Gauteng Business News

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LABOUR:  Annual Manpower Survey for South Africa


Recent Gauteng Business News

Manpower South Africa has released the results of its fifth Manpower Talent Shortage Survey. It has revealed persistent talent shortages in several countries and industry sectors, with 31% of employers worldwide and 16% of employers in South Africa having difficulty filling key positions within their organisations. This is a 19% points lower than the South African percentage during 2009.

In South Africa, the most difficult jobs to fill are, Skilled Trade, Engineers and Management/ Executive (Management/ Corporate). According to the survey of more than 35,000 employers across 36 countries, the top hardest jobs to fill globally are Skilled Trades, Sales Representatives, Technicians and Engineers. Significantly, these are the same top jobs that employers have reported struggling to fill for the past four years, suggesting that there is an ongoing, systemic global shortage in these areas. In a year-on-year comparison of the three most difficult jobs to fill since 2007, being engineering, skilled trade and technicians, it can be seen that South African organisations are having a similar talent shortage to their global counterparts.

Peter Winn, Manpower South Africa Managing Director comments, “We are seeing a ‘jobless’ recovery in many parts of the world, yet where there are jobs available employers are having difficulty to fill these positions. The issue is not about the number of potential candidates, but rather a talent mismatch, because there are not enough sufficiently skilled people in the right place at the right time. Impacting on the issue is the fact that employers are constantly seeking more specific skill sets and are reluctant to engage in anticipatory hiring. This creates a very challenging and frustrating time for employers and job seekers alike.”

Jobs most in demand in 2010 in South Africa

Jobs most in demand in 2009 in South Africa

1. Skilled Trades

1. Engineers

2. Engineers

2. Skilled Trades

3. Management/ Executive (Management/ Corporate)

3. Accounting and Finance staff

4. Sales Representatives

4. Technicians (primarily production/ operations, engineering or maintenance)

5. Teachers

5. Management/ Executive

6. Chefs/ Cooks

6. Sales Representatives

7. Insurance staff (Qualified Brokers, Clerks etc.)

7. Restaurants and Hotel staff

8. Secretaries, PAs, Administrative assistants and Office support staff

8. Teachers

9. Drivers

9. Secretaries, PAs, Administrative Assistants and Office Support staff

10. Accounting and finance staff

10. Drivers

Manpower’s latest Fresh Perspective White Paper Teachable Fit: A New Approach for Easing the Talent Mismatch, offers advice for employers to broaden their search for candidates to include industry migrants, location migrants, role changers and workforce entrants. Training and development are key to successfully tapping into these talent pools.

“By broadening their search for talent in untapped pools, employers can leverage candidates that may not be a precise fit but instead are a “teachable fit,” added Winn. “It matters less what technical skills, although still important, an individual mastered in the past, and matters more that an individual possess the capacity, capability and motivation to learn new skills in the future.”

Manpower’s “teachable fit” framework will assist to reduce the gap between employer needs and the abilities of candidates and employees, employers need to ask four questions:

· What capabilities are essential to performing the job?

· Which of these are teachable in an efficient way?

· Is there adequate time and money to develop these capabilities in the candidate?

· Do candidates have the capacity (motivation and capability) to develop them?

The “teachable fit” framework can predict how successfully a candidate’s skills gaps can be filled. The framework is an analytical tool that maps the capabilities needed for a given role against an individual’s likelihood of meeting those needs. The four capability groups of the “teachable fit” framework can be classified as the following:

· Knowledge - Understanding of business or academic disciplines or industries\

· Skills - Demonstrated aptitudes and practices

· Values and Mindset - Attitudes and preferences sought in work and life

· Personality and Intelligence - Basic characteristics and mental traits.

After examining those four areas, the employer is then able to weigh each on two scales thereby building the Talent Pipeline via the Teachable Fit Framework:

  • Is it important?

How essential is the capability for performing the work well?

  • Is it teachable?

To what extent and with what degree can the capability be developed?

To fill large and systemic talent gaps, there are four potential labour pools that are promising for finding talent that is a “teachable fit,” that is:

  • Location migrants - candidates may be willing to relocate for work
  • Industry migrants - some industries are cutting their workforces, while others are growing faster than the talent supply. Be opportunistic in response to significant changes in local labor markets, such as businesses closing or relocating and leaving capable employees behind.
  • Internal role changers - often the best source of “new” talent is the people already in your company – if your organisation has the foresight and ability to redeploy them into different roles or even careers.
  • Workforce entrants - the underemployed and under-skilled are another potential pool, especially as local governmental agencies and others move to help them with training and other programs to enable their transition into the workforce.

Globally, employers having the most difficulty finding the right people to fill jobs are those in Japan (76%), Brazil (64%), Argentina (53%), Singapore (53%), Poland (51%), Australia (45%), Hong Kong (44%), Mexico (43%), Peru (42%), Taiwan (41%), China (40%), and Panama (38%).

Compared to 2009, employers are reporting that talent shortages are considerably less pervasive in Romania (down 26 percentage points), Taiwan (down 21 percentage points), and South Africa (down 19 percentage points).

In the EMEA Region, the survey shows that 23% of the region’s employers are having difficulty filling positions due to the lack of suitable talent available in their markets. This is a two percentage point decline when compared to the 2009 survey and is eight percentage points lower than the global average of 31%. Employers named Skilled Trades as the most difficult positions to fill for the fourth year in succession. Chefs/Cooks and Doctors and other Non-Nursing Health Professionals both moved up to the top ten this year (from the 13th and 19th most difficult to fill in 2009, respectively), while Laborers, Management/ Executives and Mechanics fell off the top 10 list.

Vacancies for skilled trades are the most difficult to fill in the EMEA Region, followed by sales representatives and technical (primary production/ operations engineering or maintenance). Employers in Poland (51%) and Romania (38) are having the most difficulty finding staff, while those in Ireland (4%) and the United Kingdom (9%) are having the least difficulty.

The talent mismatch

Various factors contribute to these survey results, such as demographic shifts, social customs, education and entrepreneurial practices. These factors can combine to make the talent challenge somewhat different for each nation and region. But one thing is universal – the underlying reasons for talent shortages are here to stay.

Employers need to think differently about how they fill their talent needs now and in the future. They must adjust their mindsets to look beyond the usual places for candidates and consider those who are best positioned to benefit from training and development. Employers must recognize that the talent imbalance is not something they can fix one position and one well qualified candidate at a time. As the skills mismatch grows more severe, the “teachable fit” framework becomes foundational to talent strategy.

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