As talent shortages persist across industries, an increasing number of employers are grappling with the need to adapt to the “new normal” to address this challenge effectively. HR departments are encountering a significant shift in which they find themselves dealing with an inadequate number of candidates or insufficient resources (e.g., budget and staffing) to meet the high demand for candidates. In certain scenarios, these professionals are facing both issues at the same time.
This article explores the reality of ongoing talent shortages and how HR professionals can address them.
Understanding the New Normal
Many organizations are starting to accept that talent shortages are the new normal, and a 2023 global trends report from talent experience platform HireVue confirmed the reality. Consider the following key report findings about the current hiring landscape:
- A lack of qualified candidates is the top hiring barrier for employers for the third consecutive year.
- Many teams faced reduced hiring budgets due to economic uncertainty, despite their hiring needs.
- One in 3 hiring leaders turned to technology in order to meet hiring demands with fewer resources.
- Continued resignations have resulted in employers increasing compensation, investing in learning and development allowances, and doubling down on internal mobility.
- Employers also emphasized internal mobility to address hiring challenges and increased contractor roles.
Talent shortages aren’t going away any time soon, so employers will have to continue pursuing creative ways to do more with the resources they have.
Addressing Ongoing Talent Shortages
In an uncertain hiring market, employers should focus on what they can control: their strategy. HR teams should consider the following popular ways to address and combat the new normal of talent shortages:
- Prioritize skills-based hiring. More employers are exploring skills-based hiring to help them compete for talent. While specific qualifications may be valuable for some roles or industries, HR professionals may consider candidates based on desired skills rather than experience or education. Learning and development programs can help those hires get up to speed on role-specific knowledge they may not have learned through experience or education.
- Hire for a cultural fit. With robust learning and development initiatives, employers can hire workers who are an excellent cultural fit and then train them on specific skills or tasks later. In the current worker-friendly market, many employers could have luck taking a chance on candidates eager for a challenge and willing to learn on the job.
- Support internal mobility. While the focus may be on outside candidates, employers shouldn’t forget about their current workforce. Many employees are willing to transition to job roles within the organization for higher compensation, better work-life balance or new learning opportunities. HR professionals should also consider internal candidates interested in long-term career advancement opportunities when hiring.
- Focus on retention. Championing current employee skills can help workers feel valued and appreciated, which can increase the chances that they’ll stay at the company. Often, when an employee voluntarily leaves the organization, HR professionals must start sourcing and hiring for that open role. A renewed focus on retention can help employers avoid having additional open positions to source or recruit for.
- Leverage technology. More employers are outsourcing tedious hiring tasks to technology like artificial intelligence and robotic assistance. With limited time and resources, HR professionals can use this technology to streamline complex, tedious and time-consuming processes and workflows, such as reviewing resumes and creating job descriptions. Technology can also help ensure compliance, privacy and accuracy of sensitive employee information. Organizations should maintain a robust process infrastructure, especially for process-heavy departments like HR, that significantly influence a company’s bottom line.
Given the widespread, ongoing talent shortages, it’s critical that employers explore alternative hiring approaches relentlessly to maximize their existing resources. The most successful HR professionals and hiring teams are those who can be agile amid uncertainty and focus on workers’ skills and potential instead of simply experience or education.
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About the Author
Fallon Carpenter joined Sentinel Group in 2015. In this role, she is responsible for 200 employees in the company’s offices in Massachusetts, New York, Michigan and remote workers. Fallon is a passionate and dedicated human resource professional who continuously aligns HR practices and objectives to support business initiatives.