NCPA - National Center for Policy Analysis

The Intense Search For Good Workers

May 11, 1998

One of the major challenges business executives face today is finding and keeping skilled employees. A poll of CEOs and CFOs at top-performing firms reveals that nearly nine out of 10 believe finding good workers is harder today than it was three years ago. The poll was conducted for Investor's Business Daily by Technometrica Institute of Policy and Politics.

  • Business expansion was named as the main cause of today's tight labor market by 57 of the 100 poll respondents.
  • About 69 percent of those polled said they used an outplacement firm recently to fill a position -- but only 6 percent said it was the best method.
  • Some 88 percent reported difficulty in finding information systems and technology workers -- followed by 42 percent who had trouble finding workers to fill research and development jobs, and 41 percent who were searching for finance and accounting professionals.
  • More than two-thirds shunned the suggestion that government's help was needed to deal with the situation.

Around 60 percent said they addressed their labor needs through in-house training and education, through greater use of temporary or contract workers, or by offering higher pay.

Slightly more than half looked to aggressive recruitment and retention strategies, as well as greater reliance on technology. Only 7 percent said they have moved operations abroad.

Source: Adrienne Fox, "Tight Labor Market Is For Real," Investor's Business Daily, May 11, 1998.


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