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What effects has the talent shortage had on your hiring methods?

Posted Travis O'Rourke, Head of Hays Talent Solutions – Canada on Wednesday, Feb 21, 2018

Based on a survey of more than 3,000 people, the Hays US 2018 Salary Guide asked US professionals, managers, and employers about current business, compensation, and workforce trends. More than half of employers say they will increaseblog5_talentshortage headcount next year, but three-quarters are experiencing a skills shortage in their industry.

Skills shortages are already affecting business, with 92 percent of employers surveyed saying it is having a negative impact on areas such as productivity, staff turnover, and employee satisfaction. Employers say the main reasons for the shortage are a lack of available training and development, and fewer people entering their industry. With high expectations for staffing level growth in 2018, this will further challenge an already tight talent market. The combination of high demand and lack of available candidates is leading Hays to recommend that employers be proactive about attracting and retaining their workforce. Here are some of the ways the talent shortage will evolve your hiring methods that are needed to attract and retain the most appropriate and best-skilled candidates.

Be flexible
This includes considering existing employees, who are not only a rich source of information but who have also already demonstrated their commitment and ‘fit’ with the organization. Other ‘flexible’ strategies include considering transferable skills and recruiting based on candidate potential. Such flexibility allows you to open a vacancy to a larger pool of candidates who have experience, suit the company, and can become a highly valued asset with a little technical training. In addition, embracing flexible working options allows an organization to not only retain critical skills but widens the pool of potential talent to include those that need flexibility to remain in the workforce.

Create a road map
Have a plan to identify the key roles and likely requirement patterns in your organization. At the most basic level, this means examining where you are heading and comparing this to the skills - and the skill gaps - you currently have within your organization. Recruitment planning, the development of a succinct process, a tailored offer, the effective use of temporary assignments and mobile technology should also be part of the planning process.

Know your values
Create an employment brand to attract like-minded candidates aligned to your values. If in doubt of this strategy, consider BRW’s Great Place to Work list; organizations on this list have strong employment brands, and despite widespread skills shortages they receive unsolicited applications from people who want to work for them.

Leverage under-utilized talent pools
Source far and wide and include the under-utilized talent pools of overseas skills, mature age candidates, female candidates and former employees. In addition to these under-utilized talent pools, new technology is also a factor in a comprehensive search.

Invest in training and development
Training and development involves open communication with staff and up-skilling existing employees to build a more talented workforce capable of handling the required workflow. But remember, training doesn’t always have to be in the classroom.

Set the bar
Focus on retention and start with the benchmarking of great performers, then recruit to these criteria. A retention plan also includes training people well, performance management, career development, succession planning and engagement. Also critical is assessing managers; people join companies and leave people.

Develop a talent pipeline even when not actively hiring
A talent pipeline is used to identify potential candidates who can be continuously nurtured and approached when vacancies arise. By implementing a long-term sourcing strategy, you also help to develop relationships with future talent, shorten the time to hire, improve the interview process and minimize business disruption.

Adopting one or two of these points in isolation is not enough to overcome the severity of the skills shortage. We suggest that these points should be combined and used in parallel to forge a robust and effective strategy. We hope to offer innovative solutions to help our clients bridge the skills gap in today’s highly competitive talent race.

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