Talent shortage: the new traffic pattern for hiring


It’s not just summer. It’s also road construction season. If your commute is like mine, you’ve spent a fair amount of your daily drive this summer reading road construction signs. I pass the “new traffic pattern” signs multiple times on my 20-minute trip. Today, it triggered a mental connection in a different way as I was contemplating the talent shortage and its challenges for staffing.

For anyone involved with hiring and retaining great employees, you know that the talent shortage is here. It was expected and anticipated … and now it has arrived. According to Randstad’s annual Workplace Trends report released today, on average companies report that they are more than 10% understaffed. Three-fourths of companies report that it’s taking longer this year than last year to find the best new employees. Most openings take at least two months to fill ~ and some take substantially longer than this.

There is definitely a “new traffic pattern” when it comes to finding, hiring, and retaining the best employees. Whether you’re seeking reliable warehouse employees, skilled office and administrative people, or specially trained professionals, the days have vanished for taking one short route to quickly identify multiple candidates who satisfy every criterion on your wish list. Pretty much across the employment categories, competition is fierce as people with the strongest skills and potential entertain multiple offers.

What can you do when your urgent staffing need gets detoured by the new traffic pattern of this talent shortage?

1: Take a fresh look at your search priorities.
Ask yourself (and your managers/supervisors) whether every experience set, soft skill, and criterion on your “wish list” is truly required. Identify the top three or four criteria to better shape how you recruit and how you screen potential candidates. For example, customer service experience in a related business sector might be ideal, but it could also triple the length of your search. Could someone without related business sector experience become productive in the 6 months it would otherwise take to find your “ideal?”

2: Take a fresh look at the package you’re offering to attract employees.
Wages have been relatively stagnant for the past five years and this is part of what’s motivating some people to make a job change. Offering competitive salary and/or robust benefits will help to better position your company. If your ability to offer competitive compensation is limited, then explore what other incentives you could offer, such as cross-training to develop additional skills or flexibility to work occasionally from home.

3: Consider recruiting from an alternative or underutilized workforce pool.
It may take a little more intentionality, but some of your competitors are likely exploring other members of the workforce pool. For example, several local employers have embraced hiring individuals on the autism spectrum for jobs that involve repetitive and structured tasks. Other skilled, yet underutilized workers might include people returning to the workforce after a break for family responsibilities, people retired who would like to contribute with less pressure, … well, you get the idea!

Contact your trusted consultants at Frank’s Employment for help, too. We staff for skilled warehouse and manufacturing, skilled office, and the full range of professional positions!

by Elyse Williamson Google

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