Recruiters record highest demand for labour yet. So why are so many struggling to find work?

Aslak Berge

Norwegian labour market survey shows record high demand for labour in the first quarter of 2022. Seafood People sees a gap between the skills employers demand and those offered by employees.

Every quarter since 2003, the recruitment company ManpowerGroup has asked employers what staffing prospects they have for the quarter we are entering.

The latest survey, conducted among 755 employers, indicates the highest demand for labor since the survey began.

Almost half (47 per cent) of employers answer that they should employ more, compared with 17 per cent who answer that they should staff down. When correcting for seasonal variations, this means that 32 percentage points more employers will increase head count than the opposite.

Strong growth
The survey was conducted in November, before the latest infection control measures were introduced. Maalfrid Brath, CEO of ManpowerGroup Norway, believes employers would be less optimistic if the survey was conducted today.

Although the labour market has largely recovered from the crisis, many are still outside the labour market. According to Nav, there were 119,000 employees who were completely or partially unemployed or on labor market measures in November. Nevertheless, many employers have problems with recruitment. Overall, 66 per cent reported that they struggled to find employees with the right skills in ManpowerGroup’s survey from the previous quarter.

A paradox
“Paradoxically, there is an enormous demand for more employees, while at the same time, many are struggling to get a job. This is because the talent gap, i.e. the distance between the skills demanded by employers and those offered by employees, only widened during the pandemic. Working life is developing faster than educational institutions,” Brath explained.

Lene Faye Jordan-Johannessen, partner in Seafood People

Also in the aquaculture industry, there is a high demand for qualified labour now. Lene Faye Jordan-Johannessen, partner in Seafood People, registers that there is increased demand and that many companies in the seafood industry want to hire more, but that the right skills are often difficult to find.

She thinks we will see stronger competition for the good candidates.

“There is a gap between what is available and what needs the companies have. I’m not sure how this can be solved, but I think there must be more focus on education that we need further in the industry and, as Manpower concludes, that the educational institutions must keep up, said Lene Faye Jordan-Johannessen to SalmonBusiness.

“But also that the industry must be willing to take in people with experience from other industries and other skills and also focus on teaching them farming. Employer branding becomes important. And if you also want to contribute to increasing training and introduction to a new industry, we think it will be a good combination,” she continued.

Jordan-Johannessen emphasizes that Seafood People does not work with temping, but with recruitment to permanent positions.


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