The unemployment rate has declined sharply since the last recession, and now stands at just about four percent. For college-educated workers, it is even lower, at around 2 percent. Because of this, employers are having trouble finding the talent they need. Almost two-thirds of business leaders in a recent survey said they were having trouble finding skilled workers for job vacancies.
Twenty percent said it was very challenging finding people, while 45 percent said it was somewhat challenging.
Because of these talent shortages, businesses need to change their hiring processes and the way they recruit, according to human resource experts.
Some businesses, for example, are considering entry-level workers for positions that have traditionally been closed to people with little experience. Other firms are expanding their recruiting to larger geographical areas, while others are hiring more contingent labor, speeding up the hiring process, and relaxing standards related to job criteria.
Recruiting professionals have the following advice for firms attempting to attract new talent:
1. Reassess hiring criteria
Separate those skills that are absolutely essential from those that can be learned on the job. Work on onboarding programs so that new employees can get up to speed quickly.
2. Enhance recruiting efforts
Companies can no longer simply post a job advertisement and wait for people to apply. Firms need to be actively recruiting, taking every opportunity that presents itself to sell the company. Companies need to make sure their websites are user friendly to job candidates and sell the company brand. They need to develop strong employee referral programs. And they need to develop a strong social media presence.
3. Offer job flexibility
Younger workers in particular are looking for flexibility in work schedules and in work locations.
4. Use staffing agencies
Staffing agencies have their own networks and can identify passive job candidates that your company may miss. Plus, they can handle the hiring process for you – posting job vacancies, interviewing applicants, and checking references.
5. Use employee referrals
This is one of the most effective recruiting tools that companies have at their disposal. People who are referred by company employees usually tend to be a better fit, perform better, and stay longer than those hired in other ways.