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How to get ahead when there’s a skilled worker shortage

Approximately 1 out of 3 employers say that they cannot find skilled workers. There are multiple reasons – lack of the right training in schools, a competitive hiring environment (unemployment is only 2.9% among members of the workforce with Bachelor degrees). So if people are a competitive advantage, what can organizations do to attract and retain the best employees?

Talent development and training will go a long way to ensure your existing employees have the right skills. In the Wall Street Journal article “Why Companies Aren’t Getting the Employees They Need,” Peter Capelli writes that “employers are quick to lay blame. Schools aren’t giving the right kind of training…. The list goes on and on. But I believe the real culprits are the employers.” He believes that companies are not providing adequate training for their employees and that they are not doing enough promoting within their own company. While it’s still important to encourage schools to offer appropriate curriculums and for business institutions to partner with educational ones, companies also need to take on more responsibility for training on skills relevant to their business lines.

Leadership and management skills are also important for organizations in the current environment. Poor managers lead to unnecessary (and expensive) voluntary turnover and low performance levels, so attention must be paid to the leadership skills of all levels of the organization. Leadership Development training or coaching can assist with management and leadership issues in organizations, so the talent within your organization is appropriately leveraged, has higher performance and is more likely to stick around.

Unemployment rates are low, so employers need to become especially creative to acquire and keep the top talent to meet their business needs, regardless of level of role.   The cost of making the wrong hire is high, and no one wants to waste money.  Some estimates put the cost of a bad hire at 100 – 150% of the salary.  Retaining the people you hire is vital, and assessments can help you do that, plus hire the right people in the first place.

The Predictive Index® is a reliable indicator of workplace behavior that can simplify your hiring process and make it much easier to find an employee who is the right fit for a specific position. By allowing you to pinpoint candidates who express the ideal behaviors for a specific job, the PI® reduces the risk of hiring someone who is not likely to succeed in that job.  The Predictive Index also provides insights into what competencies you could develop within employees, motivating them to perform better and increasing their engagement, leading to improved retention. It will also allow you to promote from within and leverage employees’ skills better, saving on recruitment expenses as organizations can look within for candidates.

By utilizing talent development and acquisition solutions and taking control of training (leadership and skills) and leveraging objective assessment tools such as the PI throughout the employee lifecycle,  organizations can rise above the challenges of hiring from a limited candidate pool.

Post by Jeanne Ward.



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