1. Business Ideas
  2. Business Plans
  3. Startup Basics
  4. Startup Funding
  5. Franchising
  6. Success Stories
  7. Entrepreneurs
  1. Sales & Marketing
  2. Finances
  3. Your Team
  4. Technology
  5. Social Media
  6. Security
  1. Get the Job
  2. Get Ahead
  3. Office Life
  4. Work-Life Balance
  5. Home Office
  1. Leadership
  2. Women in Business
  3. Managing
  4. Strategy
  5. Personal Growth
  1. HR Solutions
  2. Financial Solutions
  3. Marketing Solutions
  4. Security Solutions
  5. Retail Solutions
  6. SMB Solutions
Product and service reviews are conducted independently by our editorial team, but we sometimes make money when you click on links. Learn more.
Grow Your Business Your Team

The Jobs Employers Have the Toughest Time Filling

The Jobs Employers Have the Toughest Time Filling
Credit: Ram Ruay Stock/Shutterstock

While companies might have a lot of candidates to choose from, finding the perfect new hire can be easier said than done, new research finds.

In a study from the staffing services firm Robert Half, 62 percent of employers said finding skilled candidates for professional-level positions is challenging, and overall, 35 percent named this the greatest difficulty they faced when hiring and managing employees.  

The research found the positions for which it's toughest to find qualified candidates in some key industries: [See Related Story: If You Want the Best Candidates, Don't Drag Out the Hiring Process]

Accounting and finance

  • Controller
  • Financial analyst
  • Senior accountant

Administrative and office support

  • Certified professional coder
  • Executive assistant
  • Office manager

Creative and marketing

  • Front-end web developer
  • User experience (UX) designer
  • Visual designer


  • Compliance manager
  • Contract administrator
  • Corporate paralegal


  • Help desk and technical-support professional
  • Software engineer
  • Web and software developer

The study shows that companies continue to face a shortage of job candidates who have specialized skills, said Paul McDonald, senior executive director at Robert Half.

"Businesses struggling to identify suitable applicants should re-evaluate what they're offering and how they're selling their company," McDonald said in a statement. "In today's competitive hiring market, skilled professionals may receive multiple job offers and can be enticed by a comprehensive compensation package, positive corporate culture and work-life-balance perks."

To help increase your chances of attracting skilled candidates, Robert Half offered several tips:

  1. Identify must-have skills. Because many candidates don't have every single skill you looking for, choose which ones they must have coming into the job and which ones they can learn after starting. With this approach, it is important to look for applicants who show an eagerness to learn and take on new challenges.
  2. Have a plan. When discussing jobs with candidates, you want to talk not just about the position they are applying for, but also how they can grow with the company. Discuss their career paths and where you see them fitting in to the organization's long-term goals. Also, discuss what type of training and development opportunities will be available to them, so they know that they can acquire new skills after they are hired.
  3. Be competitive financially. Money is always a critical factor in attracting top employees. To land professionals with in-demand skills, be sure you offer an attractive compensation package.
  4. Promote work-life balance. Today's employees are looking for a healthy work-life balance. To attract top candidates who have the skills you need, consider offering work-from-home options, flexible schedules and additional vacation time, as appropriate.

The study was based on surveys of more than 2,200 chief financial officers from companies in more than 20 of the largest U.S. metropolitan areas.

Chad Brooks

Chad Brooks is a Chicago-based freelance writer who has nearly 15 years experience in the media business. A graduate of Indiana University, he spent nearly a decade as a staff reporter for the Daily Herald in suburban Chicago, covering a wide array of topics including, local and state government, crime, the legal system and education. Following his years at the newspaper Chad worked in public relations, helping promote small businesses throughout the U.S. Follow him on Twitter.