Gartner Says Organizations Face Increasing Difficulty Filling Roles In Competitive Labor Market

HR Leaders Are Discussing Talent Sourcing Challenges and Strategies at Gartner ReimagineHR in London

More than half of business leaders have difficulty attracting potential candidates with the exact skill sets required by hiring managers today than five years ago, according to Gartner Inc. Today’s hypercompetitive labor market — where 90% of S&P 100 companies in 2018 were competing for talent to fill the same 39 roles — continues to strain HR leaders’ talent sourcing efforts for hard-to-fill roles.

Gartner analysts are discussing best practices for talent sourcing and the role of HR in reimagining the future of work to drive performance across the organization in front of more than 500 chief human resource officers (CHROs) and senior HR executives at the Gartner ReimagineHR conference, which is taking place here through today.

“In addition to the competitive nature of today’s labor market, factors such as future career opportunity, work-life balance and job location can make roles harder to fill,” said Alexia Cambon, senior principal in the Gartner HR practice. “HR leaders must determine what job attributes candidates value the most to remain competitive in attracting and hiring talent.”

Gartner research shows that in 2018, 45% of candidates ranked compensation as one of the top five considerations when evaluating a job. Work-life balance, stability, location and respect round out the list. Understanding what the target talent pool wants most in a job can enable organizations to rebrand hard-to-fill roles and improve the ability to recruit and hire the best talent.

Represent the opportunity holistically

Rather than focusing on any one job attribute, employers should ensure that candidates understand the wide range of elements that make up the role and working at the organization. Although compensation remains the top driver of attraction/attrition globally, organizations should also communicate the other elements that make up their job offer, such as stability, work-life balance in the form of paid time off and/or flexible working arrangements and professional development.

“By contextualizing the individual attributes that make up the entire job opportunity, organizations enable candidates to understand the whole picture rather than making decisions solely on one component of the job,” said Ms. Cambon.

Confront brand challenges head on

Organizations should use any perceived weaknesses about their brand and/or the specific job opportunity to have conversations with candidates that provide more insight into the company and address misperceptions.

Leading organizations utilize their Employee Value Proposition (EVP) to appeal to candidates by homing in on what they value most. Gartner research shows that when candidates view an EVP as attractive, employers can reach 50% deeper into the labor market. Further, organizations that effectively deliver on their EVP can increase new hire commitment by nearly 30%.

Redesign roles to appeal to top talent

Organizations that want to maintain a competitive edge in today’s labor market must consider redesigning roles to tackle the demand of filling them.

To assess how a role is structured, HR leaders should answer the following questions:

  • What kind of work does my target talent want to do and do my existing roles incorporate it?
  • How would a redesign of the role affect its level, compensation, and the dynamics of the team it sits in?
  • What environmental factors affect how this work will be carried out?

Redesigning positions requires HR leaders to consider if the restructured role meets an emerging or immediate business need, incorporates at least one key talent attraction driver, and has a demonstrated impact on the organization.

About Gartner ReimagineHR

Gartner experts are providing additional insight into the labor and talent issues at the Gartner ReimagineHR Conference, which is taking place September 18-19 in London. Gartner ReimagineHR is the premier event for HR leaders around the world.

Join Gartner and senior HR executives at the next Gartner ReimagineHR conference, October 28-30 in Florida, to hear key insights and learn actionable strategies necessary to support organizational performance. Follow news and updates from these events on Twitter using #GartnerHR.

About Gartner for HR Leaders

Gartner for HR Leaders brings together the best, relevant content approaches across Gartner to offer individual decision makers strategic business advice on the mission-critical priorities that cut across the HR function. Additional information is available at

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