How to Overcome a Talent Shortage

Posted by Kandace Miller

In an increasingly competitive job market, finding the right talent can be challenging. In fact, according to Gartner’s recent Emerging Risks Survey, talent shortages are now the number one risk facing companies both within the U.S. and globally. And that’s especially true if you work in a highly-technical industry. KPMG's annual CIO survey found that 65% of tech leaders believe that talent shortages are hurting their industry. Pretty staggering, right? Luckily, there are a few key things you can do to overcome a talent shortage. Focusing on a robust recruiting strategy—including taking a data-driven approach to finding the right talent and creating an employee referral program—are great first steps. From there, it’s about working with your existing team members to create career paths that will allow them to grow within the company.

Here are some strategies to implement as you work to overcome a talent shortage at your company.

Take a data-driven approach to recruiting

Talent acquisition is becoming more scientific—and for good reason. With the cost of a miss-hire averaging around 30% of an employee’s first-year earnings, not taking a strategic approach to finding the right candidate can prove to be a costly mistake. Which is why HR teams are increasingly looking to data to learn what works well for their teams and to address issues like employee turnover and skill gaps. What’s more, following a data-driven approach allows companies to increase productivity and establish best practices for hiring. And it’s not just large organizations who can benefit from using data. A well-implemented people analytics strategy that targets your team’s specific needs can help you identify challenges quickly so that you can address them in a timely and effective way. Above all, it’s important to understand that although intuition is an important part of recruiting, it’s not the only piece of the puzzle so incorporating metrics into your strategy can help to significantly improve it in the long-term.

Create an employee referral program

It’s no secret that some of the most successful hires are referred by existing team members. And that’s true across nearly every industry. In fact, according to CareerBuilder, 82% of employers rate employee referrals as the top source of ROI when it comes to hiring. Which is why developing a well-structured employee referral program can make a big difference when it comes to building a robust talent pipeline. The best way to do it: Offer clear incentives to both full-time and temporary employees, leverage social media whenever possible and keep track of where your best referrals are coming from. By offering existing team members an opportunity to get involved in the hiring process—and rewarding them for doing so—you can grow your team faster and more effectively than you would otherwise. And that’s not all. Since employees are typically happier and more engaged when they work with friends, leveraging existing social networks to build your team can be a good way to ensure that your employees feel more fulfilled in their roles.

Nurture existing talent within the company

Hiring the right team members is a great start, but to really overcome the challenge of a talent shortage it’s important to help those employees grow and develop within the company. An effective way to do this is by implementing career pathing early on in the onboarding process, allowing employees to see what opportunities the company may be able to offer them moving forward and to identify the types of skills they’ll need to build in order to move into those roles. In addition to showing your team that you’re invested in their future with the company, this is also a wonderful way to provide mentorship opportunities for employees at all levels of the organization.

With unemployment at a nearly all-time low, attracting the right talent can definitely feel challenging at times. But it doesn’t have to be an insurmountable problem. By being strategic about your recruiting efforts, enlisting the help of your team and nurturing talent within your organization, you can keep growing your business and get the hires you want. 

Want to improve your recruiting strategy? Learn how to preserve your company culture as you scale and three recruitment trends you should implement this year.

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