Research Spotlight: SHRM The New Talent Landscape, Recruiting Difficulties and Skills Shortages

The Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) was interested in learning more about why recruiters are challenged with keeping the best talent.  SHRM narrowed down some of the research questions and objectives SHRM developed include the following:

  • How challenging is the current recruiting environment?
  • What factors are causing this difficulty?
  • What are the most common strategies organizations are using to deal with recruiting challenges?
  • What roles do the changing nature of work and the need for new skills play in creating current skills shortages?
  • Are training budgets and strategies changing to meet the challenges of recruiting difficulty and skills shortages?

SHRM reached out to HR professionals of varying industries to participate in a survey to solve this mystery.  The questions related to several aspects of recruiting, all of which revolved around the research objectives above.  Some of the questions were open-ended, others were more straightforward.  The highlight finding from the 3,000 respondents is that recruiters today are experiencing a great challenge to find adequate talent as compared to surveyed recruiting professionals in 2013 (SHRM, 2016).  Digging further, SHRM was able to find patterns of the reasons why recruiters were experiencing the challenge.

According to the findings, there are several obstacles that 68% of HR professionals are experiencing with the applicants in their recruiting process:

-low numbers of applicants

-missing required work experience

-lack of required skills (basic, applied, technical)

-competition from other companies

-overall lack of qualified applicants

SHRM was able to find that the most effective way to fill open requisitions is to train existing employees for those positions.  However, one of the most interesting findings is that nearly a third of HR professionals report that they work without a training budget.  A possibility for companies to overcome some of these obstacles is to invest in training instead of utilizing social media to reach out to new prospects.  Inside hiring would save the company money on some of the costs associated with new hires, such as training and interviews.  Current employees already know the culture, and would have an easier time adjusting to a new position.  The onboarding process would take much less effort.

SHRM proposed several additional solutions for the recruiting challenges.   It may be finding room in the budget for training, higher employee compensation, or different recruiting practices.  Recruiters may also need to spend more time really looking at what skill sets are necessary for a successful hire.  The school system is also affecting the recruiting industry; students aren’t as qualified.  The school system needs to be able to send out graduates that are more qualified.  The results of the study realized that the most common lack of skills included those of speaking and writing in English, as well as computer skills.  Both HR professionals and the school system may need to work together to determine ways to bridge this gap.  They need to determine how to ensure that basic skill sets are met, and that the students can truly be ready for entry level positions in the workforce.

HR professionals need to utilize the data in this study, as well as data from their own organization to help determine what their specific firm needs. Using a process that includes research, data collection, and analysis yields an incredible amount of information that can be utilized in so many ways.

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