Demand for Talent Converges on Critical Roles in the U.S., U.K.

Gartner TalentNeuron™ data on millions of job postings shows demand for talent converging sharply on critical roles in the U.S. and U.K.

If you’ve tried lately to source a software developer in the U.S. or a marketing manager in the U.K., you have likely experienced firsthand the challenge of recruiting certain talent. While you may have a sense of this trend, Gartner TalentNeuron analysis of millions of job postings confirms the degree to which talent demand is converging in the U.S. and U.K.

What Gartner TalentNeuron found:

  • 49% of all job postings by S&P 100 companies in 2018 were for just 39 roles. The remaining 51% were for 872 other roles.
  • 41% of all job postings by FTSE 100 companies in 2018 were for just 20 roles. The remaining 59% were for 641 other roles.
  • The most competitive roles are in critical functions across IT, research and development, marketing, sales and customer service.

“In the U.S., the 39 critical roles include software developers, marketing managers and computer system engineers/architects,” says Ashley Tatum, VP, Advisory, Gartner.  “Many of these roles require in-demand skills such as data analysis, advanced coding and solution selling. And many of those same skills are in demand in the U.K., where the most critical roles include customer service representatives and financial managers.”

Gartner TalentNeuron data shows 41% of all job postings by FTSE 100 organizations in 2018 were for just 20 roles.

Learn more: Most Competitive Roles for 2019

Competition for talent complicates recruitment

This convergence of demand reflects fundamental changes in the workforce. As new technologies emerge and corporate business models evolve, many — and many types — of companies are pursuing the same talent. In addition, skills and roles are themselves evolving with technology, meaning business leaders may not even know what their own talent needs will be.

In this environment, recruiters have to handle a more complex mix of requisitions, with more specialized and unfamiliar requirements. Recruitment costs are surging, and it takes more time than ever to fill open positions — especially when recruiters are hiring for talent in areas outside of their core competence.

Data helps focus the talent search

Data on external labor markets offers important future-focused, data-driven insights into emerging technologies, the associated demand for new technical skills and the geographic locations that provide rich sourcing opportunities for sought-after talent.

Those insights not only uncover sources of talent, they also provide the prism through which to view and define talent sourcing strategy in a way that will drive business goals and ambitions and inform decisions about the specific tactics most likely to attract in-demand talent.

About Gartner TalentNeuron’s Most Competitive Roles Report

Gartner TalentNeuron conducted an in-depth annual analysis of all job postings in the U.S. for the S&P 100 between January 1, 2018, and December 31, 2018 and identified the roles for which at least 90% of S&P organizations were recruiting.

The same analysis was conducted for all job postings in the U.K. for the FTSE 100 between January 1, 2018, and December 31, 2018 to identify the roles for which at least 67% of the FTSE 100 were recruiting. The threshold for competitive roles is lower in the U.K. because many of the employers in the FTSE 100 do not have operations in the U.K.

This article is based on insights that are part of an in-depth collection of research, tools, templates and advice available to Gartner clients.


Gartner for HR clients can read the 2018 Competitive Roles Report, watch a webinar or read research on Gartner Labor Market Insights, access the Labor Market Portal for global labor market insights, benchmarking and implementation tools, or read the latest Labor Market Insights Quarterly Magazine.


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