Companies are investing in the tools and technologies they need to keep pace with constant change in the digital era, but they need more than just the right technology. They need to leverage that technology to enable the right people to do the right things in an adaptable, ever-changing workforce.
As organizations further increase their hiring activity, low unemployment means they will have to work harder at hiring and keeping quality talent—particularly as employees gain more options and confidence to change employers.
WHAT DO TODAY’S JOB CANDIDATES LACK?
According to Randstad’s 2016 Workplace Trends report, 79% of HR managers agree that they struggle to find people whose skills match job requirements when positions become available at their organization.
The top areas where today’s candidates fall short:
- Relevant on-the-job experience
- A strong work ethic
- Industry knowledge & soft skills
When it comes to specific industries or level of talent, the 5 most challenging positions to recruit and hire for today are:
- Information Technology
- Executive talent and leadership
- Sales and Marketing
- Manufacturing & Logistics
1) The Millennial Challenge
Millennials’ restlessness creates unique challenges, as these workers are more accustomed than older generations to jump from company to company.
Today’s workforce is transient…
Younger generations in particular do not often stay with an organization more than two or three years. They are always looking for the next thing.
Sense of purpose
Millennials want to work for an organization with a purpose and be a part of something bigger than profit-making.
They are just as interested in how a business develops its people and how it contributes to society as they are in its products and profits.
Career development—more than a training program
Emphasizing what your organization is doing around career development will help you attract millennials. If you don’t have anything to relate, start making changes so your company is better aligned with the wants and needs of today’s workforce.
Millennials value work-life balance. In addition to a competitive salary, consider perks such as telecommuting, flexible hours, comp time, and more vacation days.
2) Fewer applicants
According to a SHRM study, 51% of organizations lack the volume of attractive candidates they need to make a quality hire. One reason is that your job posting is simply not being seen by enough eyeballs. Consider your online presence.
According to Pew, nearly 80% of job seekers conduct searches online today, and one-third rank it as their most important resource. Posting online seems like a “no-brainer.”
Lack of supply for too much demand…
Unfortunately, finding more applicants isn’t as easy as simply posting jobs online. More opportunities for job seekers means their applications are spread thin, and hiring companies see fewer applicants.
Keep an open mind
The ‘ideal’ might not exist, so try to keep the description as open as possible. What are the ‘must haves’ and ‘good to haves’. Prioritizing these might help open the field up to a wider range of potential (and good) hires.
Be efficient in your processes
Time is of the essence! Delay in the process is the other main reason why employers lose out on the people they want to hire— employers with the most efficient processes are the most successful in hiring the people they want.
No matter how aspirational your brand is, few applicants are going to be impressed with waiting a few weeks for feedback or will want to hang around 6 weeks for a decision.
The Devil is in the detail—provide quality briefings that sell your firm
Make sure you provide applicants and your recruitment consultants with quality information about the vacancy and which sells the business, not just the day-to-day of the job.
Information about the firm’s history, clients, achievements, people, and company culture are all helpful to give applicants a true picture of what it is like to work for you.
Get creative with the format and language and make sure you are highlighting the unique benefits and opportunities the position and business offer employees.
3) Lack of experience
One of the most common pain points amongst HR professionals: an applicant with great skill sets, but simply lacks the work experience needed.
50% of respondents to SHRM’s study agreed that lack of experience amongst applicants has made their jobs more difficult.
It’s easier to fill a job when a large population of the workforce will likely have the skills and experience you require.
Each day, nearly 10,000 baby boomers retire from the labor force–that’s 4 million highly-skilled workers each year!
As younger workers enter the workforce with skill sets in emerging fields and industries different from their predecessors (e.g. UX and UI design, front and back-end development, product design, etc.), companies are lacking access to more traditional skilled workers (e.g. project, account, and marketing managers).
One strategy to compensate for a lack of experience and skills in a candidate that would otherwise be a great hire, is to provide mentoring, education, and training programs.
Unfortunately, many candidates who have excellent qualifications, but didn’t put the proper keywords on their resume, are left out.
Perhaps the candidate has 4 years of experience instead of the arbitrary 5 you listed. Be cautious with Applicant Tracking System (ATS) results. If you aren’t getting enough candidates, take a second look at those your ATS rejected.
If mandatory qualifications are required, consider engaging a staffing agency to ensure each applicant undergoes a thorough screening and skills assessment, and you get only the top-qualified candidates.
4) Fierce Competition
While the number of employment opportunities is increasing, the skills gap remains.
Therefore, many hiring managers and executives are constantly competing over the same, shrinking pool of talent.
Today, hiring companies must compete online, in print and in person in order to find the right talent that not only fits their skills requirements, but their company culture as well.
Recruiting has become a demanding full-time job that few companies–outside of major enterprises–have the manpower for.
To gain the needed skills and talent for particular roles and functions, HR professionals can enlist the help of staffing agencies who specialize in temporary and contract workers.
The contingent workforce allows companies to “switch to skills-based models for hiring”—a strategy 60% of employers currently implement, and 57% plan to use in the future.
5) Specific, Narrow Skill Set Required
Typically, it’s easier to fill a job in a non-technical, operational discipline. The more technical you get, the more difficult it is to find candidates that match well.
Consider the engineering field; it’s relatively simple to find an engineer.
However, engineering is a field with countless disciplines and sub-disciplines, and finding an engineer that fits the precise needs of your organization might be more of a challenge.
If you’re searching for any type of software developer or software engineer, you’re feeling the effects of this as well.
Having the right people in the right positions at the right time requires a well thought-out talent management strategy for building a more agile and adaptable workforce.
On one hand hiring new people with a very narrow skill set might solve an immediate problem, but could leave you in a lurch when new challenges arise.
Instead, many companies are now strengthening their existing employees with additional skills.
Encourage people to develop a wide knowledge of technologies to enable career development and be ahead of trends and innovation.