Strategies to Win Staffing Shortage
By April Clark, Manpower
As high unemployment continues, ironically so does the struggle to fill mission-critical positions within companies. How could this be when record-numbers of people are unemployed and looking for work? The solution is more than just solving a math problem. This ongoing talent shortage requires those of us in recruiting roles to change our perspective and look a little deeper at the issue. Many U.S. employers are competing to hire the same high-skilled individuals.
Now that we've laid out this complex, continuing staffing problem that affects varied employers at all levels, what's next? Here are the strategies that I suggest we tackle first.
Training and Development for Teachable Fit
Looking inward to find the best talent is a much overlooked solution. Employers need to forecast the impact of current and future talent gaps and then develop proactive, innovative and flexible workforce management strategies that focus on skills development of existing staff.
Future leaders may already be on the employee team. With development and guidance they can realize their full potential and positive impact on the organization. This type of commitment to reskilling and upskilling current employees allows companies to expand the available pools of talent from within. The key to this new mindset is the ability to identify a "teachable fit" to fill key positions.
A teachable fit approach mandates that employers first understand to what extent the gaps in a candidate's capabilities can be easily filled, both in terms of hard and soft skills. Hard skills are the technical skills and training a candidate has, whereas soft skills are those that focus on strategic thinking, communication and team collaboration.
Employers today recognize the need for current employees and job candidates to offer a good balance of hard and soft skills for most positions. Manpower has developed a "teachable-fit" framework that maps the capabilities needed for a specific role against an individual's capacity for meeting those needs. This approach allows employers to be specific about the pragmatic requirements of a job and focus on the gaps that can realistically be filled.
New Mindset Needed
The talent war is very real and will continue to plague employers for many years to come. The recession has brought about a new normal when it comes to recruiting processes. Unless employers refine and align their workforce strategies, they will continue to operate using outdated recruiting and development methods and tools that will stifle growth and success.
Are you ready to win?
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April Clark, SPHR is Vice President and Regional Director for Manpower, and a 27-year veteran of Maine's HR landscape. April also serves as District Director for the Maine State SHRM Council, and is considered a thought leader on topics related to the changing world of work. For more information about Manpower's approach to today's world of work, contact April at april.clark (at) manpower.com.