In 2016, “failure to attract and retain top talent” was the number one issue in the Conference Board’s 2016 survey of global CEOs. A recent McKinsey Global Institute Study suggests “that employers in Europe and North America will require 16 million to 18 million more college-educated workers in 2020 than are going to be available.” This means the hunt for acquiring and retaining talent will be heightened as time goes by.
In particular, the ever-growing technology industry has large demands for talent. A Gartner report entitled “Service Providers are Waging War against U.S. Talent Shortage with Unconventional Methods” says to expect 1.4 million computer specialist job openings by 2020. Projections show universities won’t produce enough graduates to fill 30% of these jobs. How can we meet the needs for talent in 2018 and beyond?
A Manufacturing Business Technology online article points to four economic trends that may impact this talent issue:
1. Global Growth – indication of steady growth.
2. Softening Dollar – U.S. exports are increasing as U.S. products become cheaper to foreign nations.
3. Increase in U.S. Spending – increase in spending and inventories after two years of flat sales.
4. Political Realities Settling – as we move into a new year and go into a second term with the current Presidency, the expected tax overhaul should fuel hiring in the near future.
With these factors stoking the war for talent, what are some proactive choices Human Resource departments can make or consider when attempting to attract and keep critical employees? Recruiting trends indicate that due to advancements in Virtual Private Network technology, or VPN, remote workforces are growing. This approach appeals to a workforce that values flexible work. Perhaps investigating how your organization can feature some form of flexible work scheduling could be helpful in retaining talent. In addition, gamification technology could be used not only to engage current employees, but also to screen candidates for openings. Investing in such technology will appeal to the tech-savvy generations in the workforce.
Investing in on-the job training programs also can be helpful. As Mike Starich explains in a manufacturing Business Technology online article,
During the Great Recession, companies had to dramatically cut training costs — if no one is hiring, there is no need for training. Today, the pressure to hire is on and companies that are proactive on improving their approach to hiring and training will be ahead of the market. Embrace on-the-job training and develop internal training and certification programs to build your pool of skilled talent. Typically, Hiring Managers are more open-minded on job descriptions than HR and TA [Talent Acquisition] presume because they know that they can train people with right basic profiles and positive attitudes.
An ADP-powered blog supports this thought by pointing out that the lack of advancement opportunities is the second most popular reason why employees leave an organization. To combat this, offering learning management systems, training opportunities, and / or certification programs can give employees avenues to learn more and further develop without leaving their current employers.
What tools does your organization use to attract talent? Has your organization made adjustments to HR programs in order to more successfully attract and retain talent? We encourage you to share your thoughts in the comment section below!