Companies in the hospitality, food service, manufacturing and tech sectors are facing hiring challenges that threaten their return to pre-pandemic business levels. In some cases, these challenges are so extreme that they will cause smaller businesses to close and require others to raise prices.
I addressed the root causes for these challenges in a previous post, What’s Causing Today’s Acute Labor Supply Challenges. In this post, I’ll share insights on what companies are doing to jump-start their recruiting efforts for hard-to-fill positions.
ACT NOW: Regardless of what industry sector you’re in, it is vital that you begin actively planning for recruiting efforts now—even if you won’t actually be hiring until later in the year. The reason is that hiring challenges will only increase as the economy continues to improve. We are already seeing an increase in cycle times across all job families.
Forecast, Forecast and Re-Forecast: It is important to understand the geographic, demographic and labor trends that will influence your success in recruiting for hard-to-fill positions. Combine this with a detailed forecast of hiring needs throughout your organization over the next nine months.
Provide Incentives: Some companies are offering incentives of up to $50 just for applying for entry-level job roles. Others are raising entry-level wages, offering signing bonuses, paying employees daily (to keep them coming back) and paying bonuses at 30-, 60- or 90-days to improve retention. Move your incentives up in the employment cycle to gain traction on early retention.
Amp Up Marketing: Get senior leadership buy-in to increase your investment in sourcing, branding and recruitment marketing efforts. Make sure your value proposition addresses the health, safety and childcare concerns of people who have yet to re-enter the job market.
Invest in Upskilling and Alternative Labor Pools: In the manufacturing and tech sectors, companies are investing in upskilling programs that address critical skills shortages. In a PwC survey, 76% of CEOs said lack of key skills was one of their top three challenges, and 46% see upskilling as their favorite solution. Alternative labor pools can help supplement the active pools. Think about return-to-work programs for boomers, part-time arrangements for those with childcare needs, and reviewing how your background policies are reducing your labor pool instead of widening the pool.
In summary, we are in new territory with today’s hiring challenges. Whatever you did prior to the pandemic will likely not meet your needs in recruiting for hard-to-fill positions between now and the end of the year.