What to do in a candidate short market

 Employer portal front pageI’m currently working closely with one of our clients in helping them find a key player for their company and one of the challenges we’re facing is trying to find someone great in a candidate short market.

In some industries, it does sometimes happen that there is a chronic shortage of candidates in the market.  Unfortunately for employers, the basics of economics apply and so when there is a shortage of candidates in the market, it means candidates can demand more and so the salaries go up.   Soon employers are paying way above what they had budgeted and for small businesses in particular, this can be extremely costly.

Often there are no easy solutions when trying to recruit in a candidate short market. Sometimes you just have to bite the bullet and pay the extra amounts (assuming you can find someone and assuming you can afford it).

Here are some tips that may assist you when facing this challenge:

1. Restructure how you do things so you don’t need to recruit for the ‘hard to find’ skills set. You may find that there are people in your workplace who already have some of the skills you’re looking for, so do an audit. You may also find that you have staff who are very eager to learn the new skills.

2. Get serious about training staff on an ongoing basis. Sometimes it’s better to train people rather than searching in a candidate short market. Yes, training can be time consuming and an investment, but at least you can control your own destiny. As an added bonus, trained staff  appreciate your efforts and tend to be more loyal.

3. Workforce Planning. If you know some key staff with hard to find skills are coming up for retirement, then take action now! Don’t wait for them to leave before you start a recruitment campaign. Looking ahead a few years really pays off.

4. Don’t hire someone because you’re desperate. Take the time to ensure they’re right for the job, have the right skills and are a good culture fit. It’s far more costly and time consuming employing someone only for them to leave 3 months later.

As I said, it’s a tough position to be in but there are some ways you can try avoid it and if push comes to shove and you’re left without a choice, listen to the market and try and find more money for the right candidate.

 

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