The Great Q4 Hiring Bounceback: Employers in Many Markets Report Strongest Hiring Outlooks since before the Pandemic, Record High Talent Shortages Continue

  • Hiring outlooks reach 10+ year high for 14 of 43 markets
  • Strongest hiring prospects are reported in the U.S. (+48%), India (+44%) and Canada (+40%), the weakest in Panama (-2%), South Africa (-2%) and Singapore (+1%)
  • 69% of employers globally report experiencing difficulty filling roles – a 15-year high for the second consecutive quarter

Employers in all 43 countries report stronger hiring intentions year-over-year with 14 reporting Outlooks at a ten-year high according to the latest ManpowerGroup Employment Outlook Survey of nearly 45,000 employers. Finding skilled talent remains a top challenge for employers globally 69% report difficulty filling vacancies – a 15-year high for the second consecutive quarter. To overcome this 67% are offering greater flexibility; both in work schedules and where work gets done while 41% are investing in training, skills development and mentoring.

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  • Markets bounce back: The strongest year-on-year improvements are reported in the Netherlands (+41%), India (+40%) and the UK (+39%).
  • Record hiring intentions reported in many countries: employers in 15 countries report their highest hiring outlook since the survey began; AustriaBelgiumCanadaFinlandFranceGermanyIrelandItalyMexicoNetherlandsNorwaySpainSweden and the UK and U.S.
  • Global talent shortage shows no sign of easing: 69% of employers globally cannot find the skills that they need, with employers in India (89%), Romania (84%), and Singapore (84%) reporting the greatest difficulty.
  • Technical skills and career coaching are a key focus for HR leaders: A quarter of employers plan to invest in accelerated upskilling (12 weeks or less) for employees and 21% plan to launch career coaching programs in the next six months.
  • Barriers to upskilling: As more employers plan to upskill workers, money (22%), time (18%) and access to the right partners (13%) are cited as the biggest barriers businesses face.

“This recovery is unlike any we have seen before with hiring intent picking up much faster than after the previous economic downturn,” said Jonas Prising, ManpowerGroup Chairman and CEO.  “As vaccine rollouts gain momentum and lockdown restrictions ease in many markets, we’re seeing sharp increases in hiring optimism reported by employers. At the same time, some workers are hesitant to re-engage with employers as factors including health concerns and childcare challenges continue. Continued talent shortages mean many businesses are prioritizing retaining and training workers with the skills they need to succeed as the economic recovery continues.”

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Global Hiring Plans by Region

AMERICAS: Nine out of 10 countries report a positive employment outlook for Q4.

  • Hiring intentions improve in eight countries when compared to Q3, weakening in one (Panama), and when compared to this time last year, improve in all 10 countries.
  • The U.S. reports the strongest hiring intention globally and regionally (+48%), with Canada (+40%). The weakest prospects in the region are reported in Panama (-2%), Argentina (+4%) and Peru (+5%).
  • For the U.S., in all 12 industry sectors, hiring intentions are the highest since analysis began, (1982 for Construction, Durable Goods Manufacturing, Nondurable Goods Manufacturing, Transportation and Utilities, and Retail and Trade, and 2009 for remaining seven).

EMEA: The region reports its strongest quarter since the pandemic began, with positive hiring intentions in 25 out of 26 countries.

  • Hiring intentions improve in all 26 countries when compared with Q4 2020 and improve in 20 when compared to Q3 2021.
  • Strongest hiring intentions are in Netherlands (+40%), France (+37%) and Ireland (+34%) and the weakest in South Africa (-2%), Croatia (+2%) and Switzerland (+8%).
  • In all seven UK industry sectors, employers report their strongest hiring intentions since 2008, and similarly, in seven of France’s industry sectors, employers report their strongest hiring intentions since the survey began 18 years ago.

APAC: In comparison to the previous quarter, hiring plans strengthen in three countries (IndiaHong Kong and Japan) and weaken in four (AustraliaChinaSingaporeJapan).

  • Strongest outlooks are in India (+44%), Taiwan (+21%) and Japan (+16%), and the most cautious plans are reported in Singapore (+1%) and Hong Kong (+8%).
  • India reports record high talent hiring intentions, improving +37 percentage points compared to Q3, and +40% on the previous year.
  • Singapore expects hiring intentions to dip in five out of seven industry sectors, with wholesale and trade experiencing its worst outlook since the survey began (-20%).