The concern with a workforce skills shortage is something that is worrying businesses all over the world, and for good reason. As it becomes more and more difficult to assess our future needs, we begin to find serious gaps in our workforce and this can gravely affect the efficiency and quality of our work. Here are a few ways you can address these shortages and keep your daily operations smooth.
1. Train Existing Employees
In order to make up for the skills shortage, many companies have begun offering training to their existing employees, in order to tailor them to fill current gaps. This can mean training offered in-house, where a knowledgeable employee shares with others their valuable expertise. It's a great way for companies with a few good resources to increase their value without expending too much time and money.
Another option is seeking outside training. Several businesses offer their employees incentives to return to school to get the education they need. While this option can be more expensive and time-consuming, it can also pay off in the long run. Not only does it ensure your employees are trained to industry standard quality, but as an incentive alone can attract a great deal of talented workers to your doorstep.
2. Adaptability - Apply Workforce Skills In A Different Way
Interestingly, there might be a more direct solution than you think – so many companies have discovered that they already have the people they need, but are merely using them in an ineffective way. It's important to keep an open mind when looking at your available skill sets, paying close attention to skills that could be transferable.
Consider employees that might be able to apply their skills in a different way – someone with a strong sales background could easily apply their abilities to marketing content for example. Someone with a strong background in communications could find an excellent new career in sales, someone with engineering skills and a background in the automotive industry could easily find themselves in a comfortable career as a resource manager and so on. Basically, the key to solving your skills shortage might be under your nose.
3. Re-evaluate Your Recruiting Practices
When skills shortages become such a serious concern, it might be time to re-evaluate how you recruit new employees. Without hurting your company, you could easily hire applicants with 80% of the right requirements and help them grow into the role. Or, you could try hiring applicants with all the right skills, but ones perhaps with less experience than initially wanted.
If you diversify your hiring practice, and consider transferable skills as mentioned before, you could find excellent, motivated individuals who could easily help your company reach its goals.
4. Partner with Nearby Educational Facilities
Though rarer in recent times, many organizations would partner with local (or national) educational facilities – this would mean you would have a fresh supply of skilled potential workers, and the school would be able to help graduates in job placement. You can also open your company up to apprenticeships, co-op work placements and internships, which can help cultivate the next generation of skilled workers. Best of all, you keep a close eye on the future of your industry.
5. Use Contingent Workers
Naturally, one of the easiest ways to fill a skills shortage is by hiring contingent workers. With freelancers, consultants, contractors and more, you can fill massive gaps in your operation quickly and in a cost effective manner. Contingent workers are becoming an incredibly popular option for many, considering their expertise, availability and flexibility, which allows them to work within the confines of any time frame, budget and project.
Many companies feel as though any labor risks involved is outweighed by their sheer benefits. Unlike a lot of areas of the labor market, contingent workers are on an ever-growing trend which means there are enough to meet your needs for as long as you need.
If you'd like some useful additional tips for managing a contingent workforce, please download this ebook.