The record number of job vacancies across the country is no secret. The war on talent creates a difficult recruitment environment for organizations in all industries. This provoked a self-fulfilling prophecy, and in return a major challenge for all businesses – the power was well and truly transferred to the workers (of all kinds).
The “great resignation” is a result of people realizing that they can gain more control and autonomy over their careers based on their experiences during the plague. As a result, most of them have more demands from potential employers than ever before.
Those looking for employees with particularly digital skills are experiencing some of the most acute shortages. Therefore, if businesses are not looking to overcome them soon and find the talent they need, they are at significant risk of delaying their digital transformation strategies, which are vital to their future.
Much digital transformation has taken place over the past 18 months, but digitization is an ongoing process with no end game. In fact, most businesses are still trying to overcome as they try to overcome the challenges posed by the plague as many have overcome the storm by adopting a responsive business continuity approach to digital development instead of a more strategic view of opportunity. This is in addition to the challenges posed by the Brexit and subsequent supply chain struggles. However, a digital transformation cannot proceed without the right people driving it.
This increased demand for a specific group of skilled workers greatly affects the way businesses seek to attract them. Some have resorted to wage increases, for example, but Research Shows that this is not enough – workers now value more and more flexibility in equal, if not more, pay, having valued the work-life balance granted to them during the national closure.
With so many businesses recruiting employees from the same pool, organizations may need to think outside the box to get the people they need to drive their future. After all, this landscape means it takes more time and is expensive to recruit in the traditional way.
Break the habits of life
Especially when recruiting for digital positions, organizations are usually looking for highly specialized skills, and at short notice. These skills are often needed for specific and individual projects, which can put HR teams under pressure to fill in the gaps quickly. However, recruiting full-time permanent employees usually remains the ultimate goal, for which the traditional recruitment process is too cumbersome, expensive and limited.
Instead, when recruiting to supplement the manpower shortage needed to carry out these projects, businesses must adopt more flexible methods beyond the standard recruitment of full-time employees. Away from the world of early notice periods and poor scalability, this action can provide faster access to quality talent that businesses may not have had the attractiveness to hire permanently.
For example, freelancers play an increasingly important role in closing the skills gaps facing businesses. It becomes a more attractive career option for many, when people realize they can take back control of their time and prospects. Many self-employed workers simply did not return. Fortunately, adopting this more flexible pool of talent is an important and effective way to make the recruitment function – and therefore the company’s work processes – more agile.
Businesses need to keep in mind that adopting a more flexible and resilient workforce must be tailored to a more flexible way of working. To truly leverage the sharing economy for skilled workers, they must have global thinking, rather than fall into the trap of settling for local candidates, which is now possible with most remote-based knowledge workers. After all, the benefits of a flexible and elastic workforce will be largely unnecessary if the search for such skilled workers is limited to a comfortable driving distance.
It’s time for a change
It is hard to believe that so many businesses are putting projects in place that could generate revenue on hold because of recruitment struggles. The current recruitment strategy feels even more outdated when you consider that many of the skills they need today may be different tomorrow. However, working with skilled freelancers – or building an elastic team – to complement the full-time staff means that businesses can use as few or as few resources as they want and increase and reassemble as needed.
It does not take recruiters out of the workplace. Like all industries, it simply proves a need to evolve. As we look to 2022, businesses will need to adopt more flexible approaches to recruiting and managing talent. This does not mean simply putting better ‘benefits’ in place like a hybrid job – probably the minimum necessary for today’s workforce – but moving to a new flexible and elastic model that can respond to how the recruitment and recruitment landscape changes.
By Callum Adamson, Co-Founder and CEO, Distributed.