Talent shortage

> Discover the results for 2021

What is Talent shortage?

The Manpower survey on talent shortage is conducted every year with the aim of determining the jobs which are the most difficult to fill. It highlights the reasons which lead to these recruitment difficulties and describes the strategies adopted by employers to stem the lack of talent and skill.

Each year, almost 40,000 employers in 43 countries and territories take part in the survey, revealing a picture of the trends of the job market and possible lines of approach. This also brings to light conceivable solutions for an ideal management of human resources. In Switzerland, the representative survey is based on nearly 500 employers.



In 2021, Talent shortage has increased massively

  • At the beginning of 2021, 83% of Swiss employers report difficulties in filling vacancies with suitable candidates. 

  • Talent Shortage Outlook Q4 2021: Swiss employers report a decrease of 24 percentage points (57%). 

  • The global talent shortage is 69%. This is the highest level in the last 15 years, with the EMEA region particularly hard hit at 74%. 

  • The skills shortage in Switzerland particularly affects Operations/Logistics (28%), IT/Data (21%) and Manufacturing/Production (15%).

  • Employer branding is becoming increasingly important. Employers offer financial and non-financial incentives to attract talent. These include training and mentoring, but also more flexible working hours and locations.

To know more about Talent Shortage worldwide, click here

Previous studies

Cover Talent Shortage 2016

2016 : Staff training: a winning strategy to tackle the talent shortage

  • In 2016, 20% of the 750 surveyed companies in Switzerland were affected by a talent shortage, compared to 41% in 2015. This is the lowest level recorded in the country since the study was launched in 2006.

  • Of the ten most sought-after jobs in Switzerland in 2016, Skilled Trade workers are top of the list for the seventh year in a row.

  • One of the main problems that recruiters face is the lack of hard skills, specifically IT skills, language (28%), lack of applicants (24%) and lack of experience (18%).

  • Providing additional training and development for existing staff (Upskilling) is the preferred solution for tackling recruitment problems by 67% of the employers surveyed, while 32% of them were considering implementing this idea in 2015.

  • Of the 42,341 employers surveyed in 43 countries, 40% are experiencing difficulties filling roles; the highest level since 2007.

See the survey results from Switzerland and around the world and discover practical ideas for finding the right talent despite the shortage.


Cover Talent Shortage 2015

2015 : Talent shortage is a growing problem in Switzerland

41% of employers are struggling to find workers with the right skills to fill their vacancies. The talent shortage has increased by 8 percentage points since 2014, but the most striking results can be found in the reasons given by companies to explain their recruitment difficulties:

  • 50% of employers cannot find candidates with the right technical skills

  • 45% are simply finding that there aren’t enough candidates, or that good ones are unavailable. 

These figures have increased drastically since last year, with the number of employers unable to find skilled workers up 14 percentage points and those citing a lack of candidates up 18 percentage points. 31% of employers are also finding that applicants do not have the relevant degrees or certificates.

These difficulties are having a tangible impact on businesses in our country. 64% of the employers having trouble filling their vacancies say that this reduces their ability to satisfy their clients, while 49% feel they are becoming less competitive.

See the survey results from Switzerland and around the world and discover practical ideas for finding the right talent despite the shortage.

Talent shortage 2014

2014 Manpower Talent Shortage Survey

The ninth annual Talent Shortage Survey, for which 37,436 companies in 42 countries and territories were interviewed in the first quarter of 2014, reveals that 36% of employers are having difficulty filling vacant positions due to a shortage of skills and talent. In Switzerland, 33% of the 752 organisations surveyed are affected by the talent shortage, which is four percentage points lower than in 2013. The survey focuses on the main reasons for this talent shortage mentioned by the companies and shows the impact it has on organisations. Finally, it presents various strategies pursued by organisations experiencing a talent shortage. The survey also compiles a list of the ten most sought after jobs in Switzerland and throughout the world in 2014. Skilled trade workers come out on top once again.

Manpower is proposing solutions aimed specifically at HR professionals to enable them to help companies overcome the talent shortage: 

  1. As supply and demand experts, they must ensure that their organisation has the right balance of skills to achieve its goals.
  2. As marketers, they must enhance the image of their organisation’s brand to attract and retain the right candidates.
  3. As designers, they must redefine and reinvent working parameters, to contribute actively to their company’s profits.

Learn about the results of the survey for Switzerland and the world and the role of HR in managing talent shortages. 
In French
In German


Talent shortage 2013

The Great Talent Shortage Awakening:
Actions to Take for a Sustainable Workforce

According to the eighth annual Talent Shortage Survey, 35% of employers worldwide are having difficulty filling jobs and, this year, the shortage is at its highest level since the period leading up to the economic crisis in Europe and across the world. 
The White Paper offers various solutions to stem this chronic shortage of qualified staff, including tapping into new sources of talent, resorting to Teachable Fits, creating a culture of talent development within the organization, or promoting continuing training.

Download the white paper


Talent shortage 2012

Break the Crisis and Complacency Cycle – Get Ahead of the Global Talent Shortage

As revealed by the 2012 Talent Shortage Survey, 34% of employers around the world have trouble finding talent for their open positions. However, as the global talent shortage worsens and evolves into an ongoing crisis, too many employers seem to remain inactive and resign themselves to leaving positions unfilled, putting their companies’ growth at risk. The white paper "Break the Crisis and Complacency Cycle – Get Ahead of the Global Talent Shortage" explores several tailored solutions to help employers effectively address the shortage with staff management strategies. Suggested solutions include: hiring candidates with a "Teachable Fit", hyperspecialization of work, flexible staffing, strategic migration of talent and exploring untapped talent pools. 

Download the white paper
in French
in German


Talent shortage 2011

Promoting Talent, a Forward-Looking Strategy

The results of the 2011 Talent Shortage Survey published in June show that 34% of employers worldwide are having difficulty filling positions. This year again, the shortage reflects a mismatch between the talent demand and supply. The White Paper "Promoting talent, a Forward-Looking Strategy" suggests ways to tackle the lack of qualified workers and highlights the importance of designing a strategic human resources plan and anticipating long terms personnel needs.

Download the white paper
in French
in German


Talent shortage 2010

Teachable Fit

Despite a persistently high unemployment rate in many countries, organizations still report having difficulty filling key positions. So the problem is not the number of candidates but the mismatch between the talent demand and the talent supply. In this White Paper Manpower stresses the importance for employers to broaden their search for candidates to include industry migrants, location migrants, internal role changers and workforce entrants.
The « Teachable Fit » approach shows that employers need to refine job descriptions and candidate evaluation methods in order to identify people with a « Teachable Fit » based on adjacent skills rather than a traditional fit. At the same time, they must also commit to reskilling and upskilling employees, new hires and even potential candidates.

Download the white paper

Talent shortage 2009

The Global Talent Crunch: Why Employer Branding Matters Now

During these uncertain times, employers have to master a difficult balancing act in managing talents and facing the talent crunch.
The strategy starts off with creating an impacting employer brand, which gives the company real appeal and matches the corporate identity projected to employees. 
This white paper explains therefore how and why companies should care about building an employer brand and maintain it. 

Download the white paper
in French
in German

Talent shortage 2008

Confronting the Talent Crunch

2008 edition
The third annual study on the shortage of skilled labor shows that 31% of the 42,500 companies interviewed in 32 countries and territories are finding it difficult to recruit qualified staff in their respective market. In Switzerland, 36% of the 786 companies surveyed encountered the same problem. The shortage of qualified employees has become a threat to economic growth. 

Download the white paper

Talent shortage 2007

The New Agenda for an Older Workforce

To provide sustainable economic growth in a large number of countries where the shortage of skilled labor leads to concerns for the future, the integration of seniors into the job market is emerging as a possible solution to fill the gap between retention and recruitment.

Download the white paper

Talent shortage 2006

The China Talent Paradox

This white paper examines the skills shortage that Chinese companies must face, despite a population of over 1 billion people. It provides a summary of the solutions that Manpower is recommending to attract, engage and retain qualified employees, particularly by focusing on employees' needs and expectations.

Download the white paper