Get ahead of the crowd and apply these seven ways to prepare for the global labor shortage and win the war for talent.
- Educate Yourself! – If you’re like many managers, you have very little understanding of the crisis ahead. Do some reading on the war for talent, the aging workforce, the skills gap and the inevitability of global competition. Use that fear as a heads-up to inspire you to become a talent expert before your competitors do.
- Calculate business impacts – Work with your CFO to calculate the business impacts of having numerous position vacancies, low new-hire skill levels and the resulting low productivity due to the aging workforce, the skills gap, and the global competition for talent. Some of the possible negative consequences of failing to have the right people in the right jobs include goods not shipped on time, low product quality, lower customer service ratings, projects falling behind, loss of existing or future customers and even an image of instability or the rumor of going out of business.
- Integrate recruiting into business processes – It’s important for managers to realize upfront that no one will be exempt from labor shortages and some industries will be hit especially hard in the upcoming war for talent. It’s critical that you integrate great recruiting and retention into every business, measurement and reporting process.
- Forecast talent needs – Develop a process for forecasting your talent needs. Work with budgeting, sales forecasting and strategic planning to get some idea of where your business is going and what your talent needs will be in the next 18 months.
- Prepare for increased turnover – Assume that your turnover rates will increase dramatically. Put someone in charge of retention tools and efforts but make all managers accountable for turnover. Focus on the turnover rates of top performers. And, especially if you are well known as an employer of choice, prepare retention and “blocking” strategies to minimize the damage from competitors’ raids.
- Identify your “talent competitors” – Because companies within commuting distance may compete with you for talent and non-product specific jobs (talent competitors are generally different from your product competitors), know your enemies. Do a side-by- side comparison of what tools and approaches they are utilizing and compare them to yours, so you can counter and top each one.
- Look ahead – Monitor the indicators that tell you when competition for talent is increasing so that you won’t be surprised. Indicators include: changes in the unemployment rate, job growth rate, economic growth rates, low employee-engagement scores, changes in the number of applications received, the “time-to- fill” for your own jobs, and increasing vacancies and turnover at talent competitors. Major mergers, layoffs and facility expansions should also be monitored as indicators of future changes in the talent picture.
Written by TalentClick CEO Greg Ford, M.Ed. and Dr. John Sullivan