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Employers’ Top 10 Staffing Challenges by Industry

The recession may have ended nearly five years ago, but try telling that to IT, retail and financial services employers. Employers in these industries are still struggling to meet their staffing needs and get back to pre-recession levels. Three recent studies look at the state of these industries and their most pressing staffing challenges right now.

36 Percent of IT Employers Worry About Retention

Nearly half of hiring managers in information technology say they still feel as if they’re in a recession, according to a joint survey from CareerBuilder and Sologig.com.

Of the 161 IT hiring managers and human resource professionals who participated in the survey, a third (32 percent) said their company is struggling to recover from the recession, and 34 percent say their staff is still smaller than before the recession.

The staffing challenges are creating obstacles for companies by halting productivity and innovation, says Eric Presley, chief technology officer at CareerBuilder. “The top issues in 2014 will be the retention and recruitment of high-skill talent. The most-in demand workers are attracting lucrative offers nationwide, meaning employers have to recognize and incentivize their best talent to stay ahead of the competition.”

When asked to name their top staffing challenges, IT hiring managers named the following:

  1. Retaining top talent – 36 percent
  2. Lifting employee morale – 31 percent
  3. Recruiting high skill applicants – 29 percent
  4. Providing competitive compensation – 27 percent
  5. Worker burnout – 26 percent
  6. Maintaining productivity levels – 25 percent
  7. Managing organizational changes – 21 percent
  8. Providing competitive benefits – 20 percent
  9. Providing upward mobility – 17 percent
  10. Cutting down on cost-per-hire – 16 percent

Worker Burnout a Concern for 1 in 3 Financial Services Employers  

Despite projected growth, the financial services industry is operating with lean headcounts, according to a new survey from CareerBuilder and MoneyJobs.com.

Of the 123 hiring managers and HR professionals in the financial services industry who participated in the survey, 61 percent expect sales to increase in the first half of 2014 – significantly above the average for all industries (44 percent) and a sign more job creation could be on the way. And yet, 35 percent of hiring managers and human resource professionals say their current staff is smaller than before the recession.

Given these findings, it is no surprise that worker burnout is a top concern for financial services employers, along with retention and attraction of highly skilled employees.

Kevin Knapp, chief financial officer at CareerBuilder, says in order to stay competitive, employers must be proactive and find ways to reward employees and incentivize them to stay. “Employees are willing to be loyal to companies that invest in individual opportunity and development,” Knapp says.

When asked to name their top staffing challenges, financial services hiring managers named the following:

  1. Retaining top talent – 37 percent
  2. Recruiting high skill applicants – 30 percent
  3. Worker burnout – 28 percent
  4. Employee engagement – 24 percent
  5. Lifting employee morale – 24 percent
  6. Managing organizational changes – 24 percent
  7. Maintaining productivity levels – 23 percent
  8. Providing competitive compensation – 22 percent
  9. Providing competitive benefits – 19 percent
  10. Providing upward mobility – 17 percent

37 Percent of Retail Employers Struggle with Employee Morale

In a survey of 168 retail hiring managers and human resource professionals across company sizes, more than half (55 percent) say they feel as if the recession ever ended. The joint survey from CareerBuilder and WorkInRetail.com found that 38 percent of retail employers are struggling to recover from the recession, and 34 percent say their staffs are smaller than before the recession.

Employee morale is the number one concern among retail employers this year, following closely by retention, which employers can achieve with competitive pay and recognition, says Rob Morris, director of WorkInRetail.com. “Employees desire a sense of opportunity, and the companies that provide that will attract and keep the best workers.”

When asked to name their top staffing challenges, retail hiring managers named the following:

  1. Lifting employee morale – 37 percent
  2. Retaining top talent – 36 percent
  3. Maintaining productivity levels – 29 percent
  4. Recruiting high skill applicants – 29 percent
  5. Providing competitive compensation – 27 percent
  6. Worker burnout – 26 percent
  7. Providing competitive benefits – 23 percent
  8. Employee engagement – 20 percent
  9. Cutting down on cost-per-hire – 16 percent
  10. Cutting down on time to hire – 15 percent

Tell us: What is your top challenge this year? 

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.

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