Korn Ferry Survey of Front Range Business Professionals Shows Caliber of Job Candidates Better, but They are Harder to Find

EDITOR’S NOTE: Survey results at bottom of release 

LOS ANGELES, June 14, 2018 — A new survey of Denver (Front Range) area professionals by Korn Ferry (NYSE:KFY) shows that a shortage of qualified job candidates is having a negative impact on business growth.

While more than a third of respondents (38 percent) said that compared to three years ago, today’s job candidates are of higher caliber, more than two-thirds of respondents (68 percent) say it’s harder to find qualified talent in the region.

Nearly two-thirds (61 percent) say a shortage of qualified talent is limiting their organizations’ growth, which can have implications down the road as nearly half (48 percent) say they plan on hiring more people next year than they did this year. The top reason they are hiring more people, according to the survey, is that they are expanding their product and service offerings.

“Hiring in this hot market is not for the faint of heart, and employers need to ensure they create a strong positive culture, provide clear advancement paths and offer competitive benefits to win the war for talent,” said Michael Mitchel, Korn Ferry area leader for Colorado. Korn Ferry has increased its presence in the region to meet growing demand for recruitment professionals.

When asked what job was hardest to fill, the top response was technology/digital roles.

“There’s no doubt there’s a shortage of tech workers as more technology companies move to the region, but there is a need for qualified talent across virtually all sectors and roles,” said Mitchel. “The most successful companies we work with have a long-term strategy to attract, hire and retain employees to meet the evolving demands of their business.”

Compared to 3 years ago, how difficult is it to find qualified talent in the Front Range region?

Much more difficult 23 percent
Somewhat more difficult 45 percent
About the same 21 percent
Somewhat less difficult 8 percent
Much less difficult 3 percent

Compared to 3 years ago, how is the caliber of candidates?

Much better 8 percent
Somewhat better 30 percent
About the same 49 percent
Somewhat inferior 13 percent
Significantly inferior 0 percent

How much is a shortage of qualified talent affecting your business growth?

Severely limiting growth 8 percent
Somewhat limiting growth 53 percent
Not impacting growth 39 percent

Compared to this year, what are your hiring plans for next year?

Hiring significantly more people 8 percent
Hiring somewhat more people next year 40 percent
Same amount of hires as this year 39 percent
Somewhat fewer hires than this year 10 percent
Hiring significantly fewer hires next year 3 percent

If you are hiring more people next year, what is the top reason?

Meeting demands of growing economy in Front Range 15 percent
Expanding products/services 60 percent
Turnover 19 percent
We are new to Front Range area 6 percent

If you are hiring fewer people next year, what is the top reason?

Downsizing 21 percent
Change in business model 43 percent
Technology is automating tasks 0 percent
Hired enough recently 36 percent

What type of talent hires are the most difficult to find?

Sales 11 percent
Tech/digital 31 percent
R&D 8 percent
Manufacturing 5 percent
Finance 11 percent
Marketing 4 percent
HR 3 percent
Hourly roles (e.g. drivers) 9 percent
Other 18 percent

What level is most difficult to hire for?

Senior executive/C-suite 13 percent
Vice president 16 percent
Director 23 percent
Line Managers 23 percent
Hourly workers 25 percent

About Korn Ferry

Korn Ferry is a global organizational consulting firm. We help companies design their organization – the structure, the roles and responsibilities, as well as how they compensate, develop and motivate their people. As importantly, we help organizations select and hire the talent they need to execute their strategy. Our approximately 7,000 colleagues serve clients in more than 50 countries.