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HCMWorks Insights

5 Ways Your Organization can Handle an Employee Skills Shortage

Posted by Julia Fournier on 19 Feb 2019

Struggling to find skilled workers that will take your organization to the next level and support further growth? Don’t worry, you’re not alone.

In fact, the shortage in skilled workers is a common concern for businesses all across the globe right now, and it is no different in the US and Canada. SkillsUSA estimates that 10 million skilled workers will be needed by 2020 and that 600,000 skilled jobs are currently going unfilled.

A huge 83 per cent of companies report a moderate to serious shortage of skilled workers, while a further 69 per cent believe the shortage will only grow worse in the next three to five years.

Your organization will stand or fall by the quality of its talent acquisition strategy. Without an approach to address the growing skills gap, it will become increasingly difficult to meet your future needs. You’ll begin to spot deficiencies in your workforce, and the quality of the work you do could fall into a downward spiral.

So, what can an organization do to handle a shortage in skilled workers? HCMWorks has listed five best practices here:

1 - Invest in training

One way around a shortage in skilled workers is to start training your existing employees from within. By investing in the upskilling or reskilling of your existing staff, your organization will be able to tailor employee skill sets in a way that helps you fill current or future gaps.

Focusing on hiring workers that you know will fit into the company culture of your organization can help you achieve this. While it’s not possible for your organization to train every member of staff into highly-skilled workers - some skills can be taught, while people skills cannot.

In other words, it can be much harder to find the right person that fits into your company culture than it is to upskill an existing worker.

2 - Prioritize staff retention

That leads us nicely into our second best practice - prioritizing the retention of existing staff rather than always looking outside of your company to fill skills gaps.

If your organization is struggling to find new talent to fill a particular skills gap, then you definitely cannot afford to lose the talented workers you already have. This would only lead to more complications down the line and the need to find more talented workers.

The most successful companies - think of tech giants such as Facebook, Amazon or Apple - work hard at creating a workplace culture that goes above-and-beyond the norm. By introducing flexible working, increased annual leave, employee benefits and a fun office environment you can retain your company’s top talent and reduce the strain and stress of finding new skilled workers.

3 - Tap into the contingent workforce

One of the easiest ways to address a shortage in skilled workers and hire on-demand talent is to make use of the growing contingent workforce. Recent statistics show that around 30 per cent of the US workforce currently works on a contingent basis - a number that could reach as much as 40 per cent by 2020.

By tapping into the increasing number of freelancers, contractors and consultants, you can save money on the expensive hiring process associated with full-time employees, access highly-skilled and expert workers and fill gaps in your operation at incredibly short notice.

4 - Analyze your recruitment processes

If you’re struggling to find the right people, it’s possible that you’re simply not looking in the right places. Many organizations stick with the same recruitment practices for years and years, constantly complaining about a lack of skilled workers, yet they never consider that it could be their approach that is preventing them from finding the right employees.

If this sounds similar to your organization, it’s possible that you need to evaluate your current recruiting processes and consider experimenting with them. Partnering with a managed services provider (MSP) could help your company find new staffing vendors and develop new recruitment practices.

5 - Collaborate with industry partners

By partnering and collaborating with other industry players and educational institutions in your sector, you can build a pool of talented workers while also sharing the costs and risks associated with establishing training programs for employees.

Not only that, but partnering with educational institutions will give you access to a fresh supply of skilled potential workers, new graduates and even apprenticeships. By working closely with young talent, your organization will be able to cultivate the next generation of skilled workers and become a leading figure for growth within your industry.

HCMWorks works with a vast number of large organizations to help them proactively address and handle specific skill shortages within the industries they work in. Want to learn more about how we can help? Contact us today.

How to survive a skills shortage in your industry DOWNLOAD

Tags: Contingent Workforce

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