Staying Ahead of the Talent Shortfall
A business is only as strong as its people. Any shortfall in talent can hurt productivity and competitiveness, not to mention morale. This is a big concern for businesses because the perennial war for talent appears to be on the rise, according to ManpowerGroup’s 2015 Talent Shortage study
The ManpowerGroup 2015 study found that 38% of 41,000 hiring managers around the world had greater difficulty filling jobs last year than in 2014. That marks the highest rate of talent scarcity since 2007, before the Great Recession hit in 2008.
Hiring managers and HR directors should take active steps to stay out in front of this growing talent shortfall, according to Dennis O’Brien, a senior talent management consultant writing in the Right Management ThoughtWire blog
. The best way to attract quality people is to run a quality company with strong growth potential and real opportunities for career development. O’Brien shared these four proven tactics to attract and retain a healthy talent pipeline:
- Assess Your Workforce in Smarter Ways. Some companies deploy HR analytics software to evaluate the talent that’s currently in place, along with forecasts for what skills will be most needed in the future. Managers should develop hiring strategies to fill these current and future skills gaps. Also, someone’s skill level and job experience should not be the only factors considered. Effective assessments also take into account a person’s job performance, motivations, ambitions and psychological profile.
- Enable Flexible Career Development and Talent Mobility. Managers should recognize that it’s natural for people to have dreams of self-improvement and aspirations for growth. Most successful companies enable employees to learn new skills and move around within the organization to broaden themselves. Younger workers especially desire more flexible careers – not only through flextime schedules and opportunities to work from home, but also through career paths that progress laterally to develop new skillsets before being promoted upward.
- Look for Talent in New Places. Going back to the same old sources for staff recruitment will generate the same old results. It’s important to mix things up to stay ahead of the competition, because everyone is searching for the same pool of good candidates. Smart companies will look in new places for candidates, such as across their supply chain partners, or in collaborations with industry groups. “When you stop being a slave to a position description,” O’Brien writes, “a world of opportunities may open up to find great workers.”
- Build Your Reputation as a Great Place to Work. This may be the most important factor for attracting the best people. Google and Facebook are highly desirable employers because they are so wildly successful, but also because they pamper their workers with gourmet meals, extensive office perks, flexible schedules, and a shared sense of purpose. Word of mouth spreads quickly, so talented workers will run the other way if your company becomes known as a crummy place to work. Many factors can contribute to a bad reputation, such as a negative workplace environment and culture, a lack of good pay and benefits, or an inflexible management team. The best companies focus on building up employee engagement to such a degree that even former employees have good things to say about their experiences long after they’ve left the staff.