Talent Acquisition and Retention during a skills shortage

Companies across the world are struggling with a shortage of talent that has been driven by a number of factors such as the Covid -19 pandemic that changed employee needs, adoption of technology like automation and Artificial Intelligence faster than employees can learn the required skills, business landscape changes, inability of organizations to effectively train job seekers and employees.

According to research done by McKinsey, based on the changing business landscape the traditional workforce is shifting and by 2030 there could be a 20% increased demand for managers, technology specialists with a decrease in the manual jobs. The McKinsey report also states that about 67% of the workforce could lack basic digital skills, leadership, communication and decision making by 2030.

Suffice to say while businesses face a shortage of skilled workers, countries across Africa and the globe are facing high numbers of unemployment. A Talent Shortage Survey by the ManpowerGroup found that 69% of companies across the globe have reported a talent shortage.

Companies therefore need to take a different approach to not only create opportunities for present and future talent requirements but also prepare for the changes in the business landscape that will definitely happen.

What can organizations do?

  • Developing a sustainable Graduate Trainee Program

A graduate program is a structured training program run by an employer aimed at developing future leaders of their organization. The programs typically last one and two years or longer in some cases and are available in a number of specialisms e.g. Finance, Risk Management, ICT, Analytics, HR, End to End Supply Chain, Marketing and law.

The program focuses on time specific placements in the different departments of the organization giving the trainee a 360 – degree perspective of not only the organization but different specialties. Graduate Programs support succession planning, improve productivity as they are agile and adopt easily to a changing environment but more importantly by providing clear career paths, retention is improved in companies.

Given that a culture of continuous learning and training will be central to the future of work, organizations that implement and investing in training the talent themselves will easily respond to the changing business landscape.

  • Developing the internal talent

With the ever-changing technology landscape, reskilling and upskilling is becoming a key capability for both organizations and individuals.

A report by McKinsey found that over 50% of C- Suite employees believe that development of existing employees is the most useful way to address organizational skills gaps. Helping the employees to build competence, upskill and grow within the organization creates the agility needed to succeed in the unpredictable environment in which businesses operate. Internal career growth also supports attraction and retention of top talent.

  • Building a Strong Employer Brand

Most company organizations as part of their strategy would want to be known as the Employer of Choice. To be able to have the competitive advantage in the market internally and externally Employer branding is key.

Employer Branding helps in two ways -One to attract top talent and two retention of the existing employees as employees would want to work in a healthy environment that places value on the most critical asset- the Human Capital.

  • Creating a culture focused on the employee experience

From the time an employee applies for a job to the time he or she resigns, the employee will have had many moments that shape the employee experience. Employee experience entails all of the touchpoints people come across when they work for an organization e.g. hiring, onboarding, performance management, and day-to-day relation with co -workers. These touch points shape how employees collaborate, their performance on the job and whether or not they will challenge themselves to succeed in the workplace.

A company that offers an excellent experience for its teams, has a higher chance of retaining them in the long run. Research from Jacob Morgan suggests that companies that invest in employee experience are 4x more profitable than those that do not.

  • Designing competitive benefits and compensation schemes

One important way to attract and retain top talent is to provide a competitive compensation and benefits package or the employee value proposition. The benefits package offered by a potential employer is an important factor in whether or not a job offer will be accepted.

According to Paycor’s survey, 70% of organizations are currently offering increased compensation, while 53% offer health and wellness benefits to attract talent.

When companies strengthen the compensation package, they are able to attract a better pool of skilled talent and also retain existing employees.

Employers today need to prepare for the workplace of the future through adaption to meet the needs of the future employee, up skill as well as offer attractive compensation and benefits packages. Change is a constant and every workplace will need to adapt in line with the needs of the business landscape. Companies that are agile and quick to respond will have an advantage in preparing for the workplace of tomorrow and winning the war on talent.

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