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Time to fill a position now at 71 days, Gartner says

Gartner's talent market intelligence service found that 49% of all the job postings are for just 39 roles. Three of those roles are HR-related.

If it seems to be taking longer to fill a position today, you're not imagining things. The time to fill a position -- from date the job is posted to the start date -- is now at a mean of 71 days, according to Gartner. That is a 30-day increase since 2010 and reflects the competition in the job market.

The consultancy highlighted a subset of jobs in "very high demand" based on a measure of hiring by the largest corporations. Three of those jobs are HR-related.

Gartner's TalentNeuron, its talent market intelligence service, analyzed all the jobs posted by Standard & Poor's top 100 firms. It found that 49% of all the job postings were for 39 roles, including HR managers, HR specialists, and training and development specialist. The balance was for 872 other roles.

While the HR job titles are generic, the skills aren't. Companies are looking for people with digital skills and analytical abilities, Lauren Smith, vice president at Gartner's HR practice, said.

Training and development specialists are also in demand as digital platforms replace classrooms, Smith said.

The increase in the time to fill a role means critical positions are left unfilled, according to Smith. "Organizations are operating in a hypercompetitive labor market," she said.

The demand for digital skills

Some of the other high-demand positions are IT-related, including computer system engineers, security analysts and software developers. Financial, sales and marketing managers are also in in this select group.

Organizations are operating in a hypercompetitive labor market.
Lauren SmithVice president of HR practice, Gartner

Gartner didn't have specific time to fill a position by job roles but said some jobs, such as in IT, do take longer to fill.

Employers are also dealing with an increase in quit rates. The number of quits, or voluntarily separations by employees, was at 3.4 million in March, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Quits reached a 15-year high at 3.5 million in January.

The top reason for voluntary exits is pay, according to new data from PayScale's survey of its users. Its survey, which included some 15,000 respondents, found that 25% of the quits cited higher pay as the primary reason for quitting.

The leading reason people were attracted to a new organization was "the opportunity to do more meaningful work," according to PayScale. That reason registered at 27%. Following that, at 17%, was increased responsibilities and, at 16%, increased pay.

Increasing perks to no avail

Employers have also been increasing their perks and benefits, PayScale reported. In an earlier report this year, PayScale found that 59% of employers are investing more in training and development, and 44% now offer remote work, which is an uptick from 39% last year.

But some steps employers take may not be helping all that much with retention.

Katie Bardaro, chief economist at PayScale, said: "A more flexible schedule is the least likely reason why someone chose to leave their current organization -- only 2%" relative to higher pay.

The same was true for better benefits and perks, according to PayScale's data.

"The new data doesn't necessarily support that a broader investment in benefits and perks will lead to less attrition," Bardaro said.

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