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How to Tackle a Scarcity of Talent

03.05.2022

How to Tackle a Scarcity of Talent

Even with a continuous flow of attractive roles, recruiters are finding it harder than ever to unearth skilled people who are keen to move.

This shortage of talent is, in my opinion, the greatest business challenge we face and, regardless of sector, has been the case for some time.

It is a sentiment reflected in March’s KPMG / REC report on jobs. Following a survey of over 400 UK recruitment consultancies, it cites that as hiring activity continues to markedly increase, permanent appointments are expanding at the softest rate for 11 months due to candidate shortages restricting companies’ ability to fill roles.

With vacancy growth picking up, the combination of robust demand for workers and low supply has added even more upward pressure on starting salaries, which are now rising at the second-fastest rate in 24 years of data collection.

Firms succeeding against this backdrop are those who collaborate with recruiters to get their offers to candidates right but, the good news is that there are also changes you can make within your business to tackle the talent shortage and avoid entering into salary bidding wars:

Re-skill your team
One of the greatest opportunities is to retrain your existing workforce, especially if you have people in the business who have the right attitude and the softer skills needed for a role.
By identifying the competencies required in your team and up-skilling the right people, you will not only give someone the tools to help you grow the business, but you are also developing them as individuals and offering new opportunities, all of which will discourage them from looking for a new challenge elsewhere.

Apprenticeship schemes
By expanding – or starting – an apprenticeship scheme and inviting more trainees into your business each year, over time, you will find resourcing much easier. While it may not solve immediate issues, scarcity of talent is a long-term problem, and a stream of new shapeable talent will ease the burden of recruitment in the years to come.

Build your employer brand
Great people are never short of job offers, so the way your company is seen by prospective employees, and how a job opportunity is sold to a potential recruit, is crucial to attracting them.
Start by thinking carefully about what it is that you do and do not want to be known for. Next, make sure that everyone involved in the recruitment process sees it as a two-way interview. They must always show your business in the best possible light at every touchpoint, proving what it is that makes you stand out from your competitors.

Re-evaluate your offer
Following COVID, people’s attitude toward work-life balance and what they need from an employer has changed. There are more variables to consider when changing jobs: can they work from home; do they need to be in the office every day; can they work flexibly or run with part-time hours.
To recruit the best, you need to be clear about what makes your offer stand out. It doesn’t need to be as revolutionary as a 4-day working week or unlimited holidays, but flexibility is important and the option to work non-core hours is generally welcomed.

Act fast
From receipt of their CV to making an offer, you must move quickly and prioritise recruitment as once they decide to move, talented people receive job offers very quickly. If you find the right person, be prepared to act fast as it will not be long before one of your competitors attempts to steal them away.

Get help from an expert
At a time when niche consultancies are replacing generalist recruiters, it pays to build strong relationships with experts in your field. Not only do they have access to wider talent pools, but they can also source the hard to fill vacancies non-specialists and in-house teams simply cannot do.

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