Talent Shortage: Fighting for Long-term Qualified Recruiting Candidates

Talent Shortage

Today’s industries are facing challenges that go above and beyond market fluxes or a downturned economy. It’s called an acute shortage of key talent in the workforce. What is the bottom line? This shortage effectively prevents companies from growing and succeeding.

Instead, it stalls them out. That means that the landscape is fiercely competitive in attracting top talent, and understanding this situation and how you can attract and retain talented people for your own teams is crucial right now. Keep reading as we unpack this a bit more and give you a few strategies to help you do just that.

Understanding the Talent Shortage

Unfortunately, this talent shortage problem is pervasive, affecting every industry, from healthcare to tech. ManpowerGroup’s survey reports that in 2024, 75% of employers worldwide will struggle to fill job roles. Meanwhile, in 2018/19, that number was significantly lower, at 45% and 54%, respectively. Multiple factors are creating this problem.

  • Skill gaps – meaning the skills job seekers have and what is required by employers are becoming a widening chasm, especially in fields that evolve fast, such as technology.
  • Shifts in demographics—in developed countries, populations are aging out, adding to the shortage of workers available.
  • Unequal educational opportunities mean access to vocational training and education is highly variable, which limits the pool of potential skilled workers.
  • Demands for new skills – meaning that we’re in the thick of the digital age, and it accelerates fast. Demand for tech-savvy workers is outpacing the supply, especially in realms like data analysis, cybersecurity, and AI, seeing the biggest gaps.

Unfortunately, these are all valid challenges forcing companies to adapt and rethink how they hire new team members. Now, it’s about current skill sets and assessing a candidate’s potential to grow and adapt within a particular job role.

So What Qualities Should You Look for in New Hires?

Great question! There are a handful of specific qualities to consider looking for as you mine the pool of potential candidates for your own business. If you can find these qualities, they can be a solid enhancement to your team’s health and effectiveness.

The Person is Adaptable

Clifton Strengths defines adaptability as a person who prefers to go with the flow. They tend to be “now” people who take things as they come and discover the future one day at a time. They also state that People with dominant relationship-building themes like adaptability build strong relationships that hold a team together and make it greater than the sum of its parts.

You can see why, in the current job market’s state of upheaval, people with this skill set can be invaluable members of your team. They help your company make quick pivots when challenges arise and keep the team trucking forward regardless of what changes are on the horizon.

The Person Can Think Critically

Once upon a time, critical thinking was taught in schools. Whether that’s still true today is highly debatable, but nevertheless, you want and need team members who possess this skill. Team members who can think critically, analyze complex situations, and develop workable solutions are gold for every business, regardless of industry. Sadly, not everyone can do this well or solve problems. Critical thinking is a key skill for effectively problem-solving, planning a strategy, and improving day-to-day processes.

The Person Possesses Emotional Intelligence (EQ)

Emotional intelligence has been hugely underrated in the past, but thankfully, more are beginning to understand what an asset a high EQ is. People with emotional intelligence are skilled in managing their own emotions and can more easily understand and guide the emotions of others, too. This skill can greatly contribute to peace, harmony, and productivity in the workplace, along with stronger team collaboration. Need a great negotiator and someone to help manage a team? The people with high EQ are the ones to look for.

The Person is Resilient

Another trait that can sometimes be underrated is resilience. Essentially, resilient people can bounce back quickly regardless of their challenges or setbacks without losing valuable momentum on their goals. When you hire people with this trait for your teams, you can be sure they will be a huge asset during organizational upheavals or economic challenges.

The Person is Tech-Savvy

We live in a digital boom, and tools and platforms are popping up right and left. That means you need people who know how to use these tools and platforms, especially those integral to your operations. People who are tech savvy are knowledgeable and love that stuff and look for ways to use new tools to enhance your company’s innovation, productivity, and efficiency.

How to Attract Top Talent with the Qualities You Need

Now that you know what to look for when attracting top-tier team members, let’s chat about how to do it. The truth is that you need a multifaceted approach, not just to attract awesome candidates but also to keep them around for a long time to come. Below are some of our favorite strategies to put into play:

Look Beyond What’s Conventional

You can still hunt through traditional talent pools but may not find what you’re looking for. These days, the market is diverse and continually evolving. If you’re a business willing to look in other places that may be less conventional, such as niche forums, social media, and even amidst your customer base, you might uncover some unexpected talent that will bring needed skills to your team and a fresh POV.

Highlight Your Purpose and Culture

Job seekers today want to make money and want to know what you’re offering in that regard. However, many also want to know more about your company than what you’re willing to pay them. They want to know your company culture, ethics, purpose, and motivation.

You’ll attract skilled and passionate people if your brand articulates your mission well and embodies positive values. That kind of employee/employer alignment is an exceptional way to increase loyalty and job satisfaction.

Be Willing to Be Flexible

Flexible work environments are fast becoming less of a perk and more of a staple in the workforce. If you’re unwilling to accommodate that kind of flexibility, you’re probably sacrificing your ability to attract the best to your team.

Individuals in the workforce today are big on flexible schedules, remote work, and work-life balance, and the more you can accommodate that, the more attractive your job roles look to those seeking a permanent career path. Plus, you’ll enhance retention and job satisfaction because your team members can manage work and personal responsibilities more efficiently.

Think of Training as an Investment

Offering training for your team is critical to broadening your pool of talent. People are looking for roles they can grow, and you show that you’re committed to that when you offer training and chances for upskilling. It’s especially attractive to those who are more ambitious and are really looking for roles to level up their lives. Plus, the upside is you’ll be filling in skill gaps internally instead of always looking for outside candidates to plug the proverbial holes.

Get Your Team Involved in Recruitment

This is a great way to find qualified people because your existing team probably already knows and interacts with individuals who might be a great fit for your company. Encourage team referrals and involve them in the hiring process more effectively. Plus, involving the team can ensure smooth dynamics and buy-in when you bring new hires into the fold.

Looking to the Future of Attracting Top Talent

Our current talent shortage will continue and maybe even worsen as time passes. Global shifts in demographics alongside lighting-fast tech advancements are shaping and will continue to shape the landscape of the workforce worldwide. That means only those companies willing to get proactive will survive the shifts. It’s vital for your business to keep that in mind and get strategic in how you do business rather than merely reacting to circumstances. Getting strategic might look like:

  • Saying yes to technology: Though AI and other tech bring out the nay-sayers in droves, they’re not going anywhere. So learning to use it to your advantage only makes sense so that you can begin automating more routine stuff and free up your people for more imaginative, innovative work.
  • Making inclusivity a priority: Individuals from all backgrounds, perspectives, and walks of life want to be welcomed.
  • Creating flexible work models: You must be willing to continue to adapt your work models to fit the culture, needs, and preferences of the workforce today, not five years ago if you want to be a company attractive to talented individuals.
  • Developing long-term strategic recruiting plan means worrying about immediate gaps and looking to the future and what you might need a year or two from now. That means planning scenarios or developing forecasts around industry trends so you can be resilient and stay competitive in challenging times.

The moral of the story? If you want to successfully navigate the 2024 workforce shortage, you’ll need to be proactive and detailed in your approach. Focus on key qualities in prospective talent, use recruitment strategies that step beyond the old school, and get ready for future challenges because if there’s anything that can be counted on to remain the same, there will always be challenges!

Adopt this mentality with these strategies, and your brand will be well-equipped to weather any storm in the business world while continuing to grow and succeed.



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