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Recruitment Tactics When Faced with Serious Staffing Shortages

Talent shortages are likely to reach critical levels over the next decade. Analysts at the Korn Ferry Institute predict that the global talent shortage could hit 85.2 million people by 2030. Consultancy firm Gartner agrees: its 2018 Emerging Risks Survey found that a talent shortage is an employers’ most commonly cited risk. The hardest hit industries include financial services (with a projected shortfall of 10.7 million workers), tech and telecommunications (4.3 million workers), and manufacturing (7.9 million workers).

What can employers do to protect themselves against these shortages and successfully recruit star employees even when talent is scarce? Matt Shinkman, Gartner’s managing VP and risk practice leader, says, “Previous hiring strategies for coping with talent disruptions are insufficient in this environment, and risk managers have a key role to play in collaborating with HR in developing new approaches.” Instead, consider the following tactics.


Work with the workers you’ve got. Groom them for tomorrow’s roles by providing training and development opportunities. “Constant learning – driven by both workers and organizations – will be central to the future of work, extending far beyond the traditional definition of learning and development,” says Jean-Marc Laouchez, president of the Korn Ferry Institute.

Hire for Soft Skills

Another, related tactic is hiring people who demonstrate the willingness and capacity to learn quickly. This gives employers more flexibility with hires; they may not possess needed skillsets at the time of hire but can rapidly acquire them through training and development.

Hire Contractors

In a competitive environment, some workers will simply opt to work for themselves as consultants or freelancers. Other firms will make it their business to provide specialized, skilled labor upon demand. Outsourcing is already a major staffing solution for many organizations, and it will likely continue to rise in prominence as a solution to staffing shortages.

Bolster Compensation and Benefits

To compete against other employers, you might opt to pay higher salaries and offer more expansive (and expensive) benefits. It can also mean offering creative perks, like flexible hours or remote working options, on-site workplace amenities, and more.

Entice Retirement-Age Workers to Keep Working Longer

Auto manufacturer BMW began offering amenities that would appeal to older workers as part of a “Today for Tomorrow” initiative. For example, they took steps like installing floors that are easier on joints and even providing orthopedic shoes to workers.

CoAdvantage, one of the nation’s largest Professional Employer Organizations (PEOs), helps small to mid-sized companies with HR administration, benefits, payroll, and compliance. To learn more about our ability to create a strategic HR function in your business that drives business growth potential, contact us today.