Why is there a shortage of skilled workers and what to do about it

Why is there a shortage of skilled workers and what to do about it by Tima Miroshnichenko from Pexels

What does the shortage of skilled workers mean for your business?

The shortage of skilled workers seems to only be getting worse as years go on. Every few months it pops back up in the news, predicting doom for hiring managers and small business owners.

However in reality, there are qualified workers out there to hire.

But the demand for workers is high in almost every industry – especially tech. So you need the right strategy to attract the top potential workers and overcome the skill shortage.

What is the skilled labour shortage?

The skills gap or labour shortage affects everyone, from job hunters to business owners.

It’s where the demand for skills outweighs the supply. So there could be hundreds of job hunters applying to your vacancies, but they will usually be unqualified.

And it’s caused by a lot of variables like unequipped education, tech advancements and rising unemployment levels.

The scary job market and unemployment rate brought on by Covid-19 has made it even harder to convince skilled workers to leave stable jobs to start new ones, hence the renewal of panic about the supply of workers.

If you’ve noticed that you’re getting barely any applications from qualified candidates, this might be why!

How can you overcome the skills shortage?

As a small business owner, tackling something as vast as the shortage of skilled workers to find top talent can seem daunting. But there are five simple steps you can take to thrive and fill your job openings despite it!

Skilled worker signing employment contracts in an office

1 – Trust in training

Sometimes those with the best practical and soft skills are overlooked by hiring managers in favour of prioritising those with experience.

We all resort to valuing experience over training. And that’s great when you’re hiring for a senior role, but when it comes to more junior roles it’s unnecessary.

Good training shows so much about a candidate. It shows independence, motivation and passion for the role and for learning in general.

So when hiring for a role on the junior side of things, don’t scoff at training! Hire for potential as much as you hire for skills, personality and experience.

2 – Look into blind hiring

Speaking of valuing experience over training and actual skill, why not put this to the test with your own blind hiring programme?

Blind hiring might seem like a trendy buzzword, but we know first-hand that it works.

So if you want to fight your unconscious biases to truly find the most skilled candidates, we recommend running a blind, task-first process. We expect that you’ll be surprised at which job candidates come out on top.

3 – Look into alternative hiring

If hiring mid to senior level employees isn’t working, why not try hiring juniors?

Junior hiring including interns, apprentices and trainees is always cheaper than higher levels. You could also consider working with contractors and even running returnship programmes.

Junior hires will likely be more ready and able to learn new skills as they’re fresh out of education, so they should be able to upskill fast to fight your skills shortage.

4 – Invest in your retention

You would need to find fewer skilled workers if you invested in your employee retention.

Keeping employees is even more important than hiring them. There is no point in investing in a great recruitment process if your new hires will leave in a few month’s time.

The first step to great employee retention is creating a solid onboarding programme. When great onboarding can improve employee retention by 82%, you can’t afford to blag it!

A great onboarding only needs to last a couple of weeks but it sets you up for years of success. So don’t neglect this vital process!

Make sure to keep revising your pay, benefits and working methods to stay competitive too.

5 – Training and promotions

Your retention efforts have to include training and promotions!

Investing in your upskilling and reskilling efforts is a must in a skilled worker shortage. The talented workers you need are probably already clocking in at your office every day!

By training your already hired talent, you’ll show your current employees that you care about their development. This will undoubtedly boost your retention and help you fill the gaps in your business with loyal employees!

Training really is our best answer to the digital skills shortage.

That’s why we offer free training programmes to all of our job hunters. So if you want to test out a blind, task-first hiring process to find skilled juniors with the potential to become high performing employees, sign up to DigitalGrads today.

About post author

Hi, I'm Daisy. I'm using my passion for writing to work with DigitalGrads on their content and social media campaigns.
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