While the skills shortage is global in nature, the precise nature of these deficiencies, along with some skills surpluses, vary by region. With one notable exception (Japan), the greatest oversupply relates to administrative jobs, according Mercer’s 2017 Global Talent Trends study. The greatest
shortcomings in the world include leadership, sales and marketing, operations,
and information technology (IT) skills.
While countries in Asia struggle to address most of the same skills shortcomings
that other regions contend with, companies in the region also have a harder time hiring administrative talent—and an easier go of it finding finance and legal skills. Mercer
Partner and Director of Talent Research Katherine Jones reports that HR executives
in India are experiencing a surplus of candidates with customer support and IT skills.
While global mobility would seem to be a useful way to address certain skills
gaps, this approach may be hampered by changes in visa access and border restrictions, Jones notes. Yet immigration policies and increased border control rate
as concerns among fewer than half of global HR respondents to the Mercer survey
despite this trend’s negative effect on cross-border hiring.
Those concerns may soon increase, though: more than half of global organizations foresee some increase in competition for talent in 2017, according to Mercer,
and 34 percent expect a significant increase in competition. —E.K.