Forty-nine percent of employers of all sizes say finding and retaining high-quality talent is one of the main business challenges, particularly in the talent management field, where respondents say that is the top issue, finds HireRight's 2011 Employment Screening Benchmarking Report.

The report's statistics confirm the results in a recent survey by ManpowerGroup that says 52 percent of U.S. companies are having trouble finding qualified employees to fill mission-critical jobs. The U.S. manufacturing sector, for instance, reduced the amount of employees, but the number of open jobs has risen from 98,000 in 2009 to 230,000 in 2011, according to the Financial Times.

"With unemployment numbers topping 9 percent, most people assume that every company has their pick of hundreds of qualified workers for every job," says Rob Pickell, senior vice president of customer solutions at HireRight. "In reality, employers appear to be experiencing a different phenomenon today. This year's benchmarking survey results and other third-party reports suggest that many companies are having difficulty in filling critical positions."

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