Finding the right candidate can be enormously difficult. Sometimes the task of locating a handful of hopefuls for your client can be achieved before lunch, but there are occasions where candidates stay frustratingly out of reach. It’s also true that certain types of occupations seem to be especially prone to experiencing a chronic scarcity of candidates. With these jobs, there simply aren’t enough qualified candidates available—which, naturally, can leave recruiters in a tough spot.

Recently, CareerCast compiled a list of the hardest positions for which to find candidates. Without further ado, let’s have a look at the four toughest jobs to fill for 2017.

Competitive Positions

  1. Data Scientist – In 2012, the Harvard Business Review called data scientist “the sexiest job of the 21st1 So, what is a data scientist, anyway? This is basically an umbrella term for people who manage and analyze data of all kinds—internet traffic, databases, statistics, and anything else relating to what is known as “big data.” It’s a fairly new type of career that was virtually unknown a decade ago, and demand for skilled data wranglers continues to outpace the supply of college grads who have the requisite skills for this field. Those who do make the grade can profit handsomely from their abilities: The median salary is around $120,000/year.2
  2. Financial Advisor – Financial advisors provide a range of services to clients in accordance with regulations set in place by the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) This is a booming field with an above-average median salary (nearly $90,000/year) and a projected growth of 30%.3 It’s another field where demand for qualified professionals will likely continue to surpass the available supply for a while.
  3. General and Operations Manager – These professionals coordinate the day-to-day operations of a particular company—a mission that calls upon a fairly broad range of skills and demands familiarity with all divisions and departments of the organization. They are employed at a wide spectrum of public and private organizations, from restaurants to investment banks. It’s a job that pays very well—the median salary approaches $100,000—and opportunities are projected to increase in the years to come.4
  4. Home Health Aide – As the baby boomer generation reaches the Social Security years, the need for trained professionals who can provide medical assistance will continue to climb. The job of home health aide does not pay as generously as the aforementioned positions, but it is an undeniably important occupation that never seems to have enough qualified applicants.

home health aide