So, what measures can employers take when talent supply isn’t meeting the demand for skilled workers? Here are a few ways to help companies stay afloat while navigating their way through the current skills shortage:
1. Training and Mentoring
One effective way to tackle the skills shortage is to offer training and mentoring programmes internally for current employees. Companies may find that rather than having to hire new workers, an employee in your business who has been given training and development may be well, or even better, suited to a vacant position.
Offering IT and software courses for employees, for example, is a very effective way for companies to streamline their processes and reduce the need to hire externally. Internal staff development can negate the need for costly and time-consuming hiring processes.
2. Look Abroad
As an employer, it’s always important to broaden your horizons when it comes to hiring. Irish employers should look for top talent across the EU and take advantage of the freedom of movement and work for all EU citizens. The geographic distance between employer and prospective employee shouldn’t put a company off hiring foreign talent – the process can be easily conducted over social media, email and/or video call. Finally, many employees may be attracted by the idea of working abroad and can bring different perspectives and knowledge bases to your company.
When a company needs a specific job done quickly and effectively, often outsourcing can be the best option. Outsourcing talent allows for a relatively speedy on boarding process and if you do it right, the contractors should already have all of the necessary skills for the task at hand. While it is not advised in all situations, outsourcing can be vital for a company to quickly increase its manpower, again without going through the expensive, lengthy and often difficult hiring process.
4. Don’t ignore Millennials
Let’s face it, there can be a stigma when it comes to millennials. They don’t get out of bed in the morning, they are too distracted by their smartphones, they need constant gratification – these are all examples of stereotypes that give millennials a bad reputation. However, it is crucially important that employers don’t overlook the talent and ability of millennials in the workplace, especially when it comes to tech and IT. Ignoring one demographic of workers because of unfounded stereotypes would be very wrong. I say take advantage of the skills of the youth – you may find they bring more to your company than you expected.
With a huge skills shortage and the war for talent raging on, reaching out and communicating with prospective employees has never been more important. Luckily, with social media it’s becoming more and more simple to keep in touch with top talent. That’s not to say companies should be constantly on the lookout to poach employees, but keeping in the loop and up-to-date with the best in the industry might just pay dividends in the long run.
6. Remain Optimistic
Finally, just like recessions, skills shortages come and go. While times may be tough at the moment, keeping a cool head, making the most of your current employees and keeping a keen eye out for new ways to attract talent are sure fire ways to help a company through the current skills shortage. As an employer, remember that there is always a light at the end of the tunnel – and make sure your staff can see it too.
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