By The Star Staff
A ManpowerGroup Employment Outlook Survey (MEOS) has revealed that 83% of Puerto Rico employers are having difficulties finding local talent despite an increase in their hiring intentions.
Melissa Rivera-Roena, general manager for ManpowerGroup in Puerto Rico and the Dominican Republic, said the survey -- which in this edition had a sample size of 1,000 employers -- showed that 43% are planning to grow their workforce between April and June, 37% do not expect any changes, 17% expect a reduction, and 3% don’t know. The net outlook trend for hiring intentions is 26%, which Rivera-Roena said is the same as the previous quarter.
“The ManpowerGroup survey reveals that Puerto Rico remains stable regarding hiring outlooks when compared to the global average because it is ranked nineteenth (19th), but at the same time, it is ranked fifth in difficulties in hiring talent, with an 83 percent,” Rivera-Roena said. “Our recommendation as hiring experts is that it is fundamental for employers to begin to reassess their strategies in order to be more successful.”
She noted that for the current quarter, the most competitive sector in Puerto Rico is communication services, with a hiring outlook of 70%, an eight percent increase from the previous quarter. Globally, Puerto Rico is in fourth place in this statistic, exceeding the global average by 37 percentage points.
Puerto Rico is also ranked third globally in the health and life sciences sectors, with each one at 42%, exceeding the global average by 18 percentage points.
The strongest hiring outlook is expected to be among small businesses (10-49 employees), at 45%.
In geographical terms, the most active job markets are expected to be in the north, south, and west regions of the island. The central and metropolitan regions have lower hiring intentions.
Mónica Flores-Barragán, president of ManpowerGroup LATAM, said this is the first year for which the difficulty of finding talent is being measured. The result is that 83% of employers are reporting difficulties finding the personnel they need. The positions most sought after by employers in Puerto Rico are reception and customer service, ESG (environmental, social and governance factors) risk management, consulting and governance, information technology (IT) and data analysis, management and support at offices, and sales and marketing.
“As all of life’s aspects become more technological, human strengths stand out in the digital age,” Flores-Barragán said. “The most in-demand soft skills in Puerto Rico are collaboration and teamwork, problem solving, creativity and originality, leadership and social influence, and critical thinking and analysis.”
When facing a shortage of talent, training and professional development are fundamental tools to maintain and adapt the talent that is ready for the future of employment, she noted.
The MEOS has been conducted in an independent manner since 1962 and it has a global scope (with a presence in 41 countries). This is the third time it has included Puerto Rico, with a sample size that has increased each quarter, reaching 1,000 employers in this edition.
Employers are asked whether they expect to expand or reduce their workforce for the next quarter. The survey is conducted digitally (by email). Survey participants do not come from ManpowerGroup’s client base, but rather from a diverse group of database providers who have contacts in the management of businesses that represent all industries, business sizes, and specific regions of each country in order to ensure that there is an adequate range of answers from all kinds of businesses. The survey was conducted between January and March.