How Employers Can Overcome Talent Shortages
The labor market has changed dramatically in the past year. Many workers have quit, relocated, or changed their career preferences. Employers are seeing urgent-to-fill positions take months to fill, especially in certain sectors or industries that require specific skills or experience. Which sectors are most affected by talent shortages, and what can employers do to overcome the challenges and find qualified talent sooner?
Barriers to Finding Talent
A new crop of challenges has emerged as the pandemic subsides. Let’s round up some of the issues employers face today when finding the labor to get the job done, grow their business, and move forward.
- A lack of available talent/talent mismatch. A survey by Gartner revealed that talent shortages are the most significant barrier to emerging technologies adoption. Some reasons for the lack of talent availability include skills gaps, demographic changes, competition from other industries, and immigration restrictions.
- A shift in worker preferences. Many workers have reevaluated their career goals and expectations during the pandemic. Some workers seek flexibility, work-life balance, compensation, and company culture. Some workers are reluctant to return to in-person work or commute long distances. A study by Harvard Business Review found that location is one of the biggest drivers of effective recruiting for hourly workers and lower-salaried positions.
- Difficulty in reaching and engaging potential candidates. Many employers rely on conventional approaches to recruit talent, such as posting job ads on online platforms or using referrals. However, employers may need more than traditional methods to attract and retain talent in a competitive market where new AI technology is emerging and social platforms shapeshift and evolve.
U.S. Sectors or Industries That Are Particularly Short of Workers
*Stats from March 2023
Some of the sectors or industries that are particularly short of workers include:
- Wholesale and retail trade. This sector has a labor shortage of 1.2 million workers exacerbated by a quit rate of 3.3 percent.
- Education and health services. This sector has a labor shortage of 1.5 million workers. It also faces challenges in retaining workers due to burnout, stress, and low pay; according to a report by Deloitte, about one in three healthcare workers have considered quitting their jobs.
- Financial and business services. This sector has a labor shortage of 1.4 million workers. In addition, finance and business compete with other industries for talent with similar skills, such as technology or media.
- Technology, media, and telecommunications. This sector has a labor shortage of 900,000 workers and faces a skills gap due to rapid innovation and disruption.
- Manufacturing. This sector has a labor shortage of 800,000 workers. With older workers retiring and younger generations gravitating away from manufacturing careers, labor will continue to be challenging for this sector for the foreseeable future.
- Trucking. This sector has a labor shortage of 60,000 workers. While this shortage may appear small by comparison, trucking plays a key role impacting other industries, as we witnessed during the pandemic. Trucking continues to face high turnover due to long hours, low pay, and poor working conditions.
What Employers Can Do to Overcome the Challenges
Some of the strategies employers can use to overcome the talent shortage and find qualified workers in this market include:
- Focus on the 5 Cs: culture, compensation, career development, communication, and connection. These factors influence worker satisfaction and retention, so invest some time considering what you offer and how you let people know about programs and opportunities to learn and advance.
- Experiment with different methods of candidate engagement. Employers today use creative tools like gamification, video interviews, chatbots, or virtual reality to test candidates’ skills, personality, and fit. Not every new trend will fit your culture, but it’s crucial to make learning about your company fun and interactive to keep prospective recruits engaged with you.
- Find an attractive compensation balance. Compensation is a critical factor in recruiting and retaining talent. Employers need to find a balance between offering competitive pay and benefits and maintaining profitability and sustainability. Can you get creative when it comes to your benefits package? For example, could you add an apprenticeship program encouraging employees to develop new or specialized skills? Consider reevaluating the needs of your workers and if your benefits are a compelling match.
- Be authentic about your employer brand. How your company treats employees matters. Showcasing your mission, vision, values, culture, and impact on social media is essential, but be cautious about “whitewashing.” Whitewashing is a term for companies touting attributes for public relations but doing another in practice. Experts recommend being open about weaknesses to build trust among potential recruits.
- Lend help to overburdened HR teams. HR teams often need help with the volume and complexity of hiring tasks. Consider outsourcing hiring functions, such as screening, sourcing, or interviewing, to a staffing partner. Of course, at Equiliem, we are happy to help ease processes and take the pressure off your team!
Having Talent Hurdles? You are not Alone.
For employers across a wide breadth of industries, it is still a job seeker’s market; that trend is likely to continue for the foreseeable future in many sectors. Employers must be competitive, creative, and resourceful to attract and retain the best employees. Now is the time to sharpen your strategies and put your company in its best position to find qualified people.
You don’t have to go it alone.
Equiliem (www.equiliem.com) believes in empowering success. It’s our job to cultivate relationships that connect people and employers in a way that is inclusive, intelligent, and allows both to thrive.
Across the U.S., leading companies in healthcare, government, light industrial manufacturing, professional services, and energy rely on us for their workforce solutions. Our recruiting and HR services include contract and direct hire staffing, Payrolling/EOR, Independent Contractor Compliance, and Managed Services.
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