How to Attract & Recruit Employees in Times of Labour & Skill Shortages

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Would you like tips you to attract candidates to your company during time of labour and skills shortage?  Especially when there is a decreased employee tolerance for low wages, long hours, and poor benefits.

It is no longer an efficient way to post job listings on your website and other job sites then wait for applications to arrive – not when talent is becoming scarce and much more selective.

As an employer recruiting, you must take an active role in finding the right candidate.  Your focus should be on your applicants’ needs and market trends in order to attract them.

Listed below are a few pointers to help you to find the talent you require:

  1. Provide competitive salaries and benefits

Reviewing salaries goes without saying as industry sectors and regions experience labour and skills shortages, as well as considering benefits that will attract employees.  Make sure you keep track of how your pay rates compare with those of your competitors.  The same can be said for the benefits and asking your employees for suggestions is key, which might include simple ideas such as birthday leave.

  1. Hiring process and onboarding

Besides the benefits, make sure you can effectively explain why someone would want to work at your company.  Ensure the hiring process goes smoothly, is organised and without stress.  Make sure you ask the right questions to bring out the applicants’ strengths and demonstrate your company’s personal touch.  This is your chance to show key points of difference as an employer and highlight why a potential employee would want to work with you.  Realistic job previews, shared and individualised learning plans, formal and informal activities that help people get to know one another, and the assignment of more-seasoned employees as role models for new hires should be used to support onboarding.

  1. Maintain a strong online presence

Social media shouldn’t be overlooked as it is not only a way to reach out, but recruits will look to your social media presence – both positive and negative – gaining insight into your culture and involvement in the community.  A prospective employee will look at a range of channels before deciding on where to work.

  1. Retention of employees

A comprehensive retention strategy will help your company to attract top talent, keep valuable employees, reduce turnover, and lower your costs.  Ultimately, these tactics also contribute to a company’s overall performance and growth.  It is imperative to hire both internal and external staff – developing talent within your company is essential.  Fostering career advancement is a powerful way to demonstrate open-mindedness and inspire motivation.  Investing in your current employees, who practice your core values and honour your corporate culture, shows your confidence in them.  Stay interviews, having a management team that is educated about employee motivation, retention strategies, benchmarking and best practices is critical to the success of your workforce strategies.  Frequent feedback and communication are key.

5. Talent management

Addressing issues of overwork, long hours and burn out, mental health, depression and stress from a HR perspective plus providing reward and recognition opportunities.  Developing new strategies for hiring candidates during labour shortages is an opportunity to demonstrate innovative approaches with advanced hiring tactics that improve the candidate experience, allowing you to locate top talent that would otherwise go undiscovered.

6. Attraction and amenities

Building out talent pools, filled with pre-qualified, potential employees that could come from ex-contractors, alumni, and those referred by employee networks.  Consider your location and cost of living, traffic and transport, housing for purchase and rental, worker relocation incentives with networking opportunities and support to locate housing plus bundles of amenities.  This could include options of renovated old buildings, coffee shops and good restaurants, music venues, and not least of all, more affordable homes—that can compete with the biggest cities and towns.  Implement referral programs to gain quality referrals, attraction incentives such as productivity bonuses, paid time off, tickets, team building trips, healthcare and mini breaks.

7. Growth and development

Education and training, entrepreneurship and intrapreneurship, employee-recognition events and enjoyable group activities, apprenticeships, traineeships, internships, conferences and memberships, with individualised learning plans are needed to support personal growth and well defined career promotion paths.

8. Employee engagement

It is imperative that you let potential and new recruits know about your company’s culture.  Throughout the hiring process, including understanding the job description and the interview, talk about and demonstrate your company’s culture through your actions.  It would be even more helpful if you encourage your existing employees to express their connection to their job and colleagues.  Demonstrating how well you treat your employees, and the culture of your company will attract quality candidates.  Listening to employee preferences and suggestions including flexible working arrangements and working remotely with good internet connection and utilising local coworking spaces.

9. Social inclusion and diversity

Tapping into new, diverse workforces, considering the need for a contingent workforce, offering flexibility and working from home options, seeking out highly skilled talent migration, with childcare options and school holiday programs.

All of these workforce development strategies should be captured in a strategic workforce plan that marries demand and supply, current profile with the future workforce picture.  If you would like to discuss how to put together a workforce plan for your company or organisation, please email wendy@workforceblueprint.com.au, thank you.

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