- In its Skills Gap Index report for the second quarter of 2016, the American Staffing Association (ASA) named the 10 most difficult positions to fill in the U.S. during the period between April and June.
- Heavy and tractor-trailer truck drivers topped the list at No. 1, while general internists, podiatrists, psychiatrists and physician assistants rounded out the top five in that order. The index is determined using data from CareerBuilder. Jobs listed on the index each quarter typically have a demand of 2,000 positions or more, according to the ASA statement.
- It's notable that health care industry positions held eight of the 10 top spots. According to the Society of Human Resource Management (SHRM), jobs in the healthcare fields face the "highest risk of experiencing shortages" due to a combination of factors, including an aging U.S. population and government health care reforms.
Talent gaps are a sad reality in the U.S., even as unemployment rates continue to hover around 5%. STEM talent, which may but does not always include health care professionals, has seen more than its fair share of shortages over the past few years.
Others debate the existence of this STEM gap, but it's important for HR leaders in these fields to mind the fact that the extent of such shortages varies from industry to industry. Software development openings, for example, are not nearly in the same rut that biomedical and pharmaceutical jobs appear to be. There's also an insistence by some observers that H-1B visa holders could, and in fact are, filling the spaces left by such gaps.
But talent development issues aren't just limited to one small segment of the workforce; employees in every industry have a need to learn new skills and refine old ones.