Why Hiring has Become Difficult: Workforce Challenges
By Varun Bodhi
As the process of recruiting employees becomes more difficult, it’s important for companies to understand why this is happening. There are a number of factors that are contributing to this problem, including the current job market, the way companies are structured, and the way employees are treated. Let’s take a closer look at each of these factors.
The job market is changing
The current job market is one of the biggest factors contributing to the difficulty in recruiting employees. In the past, companies could post a job opening and receive hundreds of applications from qualified candidates.
However, that’s no longer the case. The number of people who are unemployed or underemployed has declined significantly, which means there are fewer people looking for jobs. Additionally, many of the jobs that are available are not in the traditional workforce. For example, the gig economy has become increasingly popular, with people working as independent contractors or freelancers. This can make it difficult for companies to find qualified candidates for open positions.
Several years ago the complication was not enough jobs, however things have now flipped and there are many jobs but not enough people to fill them. This hiring difficulty has also arisen due to skill shortages, where many recruiting managers are struggling to find the suitable candidates.
The Workforce Challenge
According to research from AI Group, businesses of all sizes are experiencing difficulty in finding the right staff for open positions.
Within one year, the difficulty large businesses experienced went from 43% to 66%, and medium businesses jumped from 45% to 62%. Many industries are facing hiring difficulties like never before and are encountering new levels of skill shortages.
The research further outlined other significant factors which prevented the ability of businesses to find staff, such as:
Lack of applicants: 79%
Lack of skills and experience of applicants: 59%
Pay conditions: 26%
Job location: 24%
Uncertainty on the economy: 24%
All of these factors have become progressively worse when compared to the prior corresponding period, with no signs of slowing down. Another workforce challenge is the geographic distribution of talents. With hybrid and remote work becoming common place globally, companies conduct interviews and hire talent over video calls which has presented a new form of difficulty when gauging work skills.
Employees are looking for better work-life balance
In the past, employees were often willing to sacrifice their personal lives for their careers. They would work long hours and take on extra assignments, even if it meant missing out on time with family and friends
Now, however, employees are looking for a better work-life balance. They want to have time for their personal lives, and they’re not willing to sacrifice their health or wellbeing for their job. This is especially true of millennials, who are now the largest generation in the workforce and have recognised the important of wellbeing after enduring a pandemic.
Companies need to be flexible and offer employees the ability to work from home, have flexible hours, and take advantage of other benefits that will help them maintain a good work-life balance. If they don’t, they’ll find it difficult to attract and retain employees.
How Businesses Will Combat Hiring Difficulties
According to research, most Australian businesses have decided on three common paths to retain and hire new staff. Up to 30% of businesses will increase wages or salaries, 27% will increase staff numbers and 23% will retrain existing staff.
The top industries which planned on increasing salaries and retraining staff were administrative and support services. These services are usually high in demand and require highly trained individuals, which is often a cost most smaller or medium businesses can't afford.
For most businesses, while hiring a receptionist or secretary is desirable, it's often times not achievable due to costs. Now with staff retainment strategies involving higher salaries, this is where it becomes further difficult.
With costs expected to only increase for the rest of the year due to inflation, the demand for virtual support will grow. Virtual support services such as a virtual receptionist or secretary, can be an ideal way to maintain valuable assets without needing to train the staff and retain them at a much lower cost.
For example, the average cost of a receptionist per year is $36,750 and the average salary for a secretary ranges from $41,306-$60,000 in United States. Considering the current job market is creating difficulty in finding skilled individuals and retaining staff, this is an additional cost which is difficult to measure - it also impacts time and productivity.
Whereas a Servcorp Virtual Receptionist for as little as $139 per month can answer your company's calls as you like. The receptionist are highly trained individuals, which fast tracks the difficulties of sourcing skilled employees which businesses are currently facing, while also saving at least $55,332.
Stand Out as a Company
It’s important for companies to stand out if they want to attract and retain employees. Employees want to work for a company that is doing something different and is making a difference in the world.
Recruiters which effectively communicate the mission of the company, and what role the potential candidate plays will give them a sense of importance. It may be difficult to repeat the process when conducting several interviews, but this is an approach which will make a company stand out.
Outlook for the Future
According to the Harvard Business Review, most jobs still receive many applicants and approximately 2% of them receive an offer. The problem that occurs is when companies try to excessively funnel applicants into a role by marketing the role. This is a method which has been utilised to make the recruitment process faster and cheaper, but ends up taking more time when faced with an overwhelming amount of applicants which may or may not have the suitable skills.
Incorporating skills tests which cover the integral parts of the applicants' role are one way to fast-track bad hires, however tests which cover general skills are also essential. In the current job market, companies need to adjust their approach and place more emphasis on communicating why an employee should work with them.
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