The skills shortage is the most pressing recruiting concern employers face, especially as many talent acquisition leaders are becoming increasingly worried that a shortage of work visas will make recruitment more challenging than in the past, a report released by talent acquisition technology provider Talent Tech Labs has warned.

The report’s findings, which are based on a survey of 189 senior HR and talent acquisition professionals, was conducted April 11-May 5, 2017. The results indicated that 69% of all respondents—and 80% of those professionals who fill more than 2,500 roles per year—report that their greatest recruiting concern is the skills shortage.

Reflecting on the current political landscape in the U.S., 80% of the professionals surveyed voiced concerns that a shortage of work visas could make talent acquisition more difficult, while 63% said they are worried that political rhetoric could add to their talent acquisition challenges.

According to researchers, these challenges have led many talent acquisition leaders to reconsider their HR strategies. The findings showed, for example, that the utilization of the independent workforce continues to rise, with 79% of the talent acquisition leaders surveyed saying they expect that their role in securing non-employee talent—which has historically been filled by corporate procurement—will increase over the next 1-2 years.

The report also observed that the widening skills gap and the increased reliance on contract workers is driving demand for technology investment to address these market shifts, with the largest share of survey respondents identifying candidate sourcing technology as the area of talent acquisition most likely to undergo rapid investment and development. When asked about the barriers to implementing new technology solutions, 58% said a lack of budget is the biggest hurdle, while 51% cited the need to develop a business case and explain the return on investment.

In addition, the survey found that the most widely used talent acquisition tools are applicant tracking systems (88%), followed by tools related to job advertising (66%), social networks and search (61%), assessment (55%), and employer branding (53%). When asked which technology tools introduced in the last two years they believe offer the most innovative solutions to recruitment challenges, the largest share of respondents (33%) chose employer branding tools, followed by mobile recruitment (27%) and analytics platforms (17%), By contrast, much smaller shares cited very new and relatively untested technologies like chat bots and artificial intelligence tools (11%).

From Benefit Trends Newsletter, Volume 60, Issue 9

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