The Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) released a recent report which contains some sobering statistics for the HR industry. 68% of HR professionals reported that the current talent recruiting conditions are challenging. The most impacted were the health, manufacturing, and social assistance sectors. This is an interesting shift in the market from the time of the Great Recession and poses unique problems for recruitment. What is the definition of a talent shortage? While there are a lot of new jobs being created, a talent shortage is when employers feel that the existing talent pool doesn’t fit the level of skill at the pay scale that is offered. Hiring is an art and science, and an employee with a great skill set and years of experience costs money. What contributes to a talent shortage? There are multiple theories including more specialized job requirements, the Baby Boomers exiting the workforce, and the Millennials and Gen Z lacking the skills that organizations need at the time of workforce entry. What is the result of a talent shortage? A multitude of unfulfilled job, missed growth opportunities for the companies, and delayed executive initiatives just to name a few. In turn, there are several ways that HR professionals can address talent scarcity.
- Work on the brand- Building brand equity is a requirement in the modern workforce for companies. No longer just for the purpose of attracting and retaining customer, a strong brand is a tool to attract and retain employees. A compelling mission and purpose for the company encourages loyalty. Many companies instead of offering perks like gym memberships and cool break rooms have turned the focus on mentoring and training opportunities for the employees. This trend can be attributed to the recognition preferences of the younger workforce.
- Get social- There is another reason to include in the company’s social media strategy external as well as internal stakeholders. Social media is a gold mine for running automated referral campaigns. Existing employees are a great pool for talent. In fact, employee referrals are 54 times more likely to be hired than non-referrals, will stay on the job longer, and will outperform the non-referrals. It makes sense, employees know the culture of the company and people that would add value to the company.
- Retention- There is nothing like the confidence boost to employee morale like rewarding, recognizing, and promoting the current talent pool in the company. Investing in existing talent can generate enhanced productivity and decreased turnover. Initiatives like promoting a learning environment, offering on-the-job training, and fostering a creative, innovative environment can result in stellar word-of-mouth endorsements and selling points for future employees.
These solutions to talent scarcity paint a bigger picture of the talent paradox that exists in the HR industry. One caveat is that hiring managers should be aware of the pitfall of being choosy. There is no sense of holding a job position open for magically perfect candidate that may not exist in the reality of the market demands. This is a self-defeating practice when there are tangible ways to grow and develop the talent pool. While hiring is a complex endeavor, the shortage of talent can be resolved by building brand equity, taking advantage of employee referrals, and promoting from within the company.