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null How will the skilled labour shortage change your hiring methods?


Nearly every organisation is facing a talent crisis, with 9 in every 10 businesses reporting skills shortages. Talent mismatches and skills shortages globally are already affecting organisations, with quiet quitting and employee dissatisfaction on the rise, as well as high staff turnover and low productivity levels.

What is causing the skilled labour shortage?

Employers say the key drivers for these mismatches are a lack of available training and development. Employers also report fewer highly skilled people entering their industry, in addition to seismic demographic changes impacting the volume of talent readily available. 

Organisations need to be proactive in attracting, developing and retaining their workforce. We’ll discuss this in more depth in our upcoming report, but for now – here's a snapshot of the strategies we’d recommend to an organisation struggling to hit their hiring targets.

How to combat the skills shortage

Here are some of the ways that you can tackle talent mismatches and a shortage of skilled workers. Your organisation will need these methods to attract and retain the most appropriate and best-skilled candidates.

With Enterprise Solutions at Hays, you can bridge the skills gap.

Be flexible in your approach to hiring: look in-house first

Consider your existing employees rather than immediatelty turning to the labour market. Current workers are a rich source of information and have already demonstrated their commitment and ‘fit’ within the organisation.

Other ‘flexible’ strategies include:

  • Considering transferable skills.
  • Recruiting based on candidate potential, also known as skills-based hiring.
  • Ensuring greater internal mobility across your organisation.

Flexibility allows you to open a vacancy to a larger pool of candidates. There are potential employees who have experience and can become a valuable asset with little technical training.

Embracing flexible working options allows an organisation to retain critical skills and widen the pool of potential talent. Many employees today need flexibility to remain in the workforce.

Create a robust plan for future recruitment

Have a plan to identify the key roles and likely requirement patterns in your organisation. At the most basic level, this means examining where you are heading. Then, compare your trajectory to the skills you currently have within your organisation.

Workforce planning should involve the development of a succinct process and a tailored offer. Additionally, the effective use of temporary assignments and mobile technology should also be part of the planning process.

Celebrate your brand values to attract skilled employees

Create an employment brand to attract like-minded candidates, who are aligned to your values. If in doubt, consider localised versions of editions such as the UK's Best Workplaces 2024. Organisations on this list have strong employment brands.

Due to their strong branding, these companies receive tonnes of applications from people who want to work for them.  

Leverage under-utilised talent networks, globally

Make sure your organisation is sourcing talent from far and wide. There are many under-utilised talent pools including highly skilled workers overseas, mature candidates and former employees. Enhance your search with emerging technologies and key insights on talent ‘hotspots’.

Invest in training and development to fill skills shortages

Training and development involves reskilling and upskilling existing employees. Use progressive training programmes to make the most of existing talent. With effective training schemes you can build a stronger workforce capable of handling what the job requires.

And remember, training doesn’t always have to be in the classroom.

Prioritise retention to avoid a shortage of skilled workers

Focus on retention and start with the benchmarking of great performers, then recruit to these criteria. A retention plan also includes training people well, performance management, career development, succession planning and engagement.

Also critical is assessing your internal reporting structures and culture; people join companies and leave poor or toxic managers.

Develop a talent pipeline even when not actively hiring

A talent pipeline is useful for identifying potential candidates that your organisation can approach when vacancies arise – and it starts with a concrete Early Careers strategy. Playing the ‘long game’ and implementing a sourcing strategy for future talent can help to develop relationships with the innovators and change-makers of tomorrow.

And when they’re ready to join the workforce, you can shorten the time to hire, improve the interview process and minimise business disruption.

Closing the skills gap: Next steps for your organisation 

Adopting one or two of these points in isolation is not enough to overcome ongoing talent mismatches. By shaking up your methods and using many of these techniques at once, you can forge a robust and effective talent management strategy.  

We hope to offer innovative solutions to help our clients to win today’s highly competitive talent race. Keep your eyes peeled for our upcoming report that tackles these talent challenges, due for release in June 2024.  

For more insights, make sure to read: 



Travis O’Rourke
Chief Commercial Officer at Hays, Americas

Travis has been with Hays for over a decade. He has well over 30,000 hours of hands-on contingent workforce management experience.  

Travis is focused on bringing Hays' niche expertise, and global reach, to the North American marketplace, mobilising best in class global strategies and technologies to ensure our customers win the war for talent, and our candidates have the choice to work for largest companies in the region, or the startup around the corner.