Central Florida Top Ten Hiring Challenges in 2017

Hiring Challenges Orlando

We spoke to over 130 Central Florida talent acquisition and human resource managers and asked them what keeps them up at night when it comes to hiring (Download Full Report Here). We compiled the top 10 since misery loves company. We hope this information helps in understanding what other companies are experience in hiring. 

“Our unemployment rate in the Orlando MSA is 3.9% which is really low.  The war for talent is on!”


Here are the top 10 hiring challenges:


  1. Getting plenty of resumes but very few qualified candidates. This is the perennial #1 challenge. This year, a few employers mentioned that they were surprised that the volume of resumes they were receiving continues to trend high despite the unemployment rate being so low. The last time the unemployment rate was this low (4.7%) was 2007, right before the great recession, and employers couldn’t even get a steady flow of unqualified candidates at that point in time.

  2. Too many applications taking too much time and manpower to sort, file and respond. It’s a big problem for a lot of companies again this year. Most companies recognize they do a horrible job at getting back to job seekers who are not selected for interviews. This year, we asked these employers what they do for the job seeker experience at their company and you can find that information on page 10.  By far the number one complaint of job seekers is they never hear back from companies after they apply.  Find out how other companies are handling this dilemma. 

  3. Retention. This is something we have not heard a lot about in the nine years we’ve been conducting this annual survey, likely because of the effects of the recession. The economy is getting better, the Orlando MSA has added a ton of new jobs, consumer confidence is rising and those already employed are changing jobs for more money or better opportunity. The combination of job growth and people leaving their current jobs is adding a lot of work to already overloaded HR departments. Employees who rode out the storm with their current employer in a very dicey job market are now perfect candidates for other jobs and they are taking advantage.

  4. Cost of hiring is increasing. The nice thing about a recession is that companies don’t need to spend a ton of money attracting candidates. But now the recession is over and many companies indicated that they have not budgeted correctly for recruiting sources (job boards, staffing agencies, technology, etc.) to get enough qualified job seeker applications to handle the amount of jobs they need to fill. 

  5. Figuring out where to spend their recruiting budgets to recruit job seekers. Many employers were surprised to find that, today, many resources exist to help get applicants to their open jobs. The challenge for most employers is to put together a comprehensive plan and budget so they are making sure to get applicants to their administrative jobs as well as their high skilled jobs.  On page 7, you will see many companies have invested in social media recruiting.  While we don’t know all the costs associated with it, they did report their hire results, which are lukewarm but slowly growing. 


Healthcare Workers


  1. Different year… same issue with healthcare workers. Our healthcare employers are very clear: they have way too many job openings and not enough qualified candidates. This issue is being attacked in many ways. For example, the Governor of Florida signed a bill allowing highly skilled nurses and physician assistants to prescribe certain types of medication. This will take a heavy load off of physicians.  Also, many schools in Central Florida, including the University of Central Florida, Seminole State College and Valencia College, are working directly with healthcare providers to develop very precise curriculum to ensure that upon graduation, students can walk right into fantastic jobs and are truly job ready on day one.  

  2. Home Healthcare workers are in major shortage. Central Florida (along with all retirement states in general) are in a very interesting situation: baby boomers are retiring in record numbers and many are moving to warmer climates.  Home healthcare workers who go into homes to administer medicine, feed and take care of those in need are in high demand. Unfortunately, the jobs don’t pay that well and require training, background checks and schedules that include weekend and night work, which don’t attract large numbers of applicants.

  3. Construction/Skilled Trade Jobs in demand. If you drive around Central Florida, you will see residential, commercial and infrastructure construction in every part of the region. So many skilled jobs are open. Welders, plumbers, HVAC, carpenters, masons, drywall finishers and all other types are in high demand. Construction companies are recruiting from out of the area to bring in enough workers to keep up with demand. In 2016, the construction industry added over 6,500 jobs. 

  4. Healthcare Benefits. Nothing is a bigger cost to an employer than the healthcare benefits they provide for their employees. This is a huge recruiting and retention tool. However, many employers indicated that since their companies only pay a small portion of the employees’ healthcare costs, it is hard to hire top candidates if they have other offers with a better benefits package. This is especially hard-hitting with smaller companies. Hidden in healthcare costs are also high deductibles.  While those can lower monthly healthcare costs, employees with a lot of current medical needs will need to scrutinize an employer’s health insurance and wellness plans when they are offered a new job. Additionally, with the issue in the news so much, hiring managers should expect more questions about their health plans during candidate interviews in the coming year.  

  5. Hospitality and Leisure Jobs Shortage. While the jobs in this industry may pay lower wages, Central Florida does have a very young workforce hailing from all over the world that helps fill these jobs. Employers in this sector have to deal with so many challenges (most on this list) that they have job openings 24/7.  Disney World, for example, has a minimum wage of $10.00 per hour. Companies that still pay the standard $8.03 per hour are at a distinct disadvantage. This sector is also experiencing a huge deficit of housekeepers, lifeguards and bus drivers.  



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