Construction and Energy Industries Report Difficulty Hiring for Specific Jobs

Mar 19, 2012

Three-quarters of organizations hiring report challenges in filling technical positions, SHRM poll finds

Alexandria, Va., March 19, 2012 — Two-thirds of organizations in the construction, mining and energy industry were hiring full-time staff in fall 2011, and about one-half of them said they had difficulty recruiting for specific jobs, according to a Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) poll.

The first of eight industry-specific SHRM poll findings on how the recession is impacting employers showed that the construction, mining, oil and gas industry reported improved financial health compared with a year earlier. Forty-six percent of organizations were in a significant or mild recovery from the recession compared with a year earlier. This compares to 36 percent in 2010.

Of the 66 percent of organizations hiring, about one-half (51 percent) reported difficulty recruiting for specific jobs openings. The most difficult positions to fill were: engineers (88 percent of organizations reporting difficulty), high-skilled technical (technicians and programmers) (79 percent), managers and executives (76 percent), skilled trades (electricians, carpenters) (68 percent), and sales representatives (60 percent).

The findings are from SHRM’s Ongoing Impact of the Recession Poll, which was released in three reports in late 2011. In the coming weeks, SHRM will release industry-specific results on seven other industries, including manufacturing. The poll of more than 2,280 randomly selected HR professionals was conducted in late August and early September 2011.

SHRM’s Annual Conference will include a half-day summit on the skills gap in manufacturing. SHRM is teaming up with the U.S. Department of Labor to present “Keeping America Competitive: Addressing the skills gap in manufacturing” from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Sunday, June 24, at the Georgia World Congress Center in Atlanta.

Other findings from the construction and energy industry include:

  • About one-half (49 percent) of organizations were mainly hiring direct replacements of jobs lost in the recession, similar to the 48 percent reported in 2010.
  • Seventy-two percent of organizations were hiring non-management hourly employees, and 70 percent non-management salaried employees.
  • Fewer organizations were hiring for completely new positions in 2011 (37 percent) than in 2010 (44 percent). When completely new positions were being filled, 61 percent of organizations said they were seeking a mix of new and the same skills.

For more information on the poll findings, visit the SHRM Research webpage.

Media: For more information or to schedule an interview about poll results, contact Kate Kennedy of SHRM Media Relations at 703-535-6260 and

About the Society for Human Resource Management

The Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) is the world’s largest association devoted to human resource management. Representing more than 250,000 members in over 140 countries, the Society serves the needs of HR professionals and advances the interests of the HR profession. Founded in 1948, SHRM has more than 575 affiliated chapters within the United States and subsidiary offices in China and India. Visit SHRM Online at Follow us on Twitter.


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