blue expanding arrowsExpress Employment Professionals has released findings that reveal it is still difficult for employers to fill open positions, despite an improving job market. In total, 83 percent of Express franchises said it was “somewhat difficult” or “very difficult,” compared to 78 percent in 2013. Twenty-five percent of franchises said it is “very difficult” to fill positions, while 58 percent report it’s “somewhat difficult.” Only 17 percent said it is “somewhat easy.” No one believed it was “very easy” to recruit and fill positions.

When asked the “primary reason that your open jobs are not filled,” 52 percent of respondents said a “lack of available applicants.” Respondents continue to blame the lack of workers and a mismatch between what employers are looking for and what employees expect. There is a “skills gap” between the skills employers seek and the skills prospective employees possess.

When asked, “Currently, how easy is it for you to recruit and fill positions?” respondents replied (2014 vs 2013):

Very easy – 0 percent vs 1 percent

Somewhat easy – 17 percent vs 19 percent

Somewhat difficult – 58 percent vs 66 percent

Very difficult – 25 percent vs 12 percent

I don’t know – 0 percent vs 1 percent

When asked, “What is the primary reason that your open jobs are not filled?” respondents replied (2014 vs 2013):

Lack of available applicants – 52 percent vs 46 percent

Not enough pay offered – 13 percent vs 15 percent

Lack of experience – 10 percent vs 12 percent

Lack of hard skills – 10 percent vs 13 percent

Other – 8 percent vs 9 percent

Lack of soft skills – 4 percent vs 3 percent

Client location – 3 percent vs 0 percent

Unwilling to work part-time or temp roles – 1 percent vs 2 percent

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