5 BIG Hiring Challenges in 2017

With the new year in full motion, it’s time to take a look at 5 BIG hiring challenges to watch out for in 2017.


Quite simply, finding qualified candidates is one of the top challenges for HR personnel worldwide. According to the 2016 New Talent Landscape: Recruiting Difficulty and Skills Shortages research report, 84 percent of HR professionals surveyed said applicants are lacking when it comes to applied skills. HR professionals often find that candidates lack technical competencies, don’t have relevant experience, or they don’t have the perceived skills of being able to learn what is needed to excel in the position. This particular challenge makes it difficult for HR personnel, as their job is evaluated on the quality of hires. It requires them to get creative in recruiting, while attempting to vet potential hires efficiently and in a timely manner. A shortage of qualified candidates prolongs the recruiting and hiring process, and often increases salary budgets.


With more of our world connected via a cloud, more employees want the luxury of a guaranteed paycheck with the ability to be mobile. What was once a perk reserved for the entrepreneur, today’s mobility demands are coming from all types of industries and jobs. With platforms that maintain compliance, confidentiality, and security, an employee can access even the most sensitive documents from almost anywhere in the world. This technology has turned the traditional 9-5, sit-at-your-desk job, into a 24/7, fully accessible job, while sitting on the beach. As technology continues to grow, more businesses will be compelled to allow their workforce to accomplish their work beyond the confines of the company building. Today’s workforce understands the implications of technology, so the demand to be mobile continues to grow, even if it’s just a day or two per week.


According to the ADP Research Institute® report, The Evolution of Work: The Changing Nature of the Global Workforce, 82 percent of those surveyed, believe that they will be able to define their own work schedules in the future. Combine that with Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) research that shows 50 percent of employers are now offering some form of workplace flexibility, and we can see the growing trend of demand and supply for flex time. Flex time options range from an employee choosing his own schedule, to shift flexibility. With a more mobile workforce, many employers are forced to integrate aspects of flex time, as their remote staff lives in different time zones and parts of the world. With today’s technology, a job can extend to a constant flow of work, accessible via computer and smartphone 24/7. Employees realize more, now than ever, that work can consume every available minute of life. People want to be able to complete their work, and then go do the other things that are important in their life. With a flex time agreement, they can fit their work into their life, instead of living their life around their work.


It’s a simple economic principal at play here: When there is a shortage of qualified candidates, a potential new hire can demand more money. According to SHRM, salaries are projected to rise by 3 percent in 2017. This can certainly be a challenge to a company’s bottom line, especially in industries with high demand and low supply of qualified candidates. A 2016 Jobvite survey revealed 68 percent of companies reported increasing “the average salary offer for candidates over the last year, particularly industries such as hospitality, telecommunications, and software”. Some of the most difficult jobs to fill in 2016 were: skilled trades, drivers, sales reps, teachers, restaurant & hotel staff, accounting & finance staff, nurses, laborers, engineers, and technicians (ManpowerGroup). Additionally, companies are using more creative ways to “pay” their employees with everything from flex time options, to more personal days, to non-tracked vacation time, and more. The shortage has created a “candidate’s market” that pays more money, offers better perks, and responds to the requests and demands of the qualified.


I’ll make this short and sweet. With the predicted changes to healthcare under a new Presidential administration, there is no way of knowing how it will all unfold. Be rest assured, it will serve as a challenge for all involved, as we attempt to traverse the changing programs and expectations to our healthcare system.