Biggest Talent Shortages in 2020


Recruiting in 2020?

Hang onto your hats – it’s going to be another bumpy ride this year.

In 2019, we reported that the convergence of skills gaps, low unemployment and disruptive technologies had created massive talent shortages across a wide range of industries.

How will recruiting in 2020 compare?

While nobody has a crystal ball, signs indicate that talent shortages will worsen:

  • Experts agree that we’re still in a state of “full employment.” At the time this post was written, the Bureau of Labor Statistics’ unemployment data showed the national unemployment rate at 3.5% – the lowest it has been in 19 years.
  • Talk of a 2020 recession is fading. According to this recent Bloomberg Businessweek article, it’s likely the U.S. economy will continue its now decade-long economic expansion. Models forecast 2% annual growth which, while modest, will only exacerbate talent shortages.
  • Older workers continue to retire. While many Baby Boomers are staying in the workforce longer, the U.S. labor force is declining by about 5,900 Baby Boomers each day. The replacement population of workers entering the workforce is substantially smaller.

What are the biggest talent shortages for 2020?

Get ready to work harder than ever to recruit the good people you need. Research (compiled from a number of sources) suggests the following types of workers will be in short supply throughout 2020 and beyond:

  • Highly skilled healthcare workers, such as nurses, doctors and medical specialists
  • Scientists and mathematicians
  • Skilled manufacturing and trades workers, such as electricians, machinists, welders
  • Engineers and architects
  • IT computer specialists
  • Business and finance specialists, especially with experience in fin-tech technologies and platforms
  • Skilled technicians in healthcare and telecommunications
  • Cybersecurity specialists

Struggling to recruit qualified candidates?

These tactics will help you address talent shortages and find the skilled workers you need:

Invest in training. Apprenticeships. Alternative educational models. Shadowing. Workforce development programs. Training seminars. Bootcamps. Self-guided learning. In 2020, explore every option possible to upskill your current employees and encourage growth in their profession. Building a culture of continual learning can help you address and even prevent skills gaps, while demonstrating your commitment to employees’ long-term career advancement.

Get creative. Instead of working harder to recruit from shallow talent pools, look elsewhere – and look beyond candidates’ resumes. If you are flexible, think creatively and are willing to invest in training, veterans, STEM graduates, mothers returning to work, 50-somethings, boomerang employees, displaced workers and more can be great sources of talent.

Remove obstacles that drive talent away. Qualified job seekers have lots of options, and most are only on the job market for a short period of time. Make sure you do everything possible to accelerate and simplify your hiring process, without compromising quality:

  • Can your application be completed on any device?
  • Are you capturing only essential information in your job application?
  • What do you do to prevent communication vacuums during the recruiting process?
  • Could you consolidate interviews, or schedule multiple interviews on the same day?
  • Are you ready to close quickly?

Partner with a national employment agency like PrideStaff.

When good candidates are hard to find, a qualified staffing firm is an indispensable ally: improving your access to talent (including passive job seekers and those working for competitors), accelerating recruiting, creating high quality matches and assisting with offer negotiation.


It’s never too early to start recruiting.

Even if you’re not actively hiring, you should still be planning for the future. With unemployment predicted to remain low and skill shortages already at critical levels in many industries, you’ll likely need more lead-time in 2020 to source qualified candidates.


Partner with PrideStaff to forecast your long-term workforce and hiring needs. We’ll help you create a proactive recruiting plan that ensures access to qualified talent, right when you need it.


Contact your local PrideStaff office today to get started.