The number of job openings rose to 10.9 million in late 2021, and the number of hires declined to 6.3 million, according to the Bureau of Labor. So how do we find skilled workers in this battle for talent? A successful recruiting strategy starts with acknowledging that you won’t solve your current hiring challenges by applying the solutions of the past. This is the time to revisit underlying assumptions, stress-testing them one by one. Most companies compete for the same narrow set of candidates, but you can gain an edge by hunting for talent where others are not.
What are the less common sources of talent?
New college grads. Every year, scores of new college grads hit the streets eager to start meaningful work and find their career niche. They are often met with resistance from companies due to lack of experience. Historically, many businesses didn’t take a chance on new graduates, believing that their contributions would be minimal. These fledgling workers are open-minded, trainable, resilient and able to master the skills needed for the job. Employers can team with colleges and universities, go onsite to assess the talent pool and start internship/recruitment programs to get grads into the organization while they are still in college. It could pay dividends to the corporation’s talent pool, expertise and succession planning.
Older workers. AARP reports that workers age 50+ comprise a commanding 37.3% of the US essential workforce. Yet even with strong representation in corporate America, surveys show that three in five older employees have experienced age bias in the workplace. This group was also hit harder by Covid-related layoffs than their younger counterparts. Today’s older worker is an irreplaceable asset of industry knowledge, skills and qualifications. They have a command of workplace mechanics and have achieved numerous accomplishments through decades of shaping organizations. They already have a wealth of business acumen, so why not consider them to add value and improve results for the company? With thoughtful planning, we can hire and cultivate qualified employees regardless of age.
Candidates reentering the workforce. Many people choose an absence during their career for any number of reasons. Some leave the workforce to care for children or parents, or they pursue other interests in entrepreneurship. As priorities change and they reenter the labor market, they often are met by reluctant employers because of their gap in service. Fortunately, the vast majority of these workers can pick up the skills and know-how easily with a little training and education, and they typically provide a new perspective as they enter a company. In the past, gaps in résumés spelled doom for job seekers, but now many businesses are having success repatriating skilled labor back into the market.
Second chance hiring. It is estimated that 70 million people in the US have a criminal record. One in three people with a criminal history will struggle to obtain meaningful employment. In recent years, many corporations have changed their hiring practices to give nonviolent offenders a second chance. Building pathways for the formerly incarcerated helps not only those individuals, but also eases the organization’s workforce deficit. Most companies say that employees with nonviolent criminal records perform just as well. Second chance hiring can make a significant impact on workers, employers and the community by reducing unemployment and the rate of recidivism.
Advertise your brand. There is power in your company brand. Organizations need to be active in the local communities where they live and work – charities, professional associations, webinars and networking events are effective recruitment tools and provide visibility. People applying for jobs at your business should understand what your brand means. You can be sure that they’re doing their research on Glassdoor and other sites. What do the reviews say about your environment? Ensure that your brand and values stand out in a positive way.
Challenge conventional methods. Nearly 43% of organizations say the labor shortage is having a negative impact on their company’s operations. To avoid a catastrophic impact to revenue, businesses need to get resourceful in attracting talent. They must challenge their prior recruitment methods and consider candidate sources that are often overlooked.
What unlikely sources will you consider to find the right employees?