There is a growing recognition within the recruitment industry that the head-hunting business is booming, but the number and calibre of candidates required is proving hard to source. The ‘talent shortage’ is being felt in many sectors, as employers seek to fill vacancies in businesses that in previous years have found it necessary to downsize.

This, the final quarter of 2014 is being billed as one of the greatest growth periods in the last four years, and employers are having trouble finding the employees they need to capitalise on this growth. It is a problem that should be taken seriously, as a shortage of talent often results in reduced productivity. Affected organisations might notice a drop in the morale and creativity of their existent employees, and a higher staff turnover. These factors easily combine to result in a compromised ability to stand up to the competition.

But all is not lost. The mismatch between those looking for positions and those looking to hire them has several aspects, and both employers and prospective employees can do their part to bridge the gap. In order for recruiters to secure the best talent, hiring organisations should have very clearly established and communicated requirements, and offer attractive packages for the right candidates.

To attract the finest talent, employers might want to consider providing flexible work arrangements or other perks for the right person. Another possibility worth considering is a job share arrangement, or separation of duties into two different positions, if it is proving impossible to find one individual with all required skills. Many candidates, and women in particular, may find these options appealing as they can help ease the pressures associated with simultaneous parenting and employment.

Recruiters should have a clear idea of what an organisation is looking for, and some companies, such as those in the IT industry, may benefit from a specialist recruiter. With proper knowledge, the recruiter should encourage management to look at all candidates that are a near fit. Candidates who find they are almost what employees need should design their resumes to emphasise the qualities they already possess that indicate they are capable of growing within an organisation to fit what the employer requires.

An effective interview process should give both parties opportunity to discover how near the fit is, and employers may do well to consider trainable candidates, especially those who meet a solid 80% of desired criteria.
Perhaps one of the most overlooked sources is the pool of talent already within the organisations walls. If a position is proving hard to fill from the outside, perhaps there are people already at work within the organisation whose duties can be extended to cover the gap. With well-designed professional development programs, a ‘talent pipeline’ can be set up, whereby current employees are given opportunities to extend and develop their skills to fill anticipated gaps as required.

There is a war brewing, and competition for choice candidates is likely to get tougher before things improve, but clever tactics and solid management will see many organisations profit through this time of growth.

If your organisation has yet to develop a talent pipeline, contact LeadershipHQ today and we will help you develop your leadership strategy.

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