August 25, 2022

What To Do About Talent Shortages

The reasons for talent shortages can get complex. Oftentimes, they stem from one or more of the following:

  • Deficiencies in the organization’s practices as they relate to employees, such as bad managers, pay inequity or overdemanding workloads.
  • Employees leaving for personal reasons, such as health issues or family responsibilities.
  • A tight labor market, which gives employees greater bargaining power.
  • Competition from industry employers, who lure employees away with better offers.
  • A skills gap, which makes it difficult for employers to find skilled workers.

Whatever the reasons, you need to tackle them — as failure to do so can lead to operational disruptions and poor business performance. Below are some tips.  

Fill urgent roles as quickly as possible

Although the roles need to be filled promptly, be careful of making bad hires.

For example, you can:

  • Ask cross-trained employees to help out in the meantime.
  • Offer higher salaries and stronger benefits to secure the most qualified people.
  • Hire an experienced staffing agency to help you find skilled workers.
  • Ask existing employees for referrals, and offer referral bonuses.
  • Consider untapped talent pools (e.g., veterans, older workers, disabled workers).
  • Create job descriptions that are likely to attract your target candidates.

Examine your employment practices, and make the necessary changes

This is a widescale initiative that involves analyzing all areas of your organization’s practices when it comes to employees.

For example, you can assess the following:

  • Your recruitment and hiring processes for any discriminatory practices.
  • Your company culture for any toxic attitudes and behaviors.
  • Your compensation structure for any pay inequities.
  • Your training and development programs for any inadequacies.
  • Your employees’ workloads for any contributors to stress and burnout.
  • Your leaders’ interactions with employees for any signs of managerial malpractice.

Provide more flexibility

Studies show that employees value flexibility now more than ever. Flexible work arrangements may also help you retain employees who are thinking of leaving for personal reasons. For example, if the position can be performed from home or on a part-time basis, the employee may consider staying.

According to Ernst & Young, “Flexibility is now a key factor in talent strategies and needs to be used as a tool for enhancing the work employees do.”

So, going forward, try to incorporate more flexibility into your talent attraction and retention strategies.

Step up your competitiveness

When competing for talent, you need to put your best foot forward.

For example:

  • Benchmark your salary and benefits packages, and adjust them as needed.
  • Make your company brand more visible, e.g., increase your social media presence and community outreach efforts.
  • Promote practices that reflect a positive workplace culture.
  • Provide learning and development opportunities so employees know there’s room for growth.

It’s also important to keep the employees you already have. This means pulling out all the stops to reduce turnover and increase employee satisfaction.

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