It’s a fact, the current talent shortage is hampering most industry sectors. A closer look reveals critical shortages are not just limited to production or hospitality, they also exist in office staff & support roles across sales and accounting positions. Our opinion is this situation will prevail for at least the next 18 – 24 months so should we despair?
No – but just placing an ad on one of the popular jobs boards won’t be enough to secure that much need resource; those currently employed are passively open to new opportunities and reaching them requires research and patience. The employment environment is further challenged by little pro-activity/mobility in job seekers due to factors like full employment, lack of new entrants to the labour pool or in some cases, people just checking out of work for the time being.
Search and networking is key to identifying, engaging and securing those sought after skills. But that’s only part of the challenge – candidates are now hiring employers so be prepared to address the following topics to attract and retain talent.
- Articulate your Employee Value Proposition (EVP) – spell out those conditions, benefits, support and further opportunities setting your business apart
- Invest in lifting knowledge, understanding and capability of your current staff – this approach will greatly assist in retaining your key people and support your EVP
- Focus on aligning your Business strategy with your Human Resources Strategy – know who you want to retain, who you will lose through performance or natural attrition and what skills you will need and when to achieve your strategy
- Make yourself available sooner than later to meet prospective candidates – if they’re good for you then they’re possibly good for someone else too
- The days of assembling a shortlist of 3 or more candidates for comparison purposes are gone – be prepared to meet candidates when they’re available and make your judgements against the job brief
- Explore the positives of each candidate and assess the level of support you need to provide through the onboarding stage to ensure every possibility of successful hiring.
- Being open to exploring transferable competencies and experiences – distinguish between ability to do the job and the product knowledge required
- Encourage diversity in all forms
It’s not easy now or for the foreseeable future – but it’s not impossible either.
Prepared by John Gilbert, Principal of Options Consulting Group, a specialist in Workplace Solutions since 1990.
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