Where Is All the Talent Hiding? How to Navigate the Talent Shortage

No, it’s not just you. Hiring managers and recruiters from all industries are feeling the strain of a tight labor market. Talent searches in today’s hiring climate are taking longer to fill and are featuring far more shallow talent pools than companies have grown accustomed to.

How did we get here? Where is all the talent hiding?  Let’s take a look at why the labor market is in its current state as well as how recruiters and hiring managers can navigate the talent shortage.

Low Unemployment

The most obvious, and possibly biggest, reason for the current talent shortage is the historically low unemployment rate. While it’s heartening to see the number so low, it presents a challenge for Talent Shortagecompanies attracting qualified applicants. It’s far easier to recruit an unemployed candidate than an employed one, and with fewer people out of work, the number of organic applicants is naturally going to dip.

Hand in hand with the low unemployment rate is the growing number of jobs in the economy, which is causing economists to forecast the unemployment rate to fall even lower.

To combat the shrunken talent pools brought upon by low unemployment, hiring managers and recruiters need to broaden their search criteria. If you’re hiring for a position that usually requires ten years of experience, you’re going to want to encourage candidates with seven years to apply.


Passive Candidates

A passive candidate is one who is employed and not actively looking for a job. With so many people possessing gainful employment, there are more passive candidates in the market than usual. A recent study found that 73 percent of the workforce is passive.

Recruiting a passive candidate represents a greater challenge than targeting an active one, but passive candidates do offer a ton of promise. Why? Here are three reasons.

  1. They’re highly qualified.
  2. Since passive candidates are not actively searching for work, chances are your company will be the only one they are interviewing with.
  3. Passive candidates are going to be more loyal to your company as they’re demonstrating loyalty to their current employer by not actively pursuing other opportunities.


The Rise of Company Culture and Brand

Another reason you might be low on applications might be due to your employment brand and reputation. The internet has enabled employees to share their experiences and amplify their message. Ten years ago, if an employee had a negative experience working for your company, the only damage they could do to your employment brand was through the number of people they told. Now, with sites like Glassdoor publishing employee experiences for the world to see, a negative employee experience can be seen by anyone who is considering applying to your company.Where Is All the Talent Hiding?

The expectations for employee experience are also higher than they use to be. The rise of start-ups and forward-thinking brands has brought great awareness to what kind of culture and benefits a company can provide to their employees. In a labor market where candidates have been introduced to employee-centric workplaces and competitive benefits, the job alone will no longer attract candidates.

Today’s talent is motivated by office perks, diversity and inclusion, a strong passionate mission statement, and work-life balance. Available talent will be chomping at the bit to join your team if your culture and brand are vibrant.


Skills Gap & Insufficient Training

One of the most common complaints we hear from hiring managers and recruiters is that there is not enough qualified talent in the market. More specifically, that candidates lack the skills required to perform the roles they’re applying for.

Why do candidates lack skills? Many employers like to lay the blame at the feet of education. A recent Gallup report found that only 33% of business leaders believe that education institutions are graduating students with the skills and competencies that their businesses need. But part of the skills gap issue is a training deficit. Companies don’t invest in training and development like they use to. Company sponsored management training programs for recent grads have all but disappeared.

To combat the hiring challenges caused by the skills gap, companies will need to invest in training their employees. If you can’t find the talent with the skills your business needs, find candidates with potential and help them develop the skills.


Learn how MJS Executive Search can assist you in finding the candidate you’re looking for during the talent shortage.


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