The Skills Gap is Impacting Hiring

As a hiring manager, you probably don’t need us to tell you that there’s currently a bit of a crisis in terms of the amount of qualified professionals available for hire.

Earlier this year, The Hill reported the US Bureau of Labor Statistics’ findings that the IT industry would likely need to add around 100,000 employees to the industry throughout 2018; unfortunately, only 60,000 individuals were anticipated to enter the field over that same period of time.

The outlook is even worse for the manufacturing industry: By 2025, the BLS anticipates a deficit of about two million workers. That is, while the industry will need to fill about 3.5 million positions, only 1.5 million people are likely to be coming into the field in that time.

Perhaps the worst part of all of this:

Such a deficit essentially means that companies are going to have to “take what they can get” in terms of employee candidates. In other words, there’s a pretty good chance that a skills gap will exist between your potential employee’s current skills and the skills required of them in the position they’ve applied for.

(Not to mention the fact that those who are qualified for specific positions will likely be scooped up as soon as they enter the job market.)

At any rate, the main question at hand is:

What can you do to ensure the talent you bring on will pan out for your company in the long run?

3 Things You Can Do To Find The Candidates with the Skills You Need

1) Assess Your Candidates’ Growth Potential

As we said, there’s a decent chance that none of the applicants you hear from for a given position will be fully qualified for the job at hand.

But this doesn’t mean they’re not worth considering for hire – as long as they show potential for growth.

Let’s say, for example, a position requires applicants be proficient in a certain programming language. You connect with a highly-intelligent candidate who’s proficient in a variety of other coding languages – but only has a working knowledge of the one you need.

This doesn’t have to be a deal-breaker. Rather, you might choose to see their other proficiencies as proof that they’ll quickly be able to get up to speed with the skills required of the position at hand.

The point is, rather than looking at specific competencies, you’d do well to assess your applicants’ soft skills, as well as their willingness and ability to learn the skills needed to succeed within your company.

2) Streamline the Hiring Process for Applicants

We mentioned that the skills gap crisis is leading to a shortage in qualified employees, simply because these individuals are taken off the job market as soon as they enter it.

You face a ton of competition when trying to bring aboard high-quality employees. Because they have so many offers being thrown at them at once, they’re (obviously) going to take the one that promises the most value to them.

Your goal, then, is to be the one to provide this valuable offer.

(We’ll get more into how to do this overall in a bit.)

From the get-go, though, you want to ensure it’s as easy as possible for potential employees to get in touch with you and apply for an open position. Any “hangups” in the application process – from broken web links to repetitive forms, and more – may cause a potentially high-value candidate to not even give your company a second look.

Needless to say, you don’t want this to happen.

3) Showcase Your Investment in Your Employees

We touched on this a couple times so far:

One of the key signs of a high-performing employee candidate is their constant yearning for growth.

That said, in order to attract such employees, you need to prove to them that your company will provide opportunities for them to grow, both in terms of their skillset and in their career.

Additionally, you need to prove to these individuals that they’ll truly be valued by your company. Basically, this involves offering proper compensation, benefits, and other such necessities that your employees see as fair – and that allow them to live a fruitful life overall.

4) Opt for Temporary Employees

The case may very well be that you’re unable to find a truly qualified employee for a specific position at a given time.

That doesn’t mean they aren’t “out there,” though.

Luckily, staffing firms specialize in knowing exactly where to look to find high-quality employees for organizations in need. By working with a staffing firm to find top-notch talent, you’ll not only be able to quickly bring aboard the best person for the job at hand – you’ll also save your company the trouble of digging up these individuals on your own.

If you’ve suddenly found yourself in need of a qualified individual to fill an open position, your first move should be to contact a staffing firm to see if they can help you out as quickly as possible. Not only will you likely find a highly-qualified individual to fill your position temporarily – they might end up sticking around for the long-term.

Are you looking for help filling the skills gap in your company?

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