Practical Tips for Hard-to-Fill Requirements

In yesterday’s Advisor, BLR® Contributing Editor Jennifer Carsen, JD, helped us understand the hiring shortages in the new economy. Today, we present her techniques for filling those hard-to-fill positions.

Practical Solutions for Hard-to-Fills

Regardless of the impact of the skills gap, the bottom line is that there is a lot employers can do proactively to locate the talent they require and successfully bring it aboard. Some of the solutions that organizations have turned to include:

  • Evaluate your pay and benefits for positions that are hard to fill. Are you leading or lagging in the market? You may have to bite the bullet and offer more, especially if you have been relatively stagnant with your annual increases in rate ranges.
  • Offer training programs to existing employees or candidates. Many employers are finding success by instituting their own training programs in order to get the skills they need when candidates don’t already have them. Pay will be lower than for fully trained individuals, and you get to train people in your specific systems and to your specific standards.  

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  • Pair up with local education and/or training institutions. Perhaps they will be able to offer the type of training you need candidates to have.
  • Send employees to school. Similarly, some employers are opting to pay for the education that their existing employees need in order to advance into new positions.
  • Widen the recruiting parameters. Maybe you need to recruit from an expanded geographic range and commit to paying relocation expenses.
  • Consider telecommuting. Many employers don’t like telecommuting but have found that that’s the only way they can attract the candidates they want. And, your available talent pool widens exponentially if you’re not limited to candidates who are already within, or willing to relocate to, your specific area.
  • Work your networks. Great current employees can often lead you to great future employees—formal referral programs are a good way to encourage these types of hires.
  • Get social. If you are not already using popular social media channels, like LinkedIn and Twitter, as part of your candidate sourcing and recruiting efforts, it’s high time to get started. Social media helps you effectively expand your recruiting reach and your company’s branding efforts—all for no cost other than the time invested.

Perhaps the biggest productive step you can take in this area is more akin to a mental leap. As global workplace research consultancy Manpower puts it so well in its White Paper, Teachable Fit: A New Approach for Easing the Talent Mismatch, “Employers must recalibrate their mindsets to consider candidates who may not meet all the job specifications, but whose capability gaps can be filled in a timely and cost-effective way.”

Today’s Top Hard-to-Fill Positions

According to ManpowerGroup’s Talent Shortage Survey, here are the top 10 most difficult jobs for employers to fill as of 2014:

  1. Skilled trade workers
  2. Restaurant and hotel staff
  3. Sales reps
  4. Teachers
  5. Drivers
  6. Accounting and finance staff
  7. Laborers
  8. IT staff
  9. Engineers
  10. Nurses

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Don’t be left in the dark! With the information in this report, you will get a feel for what’s working out there—and maybe learn a little about what your competitors might be up to.

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