The good news is the world’s economy has largely recovered from the most recent economic downturn. The bad news is lower unemployment is making it more difficult for companies to find the employees they need, particularly in more specialised fields. Attracting enough workers with the right expertise can be a huge challenge and the inability to find those workers can hurt companies. Unfilled positions can slow company growth, lead to problems with customers, or result in burnout for existing workers. Here are ways to find the employees you need, regardless of the type of business.
Look Further Afield
The best new employees for your company might not be located around the corner. Increasingly specialised jobs require more specialised skills that can be more difficult to find. If you’re looking for experienced workers within a small geographic area, you may end up in a bidding war with your local competitor. This could lead to employees switching from company to company as the demand for their particular skill set exceeds the local supply of experienced workers.
One way to avoid this problem is to widen your search. Be willing to hire workers from a different city or another country. This way you can find employees that more exactly fit your requirements. Many companies are uncomfortable with the process of hiring employees from another country but in most countries the process is relatively simple. After being unable to find a local worker, companies can sponsor a skilled worker from another country. Many countries are highly sought after by workers looking for new opportunities. Immigration to the UK, US, and Canada, for example, is on the wish lists of many workers so companies located there can have a significant advantage when seeking outstanding experts.
On the Job Training
Another option for finding the right skills to match your job is to train workers yourself. Many fields simply lack enough experienced workers. Even with education in the field, new graduates may be unable to find jobs because they lack the experience. If recent graduates are having trouble finding work in their field, that field of study might become even less popular with students. This can make hiring even more difficult as fewer students choose to study within that field.
Hiring a worker who lacks on the job experience is a risk but it can pay off. This will greatly expand the potential number of employees you can hire. You will also be able to train workers to do things in exactly the way your company prefers. Hiring experienced workers can lead to problems with employees who have developed bad habits or continue to perform tasks in the way they originally learned rather than the way your company expects.
There are several options for providing internships. These can be summer or part-time programs that employ students while they are still completing school. Another option is to offer an internship program to train workers for a regular, full-time position. This can be a chance to provide on the job training without committing to hiring a worker permanently until the end of the internship period. This can give your company a chance to make sure the intern is a good fit for your organisation and able to properly perform the work.
Partner with Schools
If you need specialised skills for your business, check with the schools in your area. If they are already providing training in your field, working with the school could help give your company the pick of new graduates. In addition, it could give you the chance to ensure that the training students receive is useful for your specific company.
If the local schools are not offering the training your future employees would need, you can work with the school. Schools want to be able to offer training that helps their graduates get jobs. By working with them to create training programs you could provide more opportunities for the school, the students, and for your company.
Flexible Employment Options
Companies have a standard set of expectations with regards to the work hours and other conditions of employment. It could be time to broaden those options in order to attract more qualified workers. There are a number of ways you could do that. Offering flexible work hours could allow more employees to work for you while managing around family obligations or school. Flexible work hours or an alternative work schedule could permit your employees to avoid busy rush hours or to work longer hours each day in order to have more days off. These types of work schedules can be an appealing incentive to potential workers, allowing your company to attract more highly qualified employees.
Allowing workers to telecommute is another way for them to reduce the time and expense of coming into the workplace each day. Remote work can enable you to hire skilled workers from across town, across the country, or other countries. You can even offer part-time work as an option. This can be appealing to people trying to complete school, take care of family members, or who want to work for you as a second job to earn additional income.
Check Your Expectations
Companies tend to have preconceived ideas of what background is necessary for a particular job. A specific degree or series of degrees might be the minimal requirement for a given position. Perhaps completing training in a technical school or a certain number of years of experience in that type of job is required for consideration. Take a closer look to see what qualifications are actually necessary for the position and what are simply nice to have. In cases where there are far more applicants than jobs, having higher minimum requirements can help to keep the number of applicants under consideration down to a reasonable size and provide you with the highest quality candidates. Once the job market becomes tighter, it could be time to re-evaluate.
Many professions require certain degrees or certifications. For other jobs, these can be entirely optional. Look to see if it is time to change your requirements for specific positions. By keeping your mind and your options open, you might find a whole new set of potential employees.
Hire from Within
Your next great hire for a specific position could already be only a few feet away from you. Many companies eagerly seek new employees for more senior positions but fail to consider the employees they already have. There are a number of reasons for this. Some managers avoid hiring current employees for another position because they are worried it will be too difficult to fill the employee’s old position. Others managers may think promoting one employee will cause problems because other workers might be jealous. Certain companies may place more importance on the experience gained at a different company than from their own.
Your company can break out of that cycle by looking for ways to promote more from within. Develop internal training programs to identify employees who might be a good fit for promotion and help to provide them with the experience and skills they need. Providing opportunities for advancement can do more than alleviate your immediate hiring issues. It can improve employee morale and loyalty as they see the company offering better chances for ongoing employment. Investing in the future of your employees can make workers feel more valued and appreciated. Hiring internally can become an important factor in attracting and retaining good workers in a range of positions.
Have managers work with employees to plan for future advancement. By making sure workers acquire the skills they would need for a promotion, you are helping both the employees and your company be better prepared. Keep in mind that promoting from within has a number of other advantages. Your company will be filling the position with a known worker rather than taking a chance on a relative unknown. It can be difficult to determine someone’s work ethic, their skills, and ability to fit in with a corporate culture during an interview. Current employees will have an established pattern of behaviour that should transfer over to new positions. There is even the added benefit of the workers being more familiar with the company and its procedures so they should be able to get up speed in a new position more quickly.
Take a look at the job positions you are trying to fill. If you are having difficulty finding candidates that meet all of the job’s requirements, perhaps the problem is your expectations. It can be tempting to fill a job description with a list of your dream qualifications for that job. Make sure you aren’t expecting one person to accomplish too many different tasks in too little time or to combine too many different sets of skills and experience. You might love to have someone who do every possible thing, however, you might end up looking for a miracle worker, not a real person. Check to see if your job descriptions are unrealistic.
Remember, there are many ways to find the employees you need. Be sure that you are taking advantage of the options for keeping your company staffed and functioning properly.