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Talent Acquisition Crisis: Bridging the Talent Gap

Talent Acquisition Crisis: Bridging the Talent Gap

By: Recruiter Training Corner

With unemployment still looming large and the recovery slowing down, news headlines continue to report that there are “no jobs out there.” But unemployment is only part of the issue – another crisis lies in talent acquisition and the talent gap. 

According to the recent findings of the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD) Resourcing and Talent Planning Survey, “73% of organizations have noticed a marked increase in the number of unsuitable candidates applying for job vacancies.” In that same survey, more than half of employers (52%) believe that competition for talent is becoming more and more competitive, compared with 20% in 2009.  

This talent gap is an increasingly important issue for organizations to tackle. The four strategies below will help you tackle talent acquisition challenges and address succession planning.

Persuade Retirees with Flexible Work Arrangements. It’s estimated that by 2014, more than 44 million Americans will be 65 or older. That makes it imperative to have a knowledge transfer strategy in placewhen seasoned employees leave.

Many organizations are also implementing strategies to persuade their Baby Boomer employees to stay on longer. Offering workplace flexibility, post-retirement health insurance, or contractual hiring arrangements are a few of the creative ways to entice the older workforce to remain longer.  

Remember: Baby Boomers are open to redefining retirement due to uncertain financial times, longer life expectancy and a genuine willingness to remain in the workforce and contribute. Make sure that your workplace is prepared to meet the needs of older workers with acquired disabilities.

Proactive Retraining and Education Strategy. Today’s best companies emphasize on-demand, constant and informational learning to improve their employees’ expertise and level of engagement. 
Workplace learning must be built around the skills you have, the skills you are missing and the skills you believe you will need in the future. Your company’s success will be measured by how well you train employees to fill these skill shortages.   

Your development tools should go deep, in order to reach the highest number of people. Tools such as E-Learning, communities of practice, mentoring programs, face-to-face trainings, electronic performance support systems (EPSS), job aids and education incentives should all be utilized. 

Train your Business Leaders to be Talent Managers. Business leaders have always been involved in basic talent management. But in today’s highly competitive talent environment, they must go beyond that. 

Organizations must invest in their managers so that they are able to proactively fill the critical needs that you have today and anticipate future needs. They must also be given the tools to be able to identify and address the development of skill gaps through targeted training.  

A tangible way to train business leaders to be talent managers involves their studying the skills of high-performing employees and including those very targeted competencies to better refine the job description.  

Get Involved with Local Schools. One of the most effective ways to tap young talentis in your local schools. Encourage your company’s thought leaders to be a guest speaker or teacher; they can also join a local school board to influence the school’s curriculum and talent pipeline.

As the demographics and skills of the workforce shift, organizations that want to thrive will want to implement a multi-faceted talent management strategy to build a competitive workforce. By proactively trying to nurture and influence existing employees as well as future employees, organizations will put themselves at an advantage to prosper, even in difficult times.