Magazine article HRMagazine

Wanted: Qualified Workers

Magazine article HRMagazine

Wanted: Qualified Workers

Article excerpt

It's not easy finding good employees these days. In fact, companies are facing the most challenging market for talent in years, according to a new Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) survey report being released this month at the SHRM 2016 Annual Conference & Exposition in Washington, D.C.

The two industries reporting the highest levels of recruiting difficulty were health/social assistance and manufacturing, but HR professionals across all fields are having more trouble finding skilled workers than they were just three years ago. In 2016, 68 percent have reported difficulty recruiting full-time staff. That's up significantly from 50 percent in 2013.

It's not surprising that capable employees are harder to find as the pace of hiring picks up and the unemployment rate drops. But would-be employees just don't appear to be the right fit for many of the open positions.

The top reasons HR professionals say they are having difficulty filling open jobs are:

* A low number of applicants.

* A lack of needed work experience.

* Competition from other employers.

* A dearth of technical skills.

* A shortage of qualified candidates in local markets.

Complicating the situation, hiring managers and organizational leaders often are not fully aware of just how difficult it is to fill vacancies. That means it is up to HR professionals to build a solid business case for larger talent acquisition budgets that can be used to invest in internal and external recruiters or, in some cases, higher pay to attract hard-to-find candidates.

Social media was the most common method the respondents reported using to meet recruiting challenges. However, the approach they considered to be most effective was the training of existing employees to take on hard-to-fill roles. To that end, HR practitioners also must make the case within their organizations about the importance of preparing workers to take on critical open roles. …

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