If it feels more challenging than ever to find and hire candidates for your open positions, you aren’t alone in that sentiment. A full 50 percent of employers say it is taking them longer to fill jobs today than at any other point in time, according to CareerBuilder’s most recent job forecast.
This could be attributed in large part to the low unemployment rate. Right now in the U.S., there are more jobs available than people to fill them. There’s also the matter of the much-talked-about skills gap. Many employers complain that even the workers who are actively looking for jobs simply don’t have the skills their looking for in candidates.
Is there no end to this madness? Not unless you’re willing to work for it. If you’re going through a hiring dry spell, try the following possible solutions:
1. Re-evaluate Your Requirements: Part of the reason you may be having hiring troubles, experts say, may be due to your hiring practices. As this article from NPR points out, many companies require job candidates to have qualifications that aren’t necessarily relevant to the job in question. Re-evaluate your job descriptions, and differentiate the “must-haves” from the “nice-to-haves.” Then look at the skills you can train for on the job and consider hiring for potential over experience.
2. Take Advantage of Reskilling Programs: Consider partnering with federally funded American Job Centers, which pay for people to attend training programs for in-demand occupations and connect newly trained workers with local companies. A similar option is RightSkill, an initiative from Capella Learning Solutions and CareerBuilder that prepares workers for in-demand jobs in and matches them with employers.
3. Rekindle Relationships with Ex-Employees: They say you should never go back to an ex, but former employees can be a viable option for companies with a need to fill. Boomerang employees, as they’re also known, already know the business, your culture and your customers, so they can easily “hit the ground running.” Sure, they left for a reason, but if they left on good terms, they may be open to coming back and starting anew.
4. Tap Into Your Current Workforce: As any rom-com protagonist can attest, sometimes the perfect person has been right before your eyes all along. The same is often true when it comes to hiring. If you have a role that you just can’t seem to fill, consider tapping your internal employee database, and invest in upskilling them for hard-to-fill positions. The benefits of promoting from within the company can’t be denied. You never know who might be looking for a chance to expand their skill set, explore a different area of the business or try on some new responsibilities.
5. Up the Ante: A little extra money can go a long way toward enticing workers to join your company – and it’s an option many employers are turning to. According to CareerBuilder’s 2018 job forecast, 30 percent of employers were planning to increase starting salaries for new employees this year, and 36 percent were doing the same for existing staff. Signing bonuses and extra perks, such as unlimited vacation, can also sweeten the pot.
These are just a few of the approaches employers are taking to hire in today’s tight labor market. The key is to rethink your traditional recruiting methods, get a little more creative, and be a lot more proactive.