78% of HR leaders are more concerned about the talent shortage today than they were a year ago. Is there a talent crisis?
What has caused the crisis? Why are employers strategizing how to attract top talent to their organization?
Understanding the Talent Shortage
According to some experts, the “talent crisis” has been simmering for the last decade, reaching epic heights in the last year.
Unemployment numbers have been dropping – reaching historic lows in North America over the last few years.
Canadian numbers fell to an impressive low, reaching 5.6% in 2018, the lowest rate since 1976. Combined with the large number of baby boomers moving out of the workplace leaving a wide number of vacancies in their wake, this has created a talent (and employment) crisis. Throw in a declining birth rate and it is a human resources challenge, to put it nicely.
In contrast, some claim that the crisis has little to do with talent and
much to do with hiring. In their view, human resource directors who have unrealistic expectations for job candidates, or who have narrowed job descriptions to the point would-be candidates are eliminated unnecessarily have created their own “talent crisis”.
In either case, the numbers don’t lie: there are a growing number of jobs going unfilled.
By some estimates, the talent crisis employers are facing now pales in comparison to the coming crisis. They predict that by 2030 the boomer generation will have moved completely out of the workplace and younger generations will not have had the training necessary to take over in high-skilled positions.
The push for highly technical skills will continue to drive demand, but dire predictions forecast a $162 billion loss of revenue in the United States alone as a result of unmet employment needs.
How Can Companies Prepare for the Shortage?
The savvy business manager will take a long-range approach to prepare for the needs of the company in the coming years.
Attracting Top Talent
With a smaller pool of candidates to choose from, HR managers are forced to take a hard look at their employment strategy and develop a plan to attract top talent. What brings top-level employees to an organization?
Where People Want to Work
Top-level talent attracts other top-level talent. By cultivating a workplace where people want to work, you’ll retain your current top-level employees and attract the attention of other top-talents. How?
High-level employees want the freedom to do their work. Encourage your employees to set goals, and then develop a plan to reach their targets. Give them the flexibility to meet their goals in the way that suits them best.
Allow employees to further their development within your organization. Give them the chance to become masters in their job. A comprehensive professional development program ensures that not only will your employees have the skills to do their job today, it can develop the skills they will need in the future.
One of the top reasons employees give for staying at a job is the connections they have with their coworkers. Give employees opportunity to connect and engage with other employees through events both during and after work hours. Create seating areas where employees can sit and talk, eat lunch together and socialize. Steve Jobs famously said:
“There’s a temptation in our networked age to think that ideas can be developed by email and iChat. That’s crazy. Creativity comes from spontaneous meetings, from random discussions. You run into someone, you ask what they’re doing, you say ‘wow,’ and soon you’re cooking up all sorts of ideas.” Steve Jobs
What does the future hold for the talent market?
As unemployment numbers remain low and high-tech jobs continue to be created, the talent market will most likely remain tight. To prepare for this, business managers must adopt a new strategy and look beyond the current state of business.
To prepare your company, ask yourself these five questions:
What positions are the most difficult for us to fill?
What skills are lacking in our new employees?
What skills will employees need in upcoming years?
Should we begin a training program to ensure our employees have the skills we’re going to need them to have?
How can we structure our professional development program to establish a pool of internal talent to draw from?
Your organization will have an advantage over competitors by planning for upcoming talent needs and eliminating the need to look outside your company for needed talent.
Michele Bailey is president and CEO of Blazing Agency and My Big Idea®. These two lines of business work congruently to support her clients’ success.