Finance Industry Reports Difficulty in Recruiting for Technical and Managerial Job Openings, SHRM Research Shows

Jun 4, 2012
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Federal, state and local governments also facing skills gap, SHRM poll finds

Alexandria, Va., June 4, 2012 — About three-quarters of organizations in the finance industry were hiring last year, but about one-half of them were having difficulty recruiting for specific openings, according to a Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) poll.

The industry-specific SHRM poll findings on how the recession is impacting employers showed that 74 percent of organizations in the finance industry were hiring in 2011, primarily non-management hourly employees, non-management salaried employees, and other managers. This was an increase from 68 percent in 2010.

Of those, 49 percent were having difficulty recruiting. The most difficult positions to fill were: high-skilled technical (technicians and programmers) (88 percent), managers and executives (83 percent), sales representatives (77 percent), accounting and finance professionals (73 percent), and HR professionals (54 percent).

When asked what basic skills/knowledge were lacking in job applicants, respondents cited writing in English and mathematics (66 percent and 47 percent, respectively). Written communications (cited by 61 percent), critical thinking/problem solving (59 percent), and professionalism/work ethic (54 percent) were cited as applied skills gaps in the finance industry.

The findings are from SHRM’s Ongoing Impact of the Recession Poll, which was released in three parts in late 2011. Reports on how the recession is impacting manufacturing and the construction, mining, oil and gas industry were released this spring.

A half-day summit on the skills gap, particularly how it affects the manufacturing industry, will be held at SHRM’s Annual Conference. “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 — will feature other new SHRM research and tools and resources from the U.S. Department of Labor.

The finance industry is more likely to have difficulty recruiting than state and local governments, the poll showed.

Companion reports on the recession’s impact on federal and state governments also were released this week. Key findings include:

  • About two-thirds (68 percent) of federal government respondents were hiring in 2011, a decline from 76 percent in 2010. But only the health industry was more likely to be hiring than the federal government.
  • The vast majority (96 percent) of federal government respondents had hired U.S. veterans for key jobs that had been difficult to fill. The federal government is more likely to have hired U.S. veterans than all other seven industries surveyed.
  • The most difficult positions to fill for the federal government were high-skilled technical (technicians and programmers) (81 percent), engineers (80 percent), and managers and executives (65 percent).
  • Three-quarters of respondents from state and local governments reported hiring in 2011, an increase from 60 percent in 2010. The majority (80 percent) of those were recruiting non-management hourly employees.
  • In 2011, 80 percent of state and local governments were hiring direct replacements of jobs lost since the recession began.
  • The most difficult positions to fill for state and local governments were high-skilled technical positions (88 percent), high-skilled medical (85 percent), engineers (83 percent) and scientists (80 percent).
For more information on the poll findings, visit the SHRM Research webpage. Follow SHRM Research on Twitter at @SHRM_Research.

Media: To schedule an interview or attend the June 24 Manufacturing Summit, contact Kate Kennedy of SHRM Media Relations at 703-535-6260 and kate.kennedy@shrm.org.

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 www.shrm.org. Follow us on Twitter at: @SHRMPress

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