The numbers don’t lie. There are 2 job openings for every unemployed person in the US and that has been true for a few years now. Where have all the workers gone? Population growth is down, immigration is limited, labor force participation rates are approaching levels not seen since the early 1970s. Workers are opting not to work or to work reduced hours. Baby Boomer wealth is getting passed down to younger generations and they have choices. Even small impact situations, like the opioid epidemic, are taking millions of available worker roles as addicts and the loved ones that care for them are out of circulation. There is no real end in sight to this demographic drought.
As recruiters, part of what you do is inform and coach the great clients you have. We all know some are less responsive than others, but if you are truly fulfilling on a consultative approach to selling and servicing your clients, then you must try to keep them informed and prepared for the realities they face in the employment marketplace. This demographic drought is real and they need to get active to avoid negative impact.
Here are a few things to coach and educate your clients:
- Retain the talent in place now:
- Look for ways to minimize retirements.
- Keep staff happy and satisfied.
- Review comp for competitiveness.
- Evaluate your time off or PTO offering vs. industry standards.
- Offer bonuses and time off when possible.
- Offer flexible scheduling.
- Allow for remote work if desirable.
- Offer training.
- Look at perks that will benefit you and the employee like educational benefits.
- Recruit beyond traditional demographics:
- Older workers—even consider offers to retired team members to come back part-time.
- Train people to do the work needed. Do not require skill as a limitation if it can be trained.
- Look to underrepresented demographics, young to old, any race or ethnicity, consider physically and mentally challenged, and others with limitations that might have been excluded in prior searches.
- Consider removing degree requirements if they are not absolutely a requirement. In many cases training and on-the-job educational opportunities can get the employer and employee to the same place as a degree required up front.
Filling open jobs will be continually more challenging as we move into the future. There are no speedy solutions to the existing demographic drought. Help your clients prepare.