Specialist

Electrical Engineering Technician (helps engineers design and test electrical and electronic equipment such as computers, medical devices, navigational and communications equipment, etc.)  Median salary:  $56,950

Related occupations:

  • Audio and Video Equipment Technician – $41,808
  • Camera and Photographic Equipment Repairers – $37,065
  • Computer User Support Specialists – $49,046

Computer-Controlled Machine Tool Operator

Machinist (uses machine tools to make or modify primarily parts)

Median salary:  $39,353

Related occupations:

  • Computer-Controlled Machine Tool Operators – $35,339
  • Automotive Body and Related Repairers – $36,150
  • Heat Treating Equipment Setter – $33,488

Occupational Therapy Aide

Medical Assistant (performs administrative and clinical tasks in the offices of health practitioners)

Median salary: $29,473

Related Occupations:

  • Pharmacy Technician – $29,265
  • Phlebotomist – $31,158
  • Occupational Therapy Aide – $28,496

Database Administrator

Web Developer (designs and modifies Web sites)

Median salary:  $74,859

Related occupations:

  • Database Administrator – $75,795
  • Computer Systems Analyst – $78,249
  • Video Game Designer – $79,310

Risk Management Specialist

Business Intelligence Analyst (produces financial and market intelligence by querying data repositories and generating reports)

Median salary:  $79,310

Related occupations:

  • Market Research Analyst and Marketing Specialist – $60,507
  • Clinical Data Manager – $73,964
  • Risk Management Specialist – $59,467

Production, Planning and Expediting Clerk

Technical Writer (produces instruction manuals and other supporting documents to explain complex and technical information)

Median salary:  $65,936

Related Occupations:

  • Reporters and Correspondents – $35,776
  • Paralegals and Legal Assistants – $47,860
  • Production, Planning and Expediting Clerks – $43,409

Budget Analyst

Accountant (prepares and examines financial records)

Median salary:  $62,483

Related occupations:

  • Budget Analyst – $69,617
  • Tax Examiner and Collectors, and Revenue Agents – $49,961
  • Credit Analyst – $61,672

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Stephanie Gaspary

About Stephanie Gaspary

Stephanie is the managing director of content strategy at CareerBuilder, tasked with creating opportunities to share the CareerBuilder story across job seeker and employer channels. Stephanie, a lifelong learner, holds a Master's in Business Administration and a Master's in Management - both from North Park University and a Bachelor's degree in Art from Bethel University. A Minnesotan at heart, Stephanie has lived in Chicago for nearly 20 years, is the doting mother to two wacky german shorthaired pointer pups, looks forward to her morning run *almost* as much as that first cup of coffee and vows to one day live in the mountains.

You should always be Building Forward, in my opinion. If you want to win.

Jean Gleason
Jean Gleason

Great stats, but now where are the ways to fill these jobs?


The medical assistant one makes me laugh. I have had former students train for the position, however they cannot get hired because the medical offices here require a minimum of three years experience. 


 @Jean Gleason

 I run a small IT staffing firm. Please contact me if you would like help filling any openings.






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  2. [...] on the knowledge, skills and abilities they require. Economic Modeling Specialists Intl. (EMSI) recently ran a study using their compatibility index to illustrate this. For example, a company that needs to fill an [...]

  3. [...] on the knowledge, skills and abilities they require. Economic Modeling Specialists Intl. (EMSI)recently ran a study using their compatibility index to illustrate this. For example, a company that needs to fill an [...]

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