Companies’ difficulties in filling vacancies worsen

The shortage of talent that has been perceived for some time now in the Spanish labor market, far from being solved, is getting worse. Companies currently need more time to fill their vacancies, compared to the pre-pandemic situation, and even four in ten have encountered more difficulties than last year. What’s more, practically all companies, 90% specifically, have searched for a profile in recent months and the vast majority have found problems finding it, especially in qualified positions, according to the conclusions of the Human Resources Trends report published yesterday by Randstad and CEOE.

The study warns that 72% of companies perceive the existence of talent shortage problems, both in the market in general and even within their own company. Among the factors that make selection and hiring the most difficult are the shortage of professionals (chosen by 64% of the entities), the great competition between companies (55%) and the possibility that the sector of activity is not attractive. for workers (49%).

Most of the companies surveyed, 93%, indicate that filling a vacancy in 2023 is proving the same (52%) or more difficult (41%) than last year, while only 7% consider it easier than in 2022.

This report confirms the record number of vacancies that Spain reached in the first quarter of the year: almost 150,000, more than double that of six years ago, according to data from the INE. A number that, however, remains scarce and probably does not reflect reality either, since in the construction sector alone, one of the most affected, the Ministry estimates that there are more than 110,000 unfilled positions, but this official statistic only recognizes 6,200. The bulk of the labor shortage, almost 90%, is concentrated in the services sector, according to the INE.

How to attract and retain talent

Faced with this talent deficit, companies are implementing certain strategies to minimize it. Their main commitment is mostly to flexibility policies (47%), such as being able to choose the starting time, having flexible vacations, teleworking and intensive working hours. But also 45% carry out ’employer branding’ strategies (company reputation) and the reestablishment of selection criteria (41%).

On the other hand, the most imminent challenges for Spanish companies focus on increasing their productivity (chosen by 58%), one of the Achilles heels of the national economy, as well as adapting operations to the new situation (75% ) or seek efficiency in the financial field (45%).

In this sense, most companies plan to make different types of organizational changes to meet the challenges and adapt to the current complex economic reality. Those surveyed will mainly focus on reducing expenses (in 87% of cases), promoting digitalization and technological innovation (82%), and increasing performance (79%).

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