Job Front: Skilled talent hard to find

Published: Monday, Nov. 5, 2012 - 12:00 am | Page 1B
Last Modified: Monday, Nov. 5, 2012 - 7:00 am

It is frustrating for job seekers and employers alike: Job seekers continue to look for opportunities, but employers struggle to find candidates with the special skills required to do the work they need.

Staffing firm Robert Half International examined the problem in a special report, "The Demand for Skilled Talent."

One of the conclusions: High unemployment persists, but specialized talent is hard to come by. That gap is leading to a dearth of job matches, especially in technology and finance.

According to the report, nearly six in 10 employers said it is "challenging to find skilled professionals today."

Tech is a sector that is "on fire," said Kimberly Stiener-Murphy, Sacramento manager for Robert Half International, with needs for programmers, developers and network engineers.

In accounting and finance, financial analysts and senior accountants are most in demand.

Finding midlevel professionals – those with five to seven years of experience – is "very tough," she said.

"It is a very interesting marketplace," Stiener-Murphy said. "We are coming out of recession, (Sacramento) is at a four-year low for its unemployment rate. It's very competitive for candidates, but difficult to find these high-level jobs."

The effects of that talent gap are being felt in the workplace. Critical positions are going unfilled, according to the report.

Those job seekers with special skills could have an advantage as employers expect to offer salary increases and more incentives to recruit new talent and retain the talent they have.

"Employers are being creative in their hiring," Stiener-Murphy said. "They're offering attractive packages with benefits and time off. They're finding ways to attract highly skilled talent."

She added: "The No. 1 concern in 2013 will be retention. Whatever it is that can be attractive to someone, employers will figure that out. If (an employer) has no plan coming out of the recession, they're going to be in trouble."

Thunder Valley holds fair

Thunder Valley Casino Resort in Lincoln will be the site of a career fair Nov. 15.

The free event at the resort, 1200 Athens Ave., Lincoln, is 11 a.m. to 2 p.m., and will feature area employers.

For more information, visit then select "Sacramento North Career Fairs."

Experts at Bee's job fair

Job seekers can learn how to prepare for interviews and career opportunities at a job fair Thursday co-sponsored by The Bee and Channel 31's "Good Day Sacramento."

The free fair is 6 a.m. to 9 a.m. at 2111 Q St., Sacramento, across the street from The Bee.

Attendees can sit in on seminars, learn job-seeking tips from local employment experts and meet with local employers including Bell Bros., California Family Fitness and Vision Service Plan.

Free parking is available at The Bee's southwest lot at 21st and Q streets.

For more information, call The Bee at (800) 284-3233.

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