With all the talk about improvement in the U.S. economy, it would seem to the casual observer that employers have their choice of the most qualified talent in the workforce.
That may not be so.
In a recent survey of international businesses, human resources agency ManpowerGroup discovered more than one-third of employers are finding it difficult to bring on the right expertise to develop their businesses.
As a result, the fight for human resources leaves companies complacent about their precarious position as they struggle to bring on the right employees; they are beginning to accept unfilled positions and reduced overall efficiency as a ‘New Normal.’
This world talent crisis is now reaching its seventh year, and it is not only reserved for mature economies like the U.K. or U.S. In the U.S. alone, 49 percent of employers report having difficulties hiring qualified people.
Brazil and India represent the two fastest growing economies world-wide, and both feature alarmingly high levels of difficulty finding qualified staff—48 percent of Indian companies cannot hire quality employees, as does 78 percent of companies in Brazil.
Japan, the world’s third largest economy, tops the list, with 81 percent of companies having trouble filling jobs. This is the second year in a row Japan remained in the top spot.
ManpowerGroup suggests that the U.S. is in danger of falling into what some economists are calling hysteresis in the job market. Hysteresis is a situation when long-term unemployed become permanently unemployed from a variety of factors:
- Lack of available applicants/no applicants
- Candidates unwilling for part-time/freelance/contract roles
- Lack of technical proficiency (hard skills)
- Undesirable geographic location
- Lack of experience
- Lack of employability/soft skills
- Looking for more pay than offered
- Employer bias against the unemployed
- Erosion of job skills from time away from the workforce
- Lack of confidence that they will stay out of work
The best employers have a strong workforce plan, one closely aligned with their overall business strategy. They use a range of methods to find the right talent. These employers stay on top of trends—both current and future—and are proactive in hiring strategies. Anticipating skill shortages, they are aware of skills gaps and other human resource issues and take proper steps to discuss those challenges.
However, this ability crisis can be addressed, even reversed. According to ManpowerGroup, there are three steps for businesses to proactively maximize their hiring strategy:
- Analyze current and coming talent needs; factoring in external factors that could affect those needs, like varying business conditions and emerging technologies.
- Scan the current workforce and measure of available talent.
- Identify solutions that will fill in any gaps between available ability and current (or future) business needs.
Solutions to the increasingly alarming talent crisis can include increased use of human resources management tools—job posting software, Software-as-a-Service and online recruitment software, among others—which can be customized to discuss the needs of any given industry. They can maximize the hiring process by evaluating a larger number of candidates, opening up a flexible workforce and saving time and resources to find the right hire.