World’s Hardest and Easiest Places to Hire

Business partners shake hands with globe backgroundWe know the developed economies are at best flat-lining when it comes to economic growth and are facing skill shortages that threaten their domestic competitiveness and expansion potential.The PwC 15th Annual Global CEO Survey 2012 makes the point clearly as its key findings reveal that only 15 percent of CEOs believe that the global economy will improve with the majority view (held by 48 percent of respondents) being that the global economy will decline over the next 12 months.

This is leading to seismic shifts in business strategy, with companies from developed economies looking to find ways to tap into and access the massive and growing consumer base in the emerging economies, notably China, and to a lesser extent India and Brazil, in order to drive revenue growth.

At the same time organizational talent strategies are shifting as businesses look to be able to effectively source talent from all over the world to enable them to better serve their new customers in growth markets, but increasingly to find talent, which is in short supply and at reduced costs.

But it’s not as easy as it used to be, as the global talent market has proliferated and global hiring strategists need to adopt an almost Napoleonic level of planning to conduct an effective international hiring campaign. In the old days, it was relatively simple: Western companies knew exactly where to go to find overseas IT, engineering, customer service and manufacturing talent pools, but now it is not so easy, because increased competition and infrastructure improvements have opened up the global talent market.

And businesses aided by their trusty resourcing strategists must correctly identify global locations where they can effectively hire and retain local talent for their firms.

This is why modern resourcing professionals in multinationals or within any firms with an international foot print or even ambition should remain current with the latest trends and ideas in global talent resourcing. In particular, some key information that they should be aware of are the world’s most difficult places to hire and the easiest places, that is if they want to develop effective resourcing strategies

World’s Most Difficult Places to Hire

If we look at the Global Talent Shortage 2012 Survey by Manpower we can see that Japan is currently the world’s most difficult place to hire with 81 percent of employers experiencing hiring difficulties; so, clearly resource expansion in this location should be carefully considered.

The bigger shock and issue for international recruiters is Brazil, which is the 6th largest economy in the world and part of the rapidly growing set of BRIC economies. Because of this, Brazil is becoming a natural hot spot for western companies looking to expand and sell consumer products. The problem is that 71 percent of employers in Brazil are facing talent shortages—a problem which threatens to limit its own growth let alone the growth plans of international companies. According to a Reuters report, talent shortages in Brazil are thought to be an issue of national concern with all sectors being effected. For, example, as of August 2012, Google had 39 open positions in Brazil.

India, another popular destination for Western expansion, is also suffering talent issues with 48 percent of employers having difficulty hiring, so companies should be wary of jumping on this bandwagon. India is also suffering hyper-salary inflation with annual average salary increases  at 12 percent, so keeping up with market rates is likely to be a key challenge for employers here. On the plus side, however, Indian-based workers were recently shown to be the most loyal in the world, according to Deloitte: India talent survey report 2012: Perspectives on young talent in India.

We know that India has been one of the global talent hotspots for western firms  looking to find highly skilled labor at low costs, but now, many employers are moving away from the traditional outsourcing zones to eastern Europe (where salaries are generally lower than western economies). Yet, if you are planning to do this, you are already behind the curve. Why? Because Bulgaria (51%), and Romania (45%) are all reporting severe hiring difficulties that are way above global averages.

Now that we know where it is difficult to hire, let’s examine the easiest places to hire and expand globally.

World’s Easiest Places to Hire

If you are targeting Eastern Europe, then give some consideration to countries like Hungary (34%), Slovenia (26%), Slovakia (17%) and Czech Republic (14%) as in these locations far fewer percentages of employers are reporting hiring difficulties and their talent shortages are well below the global averages. Recruiters, you have a chance of being on or ahead of the curve if you decide to outsource or hire staff in these locations, assuming you can find staff with with good English-speaking capabilities or you focus on work where English fluency is not a priority.

The other highlights from the survey appear to be Greece (24%), Spain (9%) and Ireland (2%) that may not promise such cost savings as other locations, but it appears that it is very easy to find talent in these locations.

Ireland deserves a further mention, with just 2 percent of employers having difficulty filling posts—and with its well educated and English speaking workforce, Ireland is officially the easiest place to hire in the world. This makes it a potentially very interesting proposition for companies looking to outsource or hire talent overseas.

in Global Recruitment]
Kazim Ladimeji
Kazim Ladimeji is a Chartered Member of the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development, and has been a practicing HR professional for 14 years. Kazim is the Director of The Career Cafe: a resource for start-ups, small business and job seekers.