It feels as if we have passed the point where we can talk about "unprecedented times". Despite this, we seem to once again be in uncharted territory as we teeter on the edge of recession and economic uncertainty, as far as talent is concerned at least. It's been a long time since we've seen an economy like this. Talent is still in high demand despite such lofty inflation figures, and that's largely because of the skills shortage. Companies are still having difficulties finding and retaining the talent they need as we creep into recession.
Traditionally, companies can't solve this problem by hiring their way out. To attract top talent, you need to look outside the norm and offer new levels of flexibility. It's also important to look inward, to identify potential within the organisation, to nurture it, and to enable it to thrive within your company. In order to stay agile and bridge the gap, you must create and embed an environment of learning and development.
Retaining staff is key
Businesses that struggle to find new talent cannot afford to lose the skilled individuals they already have. Creating a culture that encourages employees to stay in the company is one of the keys to success. The way to achieve that does not necessarily mean more pay – for instance, flexible working or being recognised through an increase in annual leave can be just as attractive to some.
Develop upskilling opportunities
There are other ways to deal with this crisis besides hiring. As businesses look to fill urgent skill gaps in their workforce, they are increasingly offering targeted education programs to upskill and reskill their workforce. Education and employment go hand in hand. The problem is that so few organisations think long-term about it. The idea of generating and retaining your own talent seems to be a no-brainer if you're struggling to find and retain the talent you need.
Training existing employees is likely to be easier than hiring new ones. Consider finding new sources of funding if your budget does not allow for training.
Take on apprentices
Taking on an apprentice may not solve your firm's immediate skills shortage, but it can help you train the people you will need for the future in an economical way. It can also help to bring a new perspective to your business and encourage other employees’ productivity.
Make diversity, equity, and inclusion a priority
Although it shouldn't be a surprise, the best talent isn't always found where you expect it. When conventional approaches do not work for your organization, you must broaden your search. Investing in DEI is no longer a 'nice-to-have' or secondary pursuit; instead, it is a critical component of organizations' success and their ability to weather recessions.
Search for more
It's possible that you're not looking in the right places if you can't find the right people. Think outside the box when it comes to recruitment - from changing your recruitment consultant to advertising in new places, attending job fairs, and using social media. Update your website with current vacancies, but don't rely on good-quality candidates to find you; being proactive is important.