According to the Bureau of Labor and Statistics, 7.9% of the American workforce is unemployed; meaning over 12 ¼ million workers are looking for work, with more and more inexperienced young people swelling their ranks every spring. At the same time, the baby boomer generation, long the backbone of the American workforce, is retiring in record numbers. So while the pool of available workers is growing, it offers an increasingly shallow depth of experience and quality.
But while you’re probably unlikely to go out and simply hire a bunch of qualified, experienced candidates without paying through the nose, a little outside-the-box thinking can cover a lot of shortcomings in the market.
You don’t have to lose your most experienced workers the moment they hit 65. More and more older Americans are delaying retirement or coming out of it having previously retired. Some, used to working all day, don’t know what to do with themselves once they don’t have that time filled up. Others like the feeling of accomplishment that comes with a challenging job.
Work out deals, possibly offering flexible schedules, to keep your older employees around longer so they can pass their invaluable experience onto a younger generation. The offer of health insurance can be a big draw in this instance – after all, old age isn’t cheap.
Sometimes, you just have to “make do” with what’s available. Many businesses employ aggressive retention strategies to help nurture employee relationships and ensure they are happy in their positions.
Often times a solution to talent gaps is cross training employees. A policy of limited job rotation, where every employee is expected to learn and be familiar with the tasks performed by their colleagues, not only fosters better understanding of how your business works, but makes your workforce more adaptable and fluid.
It’s never too early to start looking for top talent. By getting involved with your local school system, you can steer promising students towards your industry by making them aware of good jobs, or help promote curriculum that emphasizes your company’s needs and improves students’ job skills.
By getting more out of your oldest workers and adequately preparing newer ones, you can overcome demographic shifts and make up for gaps in the labor market. To find out how we can help you bridge the talent gap, get in touch with us today.