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Talent Pool Shortage- Stop the Panic and Start the Progress

Talent Pool Shortage: Stop the Panic and Start the Progress

Staffing pros everywhere are feeling the increasing pressures of talent pool shortages. In fact, according to ManpowerGroup’s 2016/2017 Talent Shortage Survey 40 percent of employers globally are having trouble filling positions — the highest shortage since 2007.

A quality talent pool is important to every business. However, the pain of these shortages is enhanced for staffing pros. On top of searching for talent, you’re also dealing with clients’ stresses and fears.

So, how do you continue doing your job well and calm clients’ fears about talent pool shortages?

“Open your mindset to new possibilities,” suggested Jeannette Seibly, business advisor and executive coach at SeibCo, LLC.

Opening up your own mindset will help further relationships with clients. Giving you the opportunity to end their worries, open up the talent pool, and bring in the best candidates.

Here are four steps that will stop your clients from panicking about the talent shortage:

1. Know your numbers.

Business leaders are trained to be all about the numbers. Knowing their own strategic numbers is what leads them and their employees to success.

That’s why Carolyn Thompson, managing principal of the Merito Group, suggests knowing your own numbers to help ease clients’ minds.

“We are very metrics-driven and know exactly how many people need to be screened, submitted, and interviewed across all our levels of placement,” Thompson said. “If you know how many you need to find to have enough for the number of people your client needs to hire, you can work backward to figure out what you and the staff need to accomplish weekly or daily.”

Share these figures with your clients to help them see the hard facts. Most are worried about the time and money it will take to fill their open positions — and they’re probably overestimating. Giving them an in-depth look at your strategy and numbers will give them the full-picture they need to understand where their talent pool situation lies.

2. Remain transparent.

One of the worst things staffing pros can do in a panicked situation is offer fluff. Clients aren’t looking for you to hold their hand or make them feel better — they want the truth. Of course, it’s easy to worry the truth will send them running, Dave Arnold, president of Arnold Partners, LLC, believes this information and visibility brings a sense of calm to the process.

“Talent shortage: It is real,” Arnold warned. “There are never enough “A” players to go around in any market, let alone one that we are in now. My approach is to be as transparent with my client as possible and show them the real effort going on to attract talent to their opportunity. Information and visibility to the process calm the nerves and helps align expectations.”

In order to make full-transparency effective, you need to follow up your visibility with good advice and availability. Good advice may seem obvious, but it’s oftentimes not specific to the issues at hand or is instead presented as a way to calm clients down.

Offer advice that is actionable for each issue the client is currently dealing with. Include simple tips for hiring internally and ones that you’ll be implementing. Then, keep your follow-ups timely and offer updates on how you’re solving their talent pool problems.

3. Keep conversations flowing.

Never stop talking with clients.

Of course, communication is key, but it needs to go far beyond cursory interviews. When your clients are worried about the talent pool shortage, it’s even more crucial to know how to keep communication open.

“Have a frank conversation about what they [clients] are doing well, and what they could be doing differently. Conduct an audit of their job ads, interviewing approach, the length of time it takes to make a job offer, job descriptions (who do they really need), etc.,” Seibly said.

Sometimes these conversations can feel tense or awkward, but your clients will appreciate the strong attempt to find them the right talent. Assess their situation and offer a direct, non-insulting way to explain where their system or company needs improvements.

Recommended Reading: Here’s how staffing pros can master candidate sourcing on social media.


4. Keep your eye on the prize.

Don’t get wrapped up in the stress of staffing and forget the most important part of your job: finding candidates who are the right fit for clients’ job openings.

“Today’s business requires us to do more with less – both operationally and with human resources. So selecting talent is critical,” Mark Epp, senior leadership consultant at Talent Plus, Inc., said. “Open your talent pool scouting beyond the past experience a candidate may have and focus on their potential to be successful in the job. Skills can be taught, talent is innate,” he continued.

Epp’s advice points to one very crucial element: every interview counts. Once talent is in their pipeline, help them create a structured interview process. This will set them on the right track for ensuring they’re making the most out of each interview and even predicting if a candidate will be successful.

What steps do you take when clients panic about talent pool shortages? Let us know!

Josh Tolan

Josh Tolan is the Founder and CEO of Spark Hire, a video interviewing platform used by 6,000+ customers in over 100 countries.