CHICAGO-One in three employers worldwide cannot find qualified talent. So says a new study from ManpowerGroup. Could virtual office space help attract and retain talent?

This year’s data reveals the crisis' deeper impact as 56% of employers now indicate that unfilled positions are expected to have little or no impact on constituents, such as customers and investors, a considerable increase from 36% in 2011.

Why can’t employers fill the roles? The most common reason is a lack of applicants and/or a lack of technical competencies/hard skills. In particular, employers cited the lack of industry-specific qualifications in both professional and skilled trades categories.

Could it be possible that opening up these positions to telecommuters who work from virtual offices in flex time arrangements might attract some best and brightest talent? I think so.

Studies show that young talent appreciates flexibility. All other things being equal, allowing workers to set up shop from a virtual office at least part of the time could help you win their heads and minds.

Virtual office technologies mean employees aren’t out of sight or out of mind. You can keep in touch with virtual office workers via technologies like web conferencing and Skype, which offers presence tools.

In the war for talent as the economy recovers, virtual offices could play a significant role in separating the companies that win competent workers and the ones that don’t.

Check out this video on attracting and retaining talent with work-life balance strategies: