Why Finding Qualified Talent is Harder Than Ever

searching in a box cropped

Finding great talent is becoming increasingly more difficult, am I right? It kind of feels like you are scrounging at the bottom of the box like the guy above. Well, you are not alone!

Based on a SHRM survey done with HR professionals across all industries, there are a few reasons for this:

  1. Low number of applicants
  2. Active applicants lack the necessary hard skills and experience especially on the tech side
  3. Applicants lack the necessary interpersonal skills
  4. Competition is stiff across employers
  5. Local markets are not producing enough candidates

So how do we solve for this? The survey indicated that the majority of companies have found a combination of solutions including:

  1. Hiring and training from within
  2. Using outside recruitment agencies
  3. Using social media platforms
  4. Boosting employer branding/advertising efforts
  5. Improving compensation packages

There are a few realities of today’s workforce that are driving these challenges:

  1. We seek purpose: People aren’t interested in just a job anymore, they want to know why they are doing what they are doing and make an impact. That doesn’t necessarily mean curing cancer, but knowing their efforts contribute to a greater whole is important. The freelance trend continues to grow mainly for the flexibility and opportunity to work on multiple meaningful projects. In order to retain and hire from within, it’s crucial companies to work with employees to uncover their best skills and unlock their potential for future growth. Screening for culture fit is half the battle, if you already have someone working at your company that you know and trust, it will save a ton of time/money trying to find someone brand new to bring into the company. Invest in your current employees and providing them a meaningful career path. If you inevitably don’t have the right talent, enlist an agency. Working with an outside agency will cut down on the time and costs you put into your recruitment efforts because you will instantly gain access to a relevant pool of candidates.
  1. Technology has advanced and deteriorated our communication skills: We can all agree that technology has completely transformed our lives in every aspect. From how we communicate to how we buy goods/services, and the list goes on. However, it has also given us a place to hide. No longer is it normal to strike up a conversation in an elevator with a stranger. We are so used to whipping our phones out and checking email or social media to pass the time. Our interpersonal skills have taken a hit and communication will never be the same. This could be the reason that there is an interpersonal skills gap, which is so crucial for jobs such as sales, front office coordination, and more. Ways to improve this is to get up and talk to a colleague at work, versus just sending an email. Get in the habit of speaking face to face and encourage employees to do so as well! This skills gap is the reason why it’s so important to meet all prospective job candidates in person. Someone may have a perfect resume, but if they can’t communicate or fit in culturally, it will never work.
  1. It’s all about the bennys: Companies are not only competing with salary incentives, but with more culture/lifestyle perks. While benefits aren’t everything, they are significant when candidates are evaluating job prospects. I’m not talking about ping pong tables and kegs in the office. I’m talking about life changing benefits like healthcare, 401K, tuition reimbursement, flexible remote working, PTO, etc. A job is not life, it is a piece of a larger pie that is one’s life and companies need to keep this in mind when trying to attract the best talent.

In sum the realities of the way to world works today has provided for some challenges resulting in the most competitive hunt for talent. However, there are solutions to getting the best people in your open roles. Uncover your current talent’s potential and invest in it. Use the resources around you like staffing agencies or your network to tap into a wider talent pool. Boost employer branding efforts and maybe see where you can offer a more competitive package to help bring in the best.

At the end of the day we are all candidates, we know what we would want, so we should consider that when attracting talent to come to our firms.

What is your toughest challenge in finding qualified talent? How are you solving for it? We would love to hear from you: erica.ravich@claritystaffing.com