For the first time in recent years, it appears we have more jobs than qualified people to fill them. According to the North American Staffing & Recruiting Trends Report, almost 80 percent of organizations struggle to find job candidates, and nearly three fourths of those organizations say it’s their No. 1 obstacle to growth.
How did this happen? Below is the short list.
- A large number of Americans have retired in the past five years.
- A surprisingly high number of millennials seek temporary work or are not looking for work.
- A growing economy over the past five years has produced many more labor jobs than anticipated.
- Many new jobs require qualifications that the vast majority of applicants do not have.
- Many companies don’t know how to do a targeted search for the qualified people they need, or they lack the time or resources to perform this targeted search.
Given all these factors, how do you find the employees you need? Equally as important, how do you get them to stay?
For starters, these days candidates must see your work culture as a great fit. With so many choices before them, job candidates are likely to give a promising first interview but not return for a second. Qualified applicants simply have more options than ever. What’s more, there is generally less job-hunting urgency or immediacy, especially among younger candidates. Why? The U.S. Census Bureau reports that, unlike in years past, approximately one third of young adults still live with their parents and don’t have families. They are selective because they can be.
Targeted exposure is crucial to successful recruitment. Many companies remain unknown to people actually looking for jobs. In short, qualified candidates exist but they don’t know that their perfect job is available. The only companies to win those candidates will be the ones that use effective marketing campaigns and understand how to properly target their search, while presenting what those job seekers are looking for.
Employees seek engagement. According to a Gallup survey across 46 countries, 70 percent of all employees are not engaged on the job. Not surprisingly then, many of the organizations that succeed in finding qualified candidates now report employees quitting in record numbers. (What is surprising is the number of employees who quit within the first 30 days.) An engaged culture means people will stay, and it means your company looks good to qualified applicants.
Many experts are concerned that we’re heading for economic disaster if we can’t fill these jobs. My personal interviews have revealed that many organizations believe they will be out of business in the next six to ten years unless they can find the people they need.
All of this is creating a talent war in which organizations are fighting over a finite number of employees. Consequently, great leadership and culture, and the ability to expose your “culture brand” to target the candidates you want, is no longer just really important – it’s everything.
Garrison Wynn, CSP, is a bestselling author and keynote speaker featured in Forbes and Inc magazines who focuses on “Industrial Influence” and how it effects change, leadership, safety and sales/marketing.