In recent times, post-pandemic and potentially on the verge of a global economic crisis, we’ve become all too aware of the skills shortage that has developed into an issue in almost every sector of industry. Whether you’re looking for nurses, teachers, social workers, train drivers, estate agents, data analysts or just about anyone else, there’s a very real chance that your search will be long, frustrating and potentially unproductive.
For many years, too many years to even remember, companies seeking talented individuals had it all somewhat easy. They posted a vacancy in the media, originally print but now of course digital, then sat back and waited for the candidates to start banging on the door. They sifted through the applications, selected the most suitable then began the interview process. After that, they thought about all the excellent applicants they’d spoken to and then they made their choice, knowing that this man or woman would be the best of the best. No doubt, no problem and almost no effort. That’s all changed now.
The age old principles of supply and demand are in operation in the job market, too, making things even more difficult for employers. With candidates ready and willing to shop around for just the right role, companies are having to offer higher wages, better working conditions and increased incentives to even get candidates to show an interest. For the foreseeable future, at least, the tables have been well and truly turned.
There are several good recruitment tips, and some awful ones, to be found on the web these days, but first and foremost many organisations are missing out on what should be an obvious step. Instead of working ever harder to recruit, some would be better off channelling those efforts on retention. In short, they should do all they can to keep the talent they have, long before they feel the need to find it from elsewhere.
There isn’t a conveyor belt of candidates to choose from anymore
If you employ a handful of high level engineers, for example, you could afford in the past to let one or more of them go. You knew that, like London buses, another one would be along in a few minutes. Now, the scenario seems more like a high street with bumper to bumper congestion. And the traffic lights are broken. And there’s a bus strike on. That number 49 you’ve been waiting for, from Shepherds Bush to Clapham Junction via Battersea Bridge, isn’t coming at all today.
If your attempts at retention fail to work, if the engineer is determined to seek pastures new, then recruitment could be your only option. There are some steps you could take to lessen the load, and in the process to open up your chances of a successful hire. One of these is to retain a bank of potential employees, keeping their details on file for a time when you need them. Accessing this database and communicating with the most viable candidates could save you a great deal of time.
And when you’re recruiting from the general population, be ready to think about more than the overall salary that you’re prepared to pay. Some employee benefits may be so attractive that it’s impossible to put a price on them. If your ideal applicants seek more opportunities to work from home, for example, and you’re in a position to offer exactly that, this could be a match made in heaven. Better healthcare benefits, a defined career path, retirement savings plans and improved wellbeing and mental health services can all make a huge difference to candidates. Sometimes more so than the actual salary.
Here at Rose Media Group, our founder Aneela Rose has always kept a close eye on the job market, both in PR and every other sector. Attracting the most talented individuals is important – that’s how she found me, obviously – but retaining that talent is more important now than it’s ever been. This is surely the time to start thinking way, way outside the box.
Rose Media Group is based in West Sussex and we specialise in B2B PR for a wide range of industry sectors, including aviation, sustainability, automotive and construction. Call 01444 241 341 to find out what we can do for your business.