Businesses used to have a relatively easy time finding talented employees to fill all their job vacancies. That changed in 2021 when 47.4 million workers voluntarily quit their jobs; while 75.3 million workers were hired, 68.9 million workers quit or were terminated. Every industry has been impacted, but it seems the talent shortage is most acute for sales, marketing, IT, manufacturing and logistics positions.
This “Great Resignation” left organizations worldwide scrambling to find qualified candidates to fill open positions. A year later, businesses are still struggling to find and retain top talent. While Covid-19 usually gets the blame, another significant factor is a skills gap that was a growing problem before the pandemic. Businesses posted jobs, but many went unfilled due to a lack of qualified candidates. In other words, the applicants were available and interested but did not have the required skills, knowledge and experience.
HR teams have been forced to revise their recruiting practices to compete effectively for fewer skilled professionals. The upside is that several best practices have emerged that can make organizations healthier and better places to work, enabling them to attract and retain talent more effectively.
These are some of the best practices innovative HR leaders and managers can implement to ensure they have the talent to meet profit and growth goals.
Go Beyond ‘One-Size-Fits-All’ Training
Organizations typically develop training strategies to meet industry requirements and comply with government mandates. While these programs meet regulatory requirements, many are “one-size-fits-all” and do not address employees’ specific training and development needs.
Organizations can start taking a proactive approach to employee training and development by testing skills and assessing behaviors to determine which abilities team members lack. This is an actionable way to advise managers on how they can develop employees more effectively, thus refining training practices and improving your organization.
Assess Staff Talent And Create A Benchmark
It is impossible to develop an effective internal training strategy until you determine what employees already know and where they need additional help. So organizations are working to identify team members’ strength areas, identify knowledge gaps and develop training programs to address them.
They first analyze staff talent levels. Then they create benchmarks and compare candidates against the standards. If they have competitive data, they compare their findings against companies in their space. This will help them determine if they are in a competitive position or falling behind.
Develop Customized Training Programs
Organizations are learning that they can improve employee morale, increase productivity and reduce attrition by investing in training and development. This is no surprise because according to findings from 2019—before the pandemic and the Great Resignation—94% of those surveyed cited a company’s investment in employee learning as a top reason for staying with an employer.
HR leaders and hiring managers should prioritize identifying knowledge gaps among current staff proactively. Once they have identified deficient areas, they can develop customized training programs to help employees succeed in their current assignments and learn new skills to help them meet their career goals.
Identify Team Members With Leadership Potential
As HR teams and managers deal with the current talent shortage, they find that the perfect candidate may already work for their company. Measuring leadership-specific abilities such as problem-solving and interpersonal communication can be a great way to identify current employees with leadership potential.
It can also make HR and hiring managers’ jobs more manageable in the long run because their company will develop a reputation as an excellent place to work and one that promotes from within. Attracting qualified employees becomes less challenging when top candidates see your organization as a desirable workplace and know it offers advancement opportunities.
Continuous Process Improvement
A training program is ineffective if it does not help you accomplish hiring and growth goals and achieve desired results. So, once HR teams develop and implement training strategies, they must monitor results and adjust as needed.
Measuring progress is the best way to determine if changes are needed. Start by assessing team members in a specific department and then administering training. When staff is retested, it is easy to see which aspects of the training worked and which areas need to be adjusted.
Innovate To Survive
The current talent shortage is severe, and it appears there is no end in sight. According to ManpowerGroup, talent shortages are at a 16-year high, and around 75% of organizations are having difficulty finding qualified talent.
Organizations that implement these innovative strategies to recruit and retain employees may find it easier to meet talent needs and fulfill growth goals. Those that do not will continue to experience the same hiring and recruiting issues they have been dealing with since the beginning of 2020.