It’s hard to believe that in this world of high unemployment rates, there are actually many companies having trouble filling certain positions. This might also be a good list for job seekers who are willing to consider re-training as a path to their next job. For example, here are the ten of the most difficult jobs to fill based on a Manpower survey of 40,000 employers in 39 countries:


2.Sales Representatives

3.Skilled Trades Workers




7.Accounting and Finance Staff

8.Information Technology Staff

9. Production Operators

10.Secretaries, Personal Assistants, Administrative Assistants and Office Support Staff


The list wasn’t so different when limited to employers in the U.S.A.:

1.Skilled Trade Laborers

2.Sales Representatives



5.Accounting and Finance Staff

6.Information Technology Staff



9.Secretaries/Administrative Assistants

10.Machinists/Machine Operators

What are the reasons why these jobs are hard to fill? Employers gave the reasons they always give: lack of skills, lack of experience, and lack of “soft skills” like basic communication skills and the ability to work on a team.

I’ve always told college students that, when it comes to vocational questions, they should focus on their passions. Don’t, in other words, pursue a particular career path just because it seems lucrative or is a “hot” commodity in the hiring world. Going down that path will likely result in professional frustration. I would still say the same thing these days, but I would also encourage college students to take a look at lists like the ones above and see if their passions and interests fit any of the job descriptions. Because in this economy, college grads – and all job seekers – need every edge they can get.

Join the conversation and let us know what types of jobs your company is having trouble finding good candidates for.

Follow this blog, and contact us with your questions about employment, staffing software and other issues related to the staffing industry.

Views: 2817

Comment by Valentino Martinez on August 23, 2011 at 10:43am


Some of these "Ten Most Difficult Jobs to Fill", should be called the "Ten Most Difficult Jobs to Keep Filled" - because the turnover in most of these listed jobs seems to be more constant than others...for a variety of reasons.

Good post and advice.

Comment by Doug Munro on August 23, 2011 at 2:04pm
I appreciate your emphasis on young people using information like this to chart paths for their careers. The market is so difficult for recent grad's - there has to be an emphasis on preparation and real analysis of direction.
Comment by Bert Shimabukuro on August 24, 2011 at 12:18am
This only has to do with machinists,  but a good CNC machinist can always find a job in Dallas and many metro areas.  For years I recruited machinists and the number of machinists trade schools turn out, doesn't keep up with the demand. Most HS grad are not aware that this is a good paying career.  I've had to go 500 miles to get new trade school grads that I'd still have to invest years in to bring them up to speed. 
Comment by Amy Ala Miller on August 30, 2011 at 1:19pm
oh no Bill they're on MY desk!  :)
Comment by Sandra McCartt on August 30, 2011 at 1:44pm
And you know what is worse than having them on your desk to fill? Fill two or three of them then your hiring manager calls and says, "that's fabulous, can't believe you found them, now I need two more just like them."

Oh please God, I don't know how I did this the first time. I didn't want this niche.


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