More than 11 million Americans are unemployed, yet 4 million job openings remain unfilled. These companies want to hire, but are struggling to find the right people.
1. Software developer
Courtesy: Microsoft Company: Microsoft
Location: Redmond, Wash.
The software industry is growing rapidly, creating lots of job opportunities for those with the right skills.
By 2020, there will be 1.2 million job openings in computing that require at least a bachelor’s degree, according to a recent report by Microsoft (MSFT). But at its present pace, the United States can’t produce even half of the graduates needed to fill them.
Currently, Microsoft is looking for professionals in core research, engineering and development to fill in its more than 3,300 open positions across the country. Job openings at the company are up 30% from the same time last year.
Ideal candidates for Microsoft have a bachelor’s, master’s or Ph.D. in engineering, computer science, or a related field, with one to two years of programming experience.
2. Truck driver
ThinkstockCompany: Smith & Solomon
Location: Bellmawr, NJ
Trucking companies have faced a labor shortage for years and are recruiting aggressively.
Smith & Solomon currently has more trucks than drivers and is looking for candidates with at least two years of experience.
“There is an absolute need for drivers right now,” said Todd Hyland, director of job placement. “We deal with employers from all over. We are in dire need of drivers, and we can’t get them fast enough.”
Turnover for long-haul truckers is dramatic, averaging about 98% in 2012. Many trucking companies are expanding at a time when experienced drivers are retiring. Drivers that have points on their licenses affect the safety scores given to the trucking companies, so many businesses are looking for newer drivers that have a clean slate.
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3. Content savant
Courtesy: Software AdviceCompany: Software Advice
Location: Austin, Texas
Employers say it’s tough for them to find candidates who can research, write, think creatively, and who also have interpersonal skills.
“We have a difficult time finding candidates with the ambition and intensity we require. We sort through roughly 100 applications for each hire,” said Don Fornes, chief executive of Software Advice, an Austin, Texas-based company that helps organizations to choose the right software.
One job posting, for a “Content Savant” describes the perfect candidate. He or she is a “bit of a smarty pants,” “crazy organized” and “tech and web savvy.”
With about 70 current employees, Software Advice has more than 30 open positions across the company.
“When we find someone great, we hire them, even if we don’t have a formal open position. We see it as an investment in the company’s future,” Fornes said.
4. Oil exploration director
Courtesy: Foster WheelerCompany: Foster Wheeler
Location: Houston, Texas
Oil and gas exploration is a booming business in places like Texas and North Dakota, and the industry is hungry for all the high-skilled workers it can get.
Foster Wheeler (FWLT) employs more than 13,000 workers globally and is looking for workers to join its “upstream” business (industry lingo for the exploration and production phase).
One position — The Upstream Project Director — would handle several large projects at the same time. The job requires a seasoned veteran well versed in on- and off-shore operations that has at least 25 years of experience.
But qualified candidates are very hard to find. Highly skilled workers are retiring and energy companies find themselves competing for talent. Workers are compensated well and will likely receive multiple offers.