4 Tactics to Overcome Skill Shortages

Young professionals sitting in a row

For decades, employers have struggled to find the right workers at critical periods of growth or change. In 2000, the shortages were in IT. Ten years later, there was a desperate need for truckers. Today, there are shortages in a broad range of economic sectors (one of them, again, is transportation). There are many reasons for shortages. Many experts say they’re natural in growing, dynamic economies such as ours. But, clearly, the Great Resignation, the pandemic-fueled trend that has thousands of workers quitting their jobs, is a driving force behind the current staffing difficulties. The solution isn’t just spending more money on salaries or advertising. You need a sound strategy for getting and keeping an agile, resilient, engaged workforce. Here are four tactics on which to build that strategy.

Tactic 1: Learn Why Workers are Looking Elsewhere

Covid didn’t leave people longing for more money. Many now have altruistic reasons for checking job boards. Some dream of greater job flexibility. Others—including healthcare, hospitality, and retail workers—want a better work culture, greater personal comfort, and increased safety. And many employees are still reeling from the effects of a deadly, globe-shattering health crisis; they’re considering what they should do with the rest of their lives.

So, learn why they’re looking. Only then can you understand how to get them to stay.

Tactic 2: Change the Way You Recruit

Stop looking at candidates simply based on their obvious skills. Instead, seek people with the mental agility and intellectual curiosity inherent in good learners. Make learning valuable to your organization. This opens the door to a greater pool of people, including those who have some, but not yet all, of the skills you need. It also creates a culture that rewards those who want to grow on the job.

Tactic 3: Be More Intentional with Diversity and Inclusion

Refocus your Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion (EDI) efforts. Make it clear to current employees that they should be free to bring their whole selves to work. Intentionally focus recruiting efforts on seeking more diverse candidates. Promote and honor the values of EDI in your culture. You’ll not only create a more productive, more-rewarding environment, but you’ll also increase the likelihood of hiring and retaining the skilled workforce you need.

Tactic 4: Seek Good People, Not Degrees

A growing number of leading firms are dropping their degree requirements from the majority of their job descriptions. The logic is clear: Candidates with experience in critical skillsets aren’t “weak hires” just because they don’t have four years of college. It’s time to focus on who you need, the person willing to learn and grow in your organization, not on the diploma.

About EG Workforce Solutions

We’ve been in this business for decades and have developed a deep network of professional connections. Whether they’re companies looking for talent, job seekers looking for work, or an up-and-coming store in need of some temporary help, we know the right people to bridge the gap between the hiring and the hired.

But what’s more, we get to know people. From employers hiring to candidates looking, we take the time to listen and learn. We hear your likes, talents, and needs. We gain an understanding, and with it, we’re able to facilitate lasting relationships between businesses and people.

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