6 Statistics HR Pros Need to Know for Beating the Talent Shortage

Although the media is abuzz with news of layoffs and debates about whether we are in a recession, one thing is certain: There is a talent shortage, and it will likely persist as long as the job market remains tight.

For the fourth consecutive year, employers surveyed for iHire’s annual “State of Online Recruiting” report said their most pressing hiring challenges revolved around attracting qualified candidates. In 2022, 68.0% of employers said they receive too few applicants, and 64.5% said the applicants they do receive are unqualified. Meanwhile, 82.0% believe the talent shortage will linger for the next 12 months. So how can you as an HR professional prepare?

In addition to polling 539 employers, we asked 3,668 U.S. workers about their job search challenges and experiences. The following are six statistical insights from their responses to help you beat the ongoing talent shortage.

1. 57.3% of workers are searching for jobs actively or passively while already employed. Unfortunately, the “Great Resignation” trend will continue, as over half of survey respondents were eyeing greener pastures. To get ahead of the talent shortage, strive to prevent costly turnover in the first place.

One way to improve retention is to gauge employee satisfaction frequently—ask for honest feedback on what’s working (and what’s not) through monthly surveys and during one-on-one meetings with managers. Then, actually act on that input to keep employees engaged and on your team.

2. 38.5% of jobseekers believe employers have unrealistic or overly specific requirements for candidates. If your job postings are filled with applicant “must-haves,” you may be letting the right hires fall out of your funnel before they have a chance to prove their worth. Broaden your talent pool (especially if you’re having issues with candidate quantity) by indicating in your ad which requirements are “nice-to-haves.” These are proficiencies applicants can learn on the job that are not critical for the role out of the box.

For some positions, like software developers, consider placing less emphasis on formal education. You may also think about establishing internships or apprenticeships to upskill entry-level hires or career changers who have the potential to fill your talent gap with a little bit of training.

3. 66.3% of respondents would visit a job board first if they needed to find work immediately. Job boards are candidates’ go-to job search resources, so make the most of your presence on recruitment platforms. Fill out company profiles, add your logo to job postings, and proactively search for passive candidates’ résumés. Be sure to include enough enticing details to convince candidates to apply—mention benefits, any flexible work arrangements, and salary (68.0% of jobseekers said they’d be more likely to apply for a job if the salary range were included in a posting).

4. 61.1% of candidates go directly to the websites of the companies they want to work for to find jobs. Therefore, make sure your “Careers” or “Join Our Team” page comprises up-to-date job postings, includes benefits information, and describes your company culture (photos and videos are always a plus). Candidates want to envision themselves as part of your team, so use your website to sell your open positions and snag top talent before your competition.

5. 44.8% of jobseekers said getting ghosted by employers was a major job search challenge. While candidates are equally guilty of going silent on recruiters (52.1% of employers surveyed were frustrated by candidates ghosting them), leaving applicants in the dark will further set you back in the war for talent.

Commit to communicating with every applicant—even an automated “thank you for your application” or disqualification e-mail is appreciated—and engage with applicants as they move through your funnel. Not only will your responsiveness increase their likelihood of accepting an offer, but it will also enhance the candidate experience and your employer brand.

6. 20.3% of candidates are specifically looking for remote work, while 22.9% are having trouble finding it (up 6.4% from 2021). Although our survey included candidates from industries not conducive to remote work (for example, construction), the desire to work from home (or anywhere but the traditional office) is holding strong. In fact, 29.3% of employers said candidates’ preference for remote work will hinder their ability to hire in the next year.

If you can offer remote work, use job boards that strategically handle remote job opportunities (for example, platforms that allow candidates to filter their search results to pinpoint remote jobs quickly). Attract applicants by calling your remote options out in your job postings. Also, consider how you can offer more flexibility in general to entice new hires. Generous paid time off (PTO), hybrid work, compressed workweeks, and “flex” time are all viable options.

Undoubtedly, the talent shortage has evolved from a passing trend to a chronic issue, according to the year-over-year findings of our “State of Online Recruiting” report. Minimizing turnover, maximizing your digital recruitment real estate, communicating with candidates, thinking of applicant requirements in terms of “nice-to-haves,” and offering greater workplace flexibility are just a few ways to stay ahead of the hiring game—no matter what the future has in store for the labor market and economy. For more survey insights, download the full “State of Online Recruiting” report here:

Steve Flook is President and CEO of iHire, a career-oriented platform that brings candidates and employers together in 57 industry-focused communities.

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