New Survey Says Businesses Report It’s Getting Harder to Fill Jobs

According to results of new survey by Express Employment Professionals, it’s getting harder to fill jobs in today’s workplace:

  • 70% Say Recruiting and Hiring is Very or Somewhat Difficult
  • Nearly 1/3 Blame Lack of Applicants

Express Employment Professionals released new survey results revealing the difficult time businesses are having filling jobs, and the reasons for that difficulty.

In a survey of 533 businesses, respondents were asked, “How easy is it for you to recruit and fill positions?”

Almost one quarter, 24 percent, said “very difficult,” and another 46 percent said “somewhat difficult.” In total, 70 percent reported some level of difficulty, the highest percentage since the last quarter of 2016.

In contrast, 25 percent said “somewhat easy,” while just 4 percent said, “very easy.”

“There should be little doubt at this point that we have a tight labor market and are approaching full employment, at least by conventional measures,” said Bob Funk, CEO of Express, and a former chairman of the Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City. “As a result, it’s not surprising to see companies lamenting the difficulty of finding talent. Employers would be well-advised to consider new recruitment and retention strategies. If the economy continues to grow, these challenges will not subside, and it will be up to business leaders and elected officials alike to find ways to bring more people into the American workforce.”

Why is it getting harder to fill jobs?

Respondents were also asked for the “primary reason that your open jobs are not filled.”

Almost one third, 32 percent, blamed the “lack of available applicants,” while 30 percent said the “lack of applicants with experience.” This is a slight shift from the previous three quarters of the survey when “experience” ranked higher than “available applicants.”

Other top responses included “I have all my positions filled” (20 percent); “lack of applicants with hard skills” (18 percent); “lack of applicants with soft skills” (13 percent); and “company’s geographic location” (13 percent).

Full results are below.

getting harder to fill jobs.

getting harder to fill jobs.


The survey of 533 businesses, which are current and former clients of Express Employment Professionals, was conducted in June 2017 as part of the America Employed campaign to gauge respondents’ expectations for the third quarter of 2017. Previous surveys were conducted to cover hiring trends of the quarters indicated.


“Employers would be well-advised to consider new recruitment and retention strategies.”

As stated above by CEO, Bob Funk, “…It’s not surprising to see companies lamenting the difficulty of finding talent. Employers would be well-advised to consider new recruitment and retention strategies.”

We could not agree more. It’s getting harder to fill jobs. The stress of a recruiter’s workload in today’s workplace, combined with a likely lack of general Media Advertising experience, makes it is easy to understand how “Group Think” can influence recruitment advertising decisions. Deciding to stick with what they already know , recruiters, hiring managers, and other HR professionals end up ignoring or being unaware of other, possibly more effective, ideas and solutions.

Mitton Media: “We do the work. You get the credit.”®

In their search for new recruitment strategies, this is the point where many employers have turned to Mitton Media. We become their combined Advertising & Marketing degree and fresh concept Think Tank. The burden of developing new recruitment and retention strategies is shifted from their shoulders to our plate:

“We wanted to take this opportunity to share with you how valuable you have been to our organization. It is still unbelievable how many challenges we have overcome and milestones we have reached thanks to Mitton Media.

The level of professionalism you have portrayed coupled with your knowledge and “can do” attitude were instrumental…Thanks for being just a phone call away and 24 hours a day at that.”

S. Suarez/Global HR Director


If you are not satisfied with the results being generated from current recruitment advertising programs and resources, it’s time to stop, step back, and reassess. Mitton Media is a unique ad agency with 20+ years of recruitment marketing experience. We know the psychology behind what motivates people to join certain companies. We also know that every company has its own unique culture. Which is why we never present “cookie cutter” solutions. Instead we do our homework and only recommend true fit messaging and strategies. And, it works.

Mitton Media can develop entire recruitment advertising campaigns and employer branding programs, or jump in on a project basis. We also work behind existing agency relationships, providing our singular expertise. Everything we do is compatible with a company’s existing ATS process.

getting harder to fill jobsIf you are an employer of 500 to 5,000, and have a “growth mindset” for learning more about alternative strategies and tactics for employee recruitment and employer branding, take the first step. Contact Shana Reinhart at Mitton Media. Shana will work with you to assess current recruitment programs and then suggest additional true-fit ideas with proven track records for success in similar situations. She will then ask for a recruitment advertising project assignment so that you can see what it is like to work with Mitton Media and experience the increased levels of engagement and response our strategies consistently deliver.

Remember. At Mitton Media, “We do the work. You get the credit.”®

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