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Insights & Trends > Survey Results

America’s Got Talent? One in Three Employers Struggling to Fill Jobs

Unfilled JobsIt makes even less sense than Kris Jenner getting her own talk show, yet somehow, even with nearly 11.8 million Americans out of work, millions of U.S. jobs remain open. According to a new study from CareerBuilder, 35 percent of companies are struggling to fill jobs, stating they have positions they have been trying to fill for 12 weeks or longer.

Although there is no shortage of readily-available talent, employers say these candidates lack the specialized skills they need to fill certain occupations – particularly in the areas of technology, sales and health care. According to Brent Rasmussen, President of CareerBuilder North America, the problem of finding these workers isn’t going to go away any time soon.

“The skills gap that exists for high-growth, specialized occupations will become even more pronounced in the years to come, prompting the need to place a greater emphasis on reskilling workers through formal education and on-the-job training,” Rasmussen says.

Where Employers Struggle Most: America’s Hardest-to-Fill Jobs

A new study from CareerBuilder provides insight into where companies are struggling the most. Pairing results from a survey of over 2,000 hiring managers and human resource professionals nationwide and job growth data from EMSI, CareerBuilder put together the following list of employers cited as most difficult to fill, in order of jobs added from 2010 to 2013:

  • Sales Representative
    • 584,792 new jobs added from 2010 to 2013
    • 3.8 percent job growth from 2010 to 2013
  • Machine Operator/Assembler/Production Worker
    • 135,363 new jobs
    • 9.9 percent growth
  • Nurse
    • 135,325 new jobs
    • 5 percent growth
  • Truck Driver
    • 113,517 new jobs
    • 6.7 percent growth
  • Software Developer
    • 103,708 new jobs
    • 11.2 percent growth
  • Engineer
    • 73,995 new jobs
    • 4.9 percent growth
  • Marketing Professional
    • 57,045 new jobs
    • 11.3 percent growth
  • Accountant
    • 55,670 new jobs
    • 4.5 percent growth
  • Mechanic
    • 53,002 new jobs
    • 4.1 percent growth
  • IT Manager/Network Administrator
    • 48,709 new jobs
    • 7.5 percent growth

Is your company among those struggling to fill open positions? How are you working to overcome this challenge?

Mary Lorenz

About Mary Lorenz

Mary is a copywriter for CareerBuilder, specializing in B2B marketing and corporate recruiting best practices and social media. In addition to creating copy for corporate advertising and marketing campaigns, she researches and writes about employee attraction, engagement and retention. Whenever possible, she makes references to pop culture. Sometimes, those references are even relevant. A New Orleans native, Mary now lives in Chicago, right down the street from the best sushi place in the city. It's awesome.
Katryna Johnson
Katryna Johnson

Ya know, I get this to an extent -- but many of today's employers are looking for the wrong thing.  There has been a job posted locally for almost 6 months now which says "if you don't have at least 6 years experience in the hospitality industry, don't apply."  Since when can't experience in, oh, I don't know, entertainment or marketing or something, be translated? They are basically trying to hire the person that left.  Another ad this week:  "receptionist needed for busy real estate office"  and the job requirements list a high school diploma and 3 years of previous experience in real estate.  Huh?  Why does the receptionist need 3 years of real estate experience?  Why does it matter that they got their experience answering the phone at a law office or setting appointments at the nail salon?  

In the ads that I'm seeing, employers are not looking for skills anymore -- they are trying to hire experience.  They are losing out on great employees.  I don't know why HR has gone this route, but there are plenty of people out there with the skills they need -- they just seem to have forgotten that skills are developed in numerous ways.  Most of the ads out there imply that unless you are currently do this exact job, you shouldn't apply.  From what I've seen, the employers seem to be unable or unwilling to teach or allow on-the-job training so for them to whine about not finding the right candidates is a bit hypocritical.  Just my thought


@Katryna Johnson Training costs money, and they want to pay as little as possible, but also get employees that have 5+ years of experience. They want their cake and they don't want to pay for it.


  1. [...] unfilled at more than a third of companies nationwide, according to a new CareerBuilder study. (TheHiringSite) [...]

  2. […] similar solutions that involve getting organizations that are hiring into the mix. According to a survey from CareerBuilder, 35% of employers have been struggling to fill a position for 12 weeks or more. This same survey […]

  3. […] to a survey from CareerBuilder, 35% of employers have been struggling to fill a position for 12 weeks or more. This same survey […]

  4. […] by 2020, and more companies are beginning to see the cost-saving benefits of reshoring. Though finding skilled talent remains a challenge for employers, re-skilling workers could be a viable solution to closing that skills […]

  5. […] no coincidence that the occupations on this list look remarkably similar to lists of the toughest to fill positions. In cases where HR departments don’t have headcount or resources to find the right candidates, […]

  6. […] no coincidence that the occupations on this list look remarkably similar to lists of the toughest to fill positions. In cases where HR departments don’t have headcount or resources to find the right candidates, […]

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