HR Leads Business

Jan 23, 2019 | Ginny Engholm

The Talent Crunch Is Real: How to Find the Best Workers

The next decade will be critically important to companies trying to find talented workers. According to the report, “Future of Work: The Global Talent Crunch,” from organizational consulting firm Korn Ferry, the global talent shortage could reach 85.2 million people by 2030.

“The United States, currently the world’s leading technology market, can expect to lose out on $162.25 billion by 2030 due to sector skills shortages. These talent deficits may imperil America’s status as the global tech center,” the report says.

And employers are feeling the talent crunch even more when it comes to finding workers with the tech skills. “Every business, whether they're in health care, financial services or even retail are becoming technology businesses,” says Nicole Dorskind, managing director at ThirtyThree. “The world has changed so quickly in the past couple of years around tech. Everyone is vying for the same types of people with similar technology skills. It’s really created a tech talent crunch.” 

So how can employers attract that top talent with in-demand skills? Here’s what companies need to know to find the best workers. 

Build an Employer Brand Reputation

One way that employers can compete for top talent is by having a strong employer brand identity. “Every business has an employer brand, whether they've done work on it or not,” Dorskind says. “That reputation comes from how people are experiencing your organization. How are people talking about your business on social media, Glassdoor or even to their friends?” 

Creating a strong employer brand reputation starts with cultivating passion in your employees. “To attract top talent, you’ve got create a passion about your organization and its mission,” says Todd Davis, chief people officer at FranklinCovey. Current employees can then be ambassadors for your brand and help you attract talent, he says.

“Networking is the most effective recruiting tool to attract top talent,” Davis says. And if you’re searching for workers with in-demand skills, they are usually not out looking. They need to be recruited.

For younger workers, employer brand reputation can make or break a company’s recruitment strategy. “Millennials and Generation Z want to work for brands they understand and admire,” Dorskind says.

Think Beyond Pay and Benefits

Employers need to think beyond pay and benefits to find the best workers though. “Study after study has shown that people leave companies not because of money but because of leaders. They want more opportunities to grow and develop,” Davis says.  

Of course, that doesn’t mean that pay and benefits don’t matter at all. “Our research shows that base pay and core benefits like health care and retirement are still important. They’ve got to be part of the package,” says Barb Marder, senior partner at Mercer. “But it's rare that an organization's going to be able to really differentiate their package with retirement or health care,” she says.

Pay does have to be competitive for the market, Davis says. But employers have to offer a value proposition that goes beyond compensation. 

Opportunities for growth, flexible working arrangements and a strong corporate mission typically are more effective for recruiting the workers companies need. 

“Salary is important -- it's sort of table stakes. But for workers now more than ever, that's not their number one driver,” Dorskind says. “People want to make the world a better place and they want to work for organizations that are doing good.”

Seek Out Diverse Talent Pools

Many employers are solving the problem by seeking out more diverse talent pools. “Look in places where competitors aren't and use technology algorithms, artificial intelligence and predictive analytics to figure out who's likely to be successful in the role, even if they don't have the traditional success measures,” Marder says.

Marder says that companies are more willing to recruit from community colleges or smaller state institutions rather than just top universities and colleges. “With video interviewing and online recruiting, recruiters are more able to broaden their reach to new places that they never would have been able to in the past,” she points out.

Taking a proactive approach to recruiting diverse talent is key, Davis says. He suggests companies build relationships with colleges and universities that have diverse student populations. 

He also recommends that companies train HR leaders, hiring managers and staff on unconscious bias so they can more effectively recruit diverse talent. “It important to look at how diverse your leadership and teams are, not just in terms of gender and race, but in terms of background and perspectives,” he says. Having diversity in leadership makes recruiting top talent from diverse talent pools easier.

Finally, tapping into talent pools traditionally underrepresented in the workforce, such as veterans or individuals with disabilities, can allow employers to attract top talent in this competitive market.