Engineering Talent Hard To Find, Says SHRM

Finding talent keeps getting more difficult, especially in manufacturing and engineering fields, according to a report released by the Society of Human Resource Management (SHRM). However, while many organizations are embracing social media to find good candidates (which means you might want to spend a little more time on sites like LinkedIn), the most effective way to move up is to get more training so that you can excel in your current job.

It’s tough to fill engineering positions, according to SHRM. About 41% of human resources professionals who were surveyed say it’s “somewhat difficult” to fill engineering positions, while 31% report that it’s “very difficult.”

Some reasons for difficulty include:

  • Low number of applicants (51%)
  • Lack of necessary work experience among applicants (50%)
  • Competition from other employers (49%)
  • Lack of technical skills among applicants (38%)
  • Local market not producing enough qualified candidates (38%)

Additionally, 84% of human resources professionals say they have found applied skills shortages in job applicants over the past year. The most common missing applied skills were critical thinking/problem-solving (45%), professionalism/work ethic (43%), leadership (35%), written communications (29%) and teamwork/collaboration (28%).

So what can you do? If you’re looking to move up in your organization, consider these types of skills that most organizations would like their employees to receive credentials for:

  • Management/project management/training 34%
  • Business/HR/leadership 33%
  • Computer/web/IT 32%.

And if you’re already working in STEM fields, good news—these jobs are expected to continue to be in demand in the next decade.

One of the ways existing employees can receive the tools they need to expand their responsibilities is through continuing education. Whether it’s a continuing education course, a certificate program, or a master’s degree, these educational opportunities can provide hands-on training and skills that can be immediately implemented in the workplace.

For more information, or to find some continuing education near you, visit


Source: The New Talent Landscape by the Society for Human Resource Management