As it becomes increasingly hard to find highly qualified candidates, a large majority of organizations are dealing firsthand with the growing work-skills gap – which is the difference between the skills employers need and the actual skills candidates have. The skills gap prevents employers from maximizing their productivity, as they are often forced to hire employees with a less than ideal skill set.
When setting organizational goals for the new year, it’s important to address the skills gap and take steps to minimize its effects on your workforce. Here are four ways you can bridge the skills gap in your organization:
Reassess and redefine skill requirements
Very often job descriptions are outdated, lacking proper clarity and relevance. When recruiting and posting jobs, it’s best to reassess the actual skill requirements for each position and consider whether the requirements are truly realistic and aligned with the job’s day-to-day responsibilities. If you’re listing skills that are obscure or outdated, you may be turning away qualified candidates who would be a good fit for your organization. Along these lines, you can consider reevaluating pre-employment requirements that may prevent otherwise qualified candidates from applying. For example, you may want to eliminate a requirement for a clean criminal record for candidates who have only low-level offenses. Reducing these types of limitations will help you broaden your pool of potential candidates.
Implement employee training programs
Rather than only seek candidates with all your stated requirements, consider evaluating candidates who have the potential to acquire the skills needed to work within your organization. Apprenticeship and mentorship programs can be very impactful in training new hires and preparing them for your workplace. Implementing programs in which new employees can learn on the job is an effective way to bridge the skills gap and develop your team in a way that aligns with your organization.
Develop strategic partnerships
A significant part of hiring skilled candidates is knowing where to find them in the first place. You can improve your hiring outcomes by developing strategic partnerships with staffing firms and educational institutions that can provide access to highly qualified candidates seeking jobs. These types of partnerships can help you leverage your recruiting efforts and discover candidates who are well equipped to handle the tasks and responsibilities of your organization. By being strategic and developing meaningful partnerships, you’ll develop a pipeline of talented applicants to fulfill your hiring needs on a regular basis.
Establish an externship program
Sometimes the easiest way to hire top notch candidates is by immersing them in your organization before they work in your environment. Establishing an externship program will allow you to bring interns on your team, exposing them to your company culture and workplace expectations. This helps you develop a successful hiring launchpad, in which potential candidates become acclimated with your organization before applying for a permanent or full-time position. Developing a robust externship program increases the likelihood of finding candidates who already have the skills and experience levels you’re seeking for your organization.
Bridging the skills gap certainly does not happen overnight. However, being proactive with the steps above is critical for building a workforce that is equipped to handle the demands of your organization. Are you struggling to find candidates with the right skill set? Develop a partnership with Keepers Staffing today!