How can you help close the talent gap?

Are your clients experiencing a talent gap? It’s not uncommon. Organizations across the country are finding a lack of qualified candidates in a wide spectrum of industries. Despite the 13.3 million people who are still unemployed, according to the U.S. Department of Labor, businesses are struggling to find workers with the right skills and experiences.

According to a 2012 Manpower Group survey, nearly one in three employers continue to have difficulties hiring the right people to fill vacancies because of a lack of available talent. Most of the shortages are in fields like technology, healthcare and the sciences.

Hiring expert Keith Cline wrote recently for that “the demand for top-tier engineering talent sharply outweighs the supply in almost every market, especially in San Francisco, New York, and Boston. This is a major, major pain point and problem that almost every company is facing, regardless of the technology ‘stack’ their engineers are working on.”

Mechanical, electrical and civil engineers are in short supply, so businesses are forced to try and attract valuable workers from their positions at other organizations. This is ‘passive candidate’ sourcing and recruiting at its most difficult. You’re given the responsibility of finding the right candidates in this tough market and are using all of your resources to try and attract the attention and identify top workers. You’re using social media sourcing to find and add these passive candidates to your recruiting software. Only then can you effectively track and manage sought-after talent as it traverses the hiring landscape so that you can then offer your clients the ideal balance of performance and the right skills.

So, it’s no surprise to you that the skills gap makes fulfilling client orders more challenging for you in the recruiting and staffing industry. After all, here you are delving through your LinkedIn connections and the thousands or tens of thousands of resumes in your recruiting software looking for the needle in the haystack – figuratively. Your clients are depending on you to make the strategic decisions and place the right candidate in front of them.

Here are the top three ways the employment sector could decrease the skills gap:

1) Create strategic workforce planning. The Boston Consulting Group claims the talent gap is present globally and it will have a negative impact on industries. However, with strategic workforce planning, a company can model labor supply and demand for an industry by educating workers and creating initiatives that encourage individuals to enter programs designed to teach students to fill the skills gap for an industry. Refining education initiatives can boost the public’s interest in key workforce developments in an industry. As a staffing and recruiting professional, you can take a pro-active role in helping your customer perform a gap-analysis on their workforce planning needs and get the inside track on helping them fill those gaps.

2) Develop a talent training program. If a company is struggling to find workers with the exact qualifications it needs, but is seeing a lot of potential candidates that just don’t make the mark by a slight margin, it can create a training program to develop that professional to fit a specific role. As a staffing professional, you can even help your client identify the workers that will best take to the training opportunity and have the personality and background to easily adapt and learn necessary skills. Sometimes training workers to fit a role may be a more affordable and cost-effective human resource solution than leaving the position open and continuing a staffing search.

3) Check your compensation packages. A company that doesn’t offer a competitive wage and compensation package for a position is going to find it difficult to find and keep workers. reports that employee turnover rates will be high and it will seem like no one stays in the role long enough to have in-depth knowledge. If you find that your client is consistently trying to hire for the same position or is offering a compensation package that is below industry norms, you may have to consider discussing the situation. Here is where your expertise in developing and delivering comprehensive and well-managed workforce solutions – whether they are for short-term projects or long-term contract positions – can truly benefit your customers.

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