5 ways to tackle the skilled labor shortage

By Daniel Brown

Starting your own business has never been easier, which has resulted in the increase in job openings, eventually leading to the fact that talented workers have become pretty hard to find. The fact that you’re running a small business won’t make you immune to this skilled labor shortage. Small businesses also grow, and you’ll want to hire more people pretty soon if you’re not struggling to do that already.

In today’s labor market people who want jobs usually already have them. The job seekers have found themselves in the sea of numerous opportunities, and they’re using this advantage to its maximum. Besides the fact they don’t need to fight for the higher pay, most of them can earn even more when switching to different jobs since hiring has become a fierce competition. This doesn’t only create the burden of a higher labor cost, but many businesses are unable to find enough talent so they can raise production to meet growing demand.

This talent shortage is a global phenomenon and you need to be prepared to face the potential problems posed by it. Finding and retaining good employees will require some creativity, so here are tips to help you achieve this.

[amazon_link asins=’B01MT61YB9′ template=’ProductAd’ store=’succeedingi0d-20′ marketplace=’US’ link_id=’8b63b1c8-dd0d-11e8-9549-679b05eacb45′]Offer excitement

Naturally, the first thing you need to tackle is your recruitment process. Your job opening needs far more than simple and straight facts – it needs to offer as much excitement as you can muster. So the first thing to look at is your job descriptions, and you need to make sure they’re able to attract top talents. When we say ‛attract’ we mean candidates need to be blown away by your job postings. Keep in mind that this doesn’t mean you should offer false impressions or information – the point is how you shape the facts, and the most important thing is to display some personality and character right at the beginning. So the first step is to have a great story prepared for what they’ll be doing and why, and the second is to bring that story to life with a large amount of enthusiasm.

The external approach

The talent shortage has made it very challenging to find workers with the necessary experience and skills, so the essential process of building a strong talent pipeline requires a different approach – an external one. This situation requires the formation of partnerships with external organizations that closely work with the professionals you’re looking for. One of the most efficient ways to strengthen your talent pipelines is to partner with educational institutions. If you offer to create relevant internships or simply to help with student training, you’ll be able to equip the graduates with the desired skill sets and make them interested in working for you. In today’s highly competitive environment these strategic partnerships have become not only invaluable but the means of survival.

[amazon_link asins=’B00HFV7ZAA’ template=’ProductAd’ store=’succeedingi0d-20′ marketplace=’US’ link_id=’92a1078f-dd0d-11e8-9fd5-f1cf9df78549′]Look further

You need to go beyond traditional recruiting methods by the expansion into alternative talent pools. You mustn’t be satisfied with under-qualified employees, so you need to be prepared to look for people with the right qualifications all over the world. Once you find them you need to make sure they’ll be able to stay, so having a trusted and efficient immigration lawyer in Sydney, London, Los Angeles – everywhere across the globe – has become mandatory. Also, don’t hesitate to hire via social media or candidate referrals. Don’t overlook people transitioning from the military, and don’t be afraid of targeting retirees, either. They might not be the perfect fit for the position in the beginning, but the right attitude combined with their experience will make them able to quickly pick up new skills.

Be flexible

Business owners are showing flexibility when it comes to salaries, but that is not enough to entice job applicants in today’s scarce market. The flexibility of your internal structure must focus on the work-life balance of your employees. The struggles to balance their job and family life are present in almost every individual, and this could be turned into a big recruitment advantage. That’s why you should always offer benefits such as paid family leave and telecommuting, but the most important flexibility is one of the workspace and working hours. Working in a fixed location from 9 to 5 is slowly and steadily becoming a thing of the past, and it would be smart to accept this shift to a mobile workforce if you’re planning to attract and retain employees.

[amazon_link asins=’B001EL6RWY’ template=’ProductAd’ store=’succeedingi0d-20′ marketplace=’US’ link_id=’9bb42d6c-dd0d-11e8-9e7c-61114373d78e’]Provide meaning

If your staff is overwhelmed with non-essential administrative tasks, they’ll quickly look for the opportunity elsewhere where they could perform some meaningful ones. Administrative tasks are important, but you can hire other people to do that work and let your skilled staff deal with tasks your business depends on. Sales is the best example as the area that is hardest to find qualified talent for. If you want your core sales staff to flourish, you need to bring in someone who’ll handle internal administrative work that supports salespeople but doesn’t actually involve sales. Besides the fact that you’ll let the seller focus on closing business and therefore provide a meaning for his/her position, less essential duties can serve as a training program for additional people you’ve hired to perform them, preparing them to move into more skilled positions in due time.

The very fact that small businesses are flourishing shows that we’re quite adaptable beings, perfectly capable of survival in this cruel business world. The hiring process is not an exception and this skilled labor shortage can be overcome with some smartly crafted words, effective partnerships, worldwide approach, reasonable flexibility, and the nurture of meaning.


Daniel Brown is a law graduate and a passionate blogger from Sydney. His areas of interest are alternative dispute resolution and its applicability in different fields of law, IP law and resolution of disputes arising from intellectual property infringement and commerce law.



Leave a Reply

The Self-Employment Survival Guide can help you succeed. Learn all about it here.

Self-Employment Survival Guide book cover