The global talent shortage has hit an all-time high in over a decade, with 54% of companies experiencing gaps in their talent pools, according to Manpower Group’s 2019 Talent Shortage Report.
Talent-shortage issues impact industries across the world. However, none more than those hiring for in-demand roles. Manpower Group’s respondents identified the top three in-demand roles of 2019 as skilled trades, sales and marketing, and technicians. In 2018, 80% of the same trending in-demand roles were also in short supply, so this issue remains a high priority.
It isn’t just employers, however, that face these challenges daily. As a staffing pro, you directly feel the damaging effects when your clients’ hard-to-fill roles remain empty for extraordinary amounts of time. You also know, no matter what happens in the economy, there will always be a need for in-demand, highly-skilled employees.
To tackle the issue head-on, you must help clients be strategic and proactive in their recruitment process. Here’s how you can create strategic staffing plans for clients with in-demand roles:
1. Analyze in-demand staffing needs
Before focusing on in-demand roles, you likely had a two-part plan in place—staffing both permanent roles and filling temporary positions as needed. Now, you need to reanalyze and evaluate your clients’ in-demand staffing needs.
Start with a few basic but revealing questions:
- How many in-demand openings do they have?
- How many overall in-demand positions do they currently have?
- What’s the turnover rate of these roles?
- What’s the biggest issue in filling these roles?
- What criteria are absolutely necessary, and what criteria will they bend on?
Use these key insights to initiate more in-depth conversations with your clients about their staffing needs. When necessary, ask for hiring and turnover data to ensure the next steps in your strategy align with their key issues.
2. Identify the needs and expectations of in-demand candidates
Candidates’ expectations and needs vary on a case-by-case basis. For instance, the Manpower Group report found what candidates want from employers varies by age, gender, and where people are in their career lifecycle. However, there are three non-negotiables for every gender and generation—more pay, flexibility, and challenging work.
It’s important to steer clients in the direction of candidates who will succeed at their company, not just those who possess the right skill sets to meet role requirements. Start by asking them to identify the traits of current employees holding in-demand positions. What are their soft skills? Do they like collaborating with the team or working solo?
Then, present clients with a poll to offer current employees in hard-to-fill roles. Focus on what attracted them to the company, what makes them stay, and what they feel helps them succeed in the company.
For example, current marketing employees may stay because they love their flexible schedules and the potential for career growth. Those in skilled trades, however, may place greater importance on working with a great team and pay.
3. Design a future staffing projection
As you know, your clients’ immediate needs likely won’t align with their needs a few years—or even months—down the road. Sit down with clients to create a staffing projection for the next five to 10 years. The information you obtain during projection meetings will help you identify and prepare for future in-demand role needs now.
If, for example, they plan on restructuring the company, will all of their current in-demand roles still exist? Or will new ones be added? If there’s a recession, will in-demand roles, like marketing, be taken off the table?
4. Update branding strategies
Your clients aren’t the only ones who need a strong branding strategy to attract high-quality, in-demand talent. Together, you need to strategize how you’ll entice candidates to move into your pipeline, through your recruitment process, and successfully into their hiring process.
There’s no doubt other staffing firms are vying for the same in-demand candidates you are. So, it’s important to set yourself apart, even in your first interaction.
Use personalized video messages as part of your email signature when reaching out to candidates. Make your intentions clear from the start to let candidates know they can trust you and your goal of placing them with only the best employers. Additionally, get your clients to record short video messages regarding in-demand roles. This increases the immediate connection candidates have with their brand and opportunities and leaves a lasting impression.
5. Create a clear assessment plan
Quickly and effectively assessing talent is even more critical for in-demand roles than others. Unfortunately, all too often, clients have slow internal processes, making it nearly impossible for you to keep top talent readily available.
That’s why it’s critical to devise a clear assessment plan with clients. Start with a clear timeline and help clients stick to it to keep the placement process moving forward. Also, create a standardized process based on your clients needs to help you both effectively assess job and cultural fit.
Use tools that align with the structured process and allow for faster, more productive collaboration with clients. One-way video interviews, for example, enable you to ask the same pre-set questions in the same format. As a result, you and your clients easily evaluate the likelihood of a candidate’s success and satisfaction in a role.
6. Review and repeat
Strategic staffing plans should never be set in stone. The job market, employee expectations, and your clients’ companies are constantly evolving, and so should your plans.
Frequently assess how a plan is working by reviewing your placement success. Determine how well your strategy is working. Analyze KPIs, such as interviews booked by candidate nurture campaigns, interviews booked by communication type, candidate dropout rates, where candidates drop out, and retention rates to assess where the plan needs to be altered.