Connect the Dots: Employee Referrals Help Overcome Labor Shortages
While a strengthening economy and employment figures have been a welcome development for US job seekers, they’ve reintroduced a major headache for HR and recruiters. When the majority of skilled workers are already employed, companies seeking to expand their ranks face an uphill battle to identify and attract qualified new employees. Today’s evolving economy demands new solutions to familiar recruiting pain points. How can HR and recruiters overcome labor shortages and compete in the struggle for talent?
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Over the course of this blog series, we’ll share our insight into the modern tactics that will help companies overcome skilled labor shortages.
Understanding Today’s Labor Shortages
In 2016, Marketplace examined a report released by the Conference Board, a leading global economic research organization, that predicted 15 years of skilled labor shortages in the United States. The report, “Help Wanted”, identifies the causes and effects behind the rapidly declining numbers of skilled workers, including high employment, low productivity, and retiring Baby Boomers. The markets most likely to feel this constriction in talent include skilled trades such as construction and manufacturing, and rapidly growing fields such as healthcare.
For HR and recruiters tasked with growing talent at their companies, this shortage of skilled candidates creates a never-ending struggle to quickly fill open positions with qualified job seekers. Service businesses simply cannot function without skilled talent, and recruiters face tremendous pressure to close the labor gap at every turn. Additionally, sourcing skilled talent costs companies significant time and money, especially during a labor shortage.
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Effects on the HR Value Chain
Specialized and skilled talent is the key component allowing many companies to achieve and sustain a competitive advantage in their market. Yet, skilled talent is hard to locate and hard to attract, causing some organizations to fall behind, or worse, make hasty staffing decisions that inevitably backfire and create more work. Here’s what happens to HR departments that are unable to effectively respond to labor shortages:
The lack of skilled talent negatively affects the HR value chain, creating a cycle of problems that perpetuate the root cause: unfilled positions. Employee engagement efforts (addressing job satisfaction, employee retention, pride in work, trust in employer, etc…) are damaged by vacant positions, high employee turnover, and distracted HR departments. Company culture suffers as a result, impacting both retention and talent acquisition efforts. Customer-facing initiatives such as employer brand and customer service take a hit, causing repeat business and customer loyalty to falter. All of this damages top line revenue and growth potential due to higher expenses and lower operating income, making it harder to achieve competitive advantage through skilled workers.
If this all sounds like a nightmare you’d like to avoid (sorry for triggering!), here’s the good news at last: It’s possible to strengthen your recruiting strategy to find and engage skilled, quality talent while also reducing the expense of recruiting (both in time and money).
The Solution to Staying Competitive During a Labor Shortage
While many traditional recruiting methods drive up costs and require more time and energy from HR and recruiters, there’s one underutilized resource at your disposal: employee referrals. By turning your employees into an army of recruiters, you can save time and money while leveraging employees existing contacts to fill open positions with highly skilled and qualified candidates.
Employee referrals are the optimal source of skilled job candidates. Just think: your existing employees understand the requirements of the job and appreciate your employer brand and company culture. They’re perfectly situated to act as positive agents of change by referring pre-vetted, qualified candidates for your talent pipeline. In addition, candidates who are referred by employees have proven to be better culture fits and more likely to stay in their new job longer than candidates from job boards.
[Related Insight: How to Create a Culture of Engaged Employee Referrals]
The New Employee Referral Program Paradigm
But wait – employee referral programs aren’t new! Maybe you’ve even tried one in the past without the kind of success you hear about from other companies. While the employee referral idea has been around for decades, recent advances in technology have created a paradigm shift. Today’s employee referral programs, with an innovative twist, are better situated than ever before to provide a pipeline of skilled talent, even during a labor shortage.
JobShakers’ streamlined employee referral program solution provides all the tools you need to successfully leverage your employee’s contacts into a robust referral program. By embracing today’s mobile job seeker’s tool of choice – the smartphone – JobShakers meets exceptional candidates where they already are, eliminating the barriers that keep them from applying and following through on referrals. Meanwhile, HR and recruiters have access to all the data they need to deploy and monitor their referral program and achieve outstanding results.
Created in response to the skilled labor shortage that worries today’s recruiters, JobShakers’ employee referral platform is a real game-changer. If you’re ready to put these recruiting pain points behind you and strengthen your HR value chain, schedule a demo today and learn how JobShakers can revolutionize your recruiting efforts!