While no one can predict precisely when the economy will fully recover from recession, a number of changes to the employment landscape may be responsible for already altering the way in which hiring is handled.
Take, for instance, the number of baby boomers that plan to retire in the coming years. As highly skilled and professional boomers leave the workforce, they create numerous vacancies. However, only a small number of skilled replacements are available in the workforce creating a gap in talent and a higher demand for quality workers. According to Staffing Industry Analysts, these trends are converging to create a talent gap, characterized in part by unfilled demand for quality workers.
This so-called talent gap is driving demand and shortening job search cycles for many positions, making it more difficult to secure the best candidate. Therefore, potential workers are only on the market for a brief period of time narrowing the window of opportunity to secure the best talent.
The result – qualified candidates in high-demand skill sets now hold more power in terms of selecting the job of their choice.
This is just one of several challenges for today’s employers, who must address the talent gap and find candidates to replace those who plan to retire in the coming years.
Addressing the Talent Gap
To address this talent gap and ensure up-and-coming employees are prepared to take on the job of their more experienced counterparts, many employers are looking internally to develop the talent they’ll need to fill future vacancies.
“Internal development of employees looking for career advancement [is] the financially smart route, as they already have valuable organization specific experience,” said Katrina Volbrecht, BS, HCA, human resources generalist, Presence Health, the largest Catholic health system in Illinois.
To that end, a growing number of employers have launched mentorship programs wherein the new generation can learn from their predecessors.
A key to easing the transition is ensuring that the next generation is properly trained through continuing education and employee development programs. In fact, many companies are providing tuition reimbursement for these programs to ensure that any skill gaps are addressed before they move into the position on a full-time basis.
Finally, employers must ensure that this current generation feels welcome and rewarded in the workplace.
“The millennials are a service-oriented generation, so if they feel that they belong and are working for a socially responsible company who rewards them for their work, they have a better chance of staying with the company longer,” said Margaret Judge, state director for the Connecticut SHRM HR Council, an affiliate organization of the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM), the world's leading association of Human Resource professionals.
Trends in the Hiring Process
In addition to these trends in the onboarding process, a number of trends have also emerged in the hiring process, including the use of social media as a hiring tool.
“I have seen a lot of usage of social media as a recruiting tool,” said Judge. “Using these tools helps employers find candidates that would otherwise not be found, while the low cost also makes them attractive to use.”
Sites such as LinkedIn have become extremely valuable for both the job seeker and those looking to fill positions, as these social media platforms allow both employers and job seekers to market themselves and connect with others in the field. Further, they provide a streamlined platform to post job openings and search for candidates with the required skill sets.
Competition among candidates has also increased as organizations have become very cautious not only about how many people they hire, but also about which people they hire.
“The competition for talent is on,” said Judge. “Candidates must stay on top of their game and be prepared for change. Further, they must keep their skills sharp or develop new skills. Five years from the recession, we are still a long way from pre-recession levels and the pace of job creation will be limited primarily by the uncertainty about whether there will be a sustained and increased demand for the goods and services that new hires will produce.”
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