How HR managers can manage the current labour and skills shortage

Research suggests that chief executives have been more concerned about the skills shortage now than at any point in previous years. Indeed, the skills shortage is an issue of concern for employers as well as employees. 

This shortage of skilled workforce, especially in the technology industry, is having a negative spill-over effect for many organisations as more and more companies look to digitise their business processes. 

Similarly, prospective employees, on their side, are feeling increasingly uncertain about what skills they need to bring to the table in order to be able to add the most value to a company.

So, as business leaders and human resource managers, what measures can employers take to manage the demand for skilled employees? Here, we have discussed below few ways to help companies navigate their way through the current skills shortage:

1. Create a culture of learning

The most effective way to tackle the skills shortage is to offer internal training and mentoring programmes to all employees. It often turns out that training and skilling a current employee bears far better ROI than hiring and bringing completely new employees on board. Eventually, it is the organization that continues learning that will survive this dynamic world.

Offering the IT and even non-IT employees courses on new software and programming courses can, for example, be very effective for companies to streamline their processes and reduce the need to hire externally. Developing the staff internally eliminates dependencies on costly and time-consuming hiring processes.

2. Consider outsourcing

When a company needs a specific job done quickly and effectively, outsourcing can be the best option. Outsourcing talent allows for speedy on-boarding. Keep your core competencies and organisation differentiator (IP) in-house and pass on the other capabilities to partners who can bring in the expertise in flexible engagement models. This saves bandwidth, cost and ensures your blind spots do not hamper the organisation. It gets companies tasks done by the right talent, without having to get into lengthy and expensive hiring processes.

3. Explore different engagement models

In the 21st century, the new context and new problem situation demand us to question the conventional wisdom in organisation and management. It is time to re-evaluate our approach towards recruitment and make it less rigid. Organisations could, for instance, hire applicants with 80 percent of the required qualifications or with less experience and help them grow into the role.

Do not be afraid to go against the grain as these are unprecedented times. Consider employing transferable skills and excellent, motivated individuals whose dynamism could help your company reach its long-term goals. You can also open your company up to apprenticeships, co-op work placements and internships, and cultivate the next generation of skilled workers. 

4. Build your outreach

Outreach is a significant communications program which means that as the organisation, you have the relevant policies, practices and culture appealing to the workforce and responsive to today’s time and age. Make sure that your outreach programs have the right intent and consistent tonality. A poorly thought out execution or superficial intent will be easily found out and cause more harm than good.

5. Be patient and remain optimistic

Facing skills shortages in the workplace is a temporary phase. While it may be a tough phase at present, it is possible to survive the skills shortage with a little bit of patience and tapping on the talent and skills of current employees. Remain optimistic and always keep an eye out for new talent and ways to attract them. And more importantly, keep a close watch on the evolving requirements and future of your industry.

Talk to the Leaders

The Human resources team has to convince C-suite executives to shift to an employee-first culture. It is time senior executives gave HR the resources and the agency to turn their priorities from solely defending the leadership and bottom line to employee growth and professional development. 
With G&S Consultings’ extensive experience and proven leadership in human resources management and planning (read success stories), enterprises have seen consistent growth trajectory in their business as well as of their most valued resource, that is employees.